Although digital communication tools let businesses connect with customers and other stakeholders in an efficient manner, landlines are still used to communicate with business stakeholders. And for many organizations, determining whether to use internet phones or traditional landlines remains a concern. To help you decide, here’s a short guide on different types of business phones and their respective life cycles and technology options.
Different phone systems
Today’s businesses still use landlines to connect with various stakeholders, such as customers, investors, and suppliers, to service their needs. However, telephony has come a long way from when it first came about in 1876. For instance, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones have virtually unlimited reach, are automated, and are cheaper than ever to acquire.
VoIP is a telephony solution that uses the internet instead of wired circuits to transmit data. VoIP does more than just transmit audio — it can also send a variety of data (video, multimedia, SMS, etc.) and perform other tasks as well.
A VoIP system’s hardware (phone units, cables, CPUs, etc.) and software (one or more applications that run the system) can be either on-premises or hosted:
- On-premises – Hardware and software are physically housed within the premises of the company.
- Hosted – Some of the hardware, like phone units and other equipment, can be found within the premises. But most, if not all, of the software is hosted online. Service providers look after hosted systems for their clients.
Life cycles: On-premises vs. hosted
With hardware, it doesn’t matter whether it’s on-premises or hosted. Hardware is affected by the wear and tear stemming from daily use. Barring any accidents or physical damage, VoIP hardware should last several years.
On the other hand, software requires regular updates. It’s worth noting that it’s faster and cheaper to update software that’s hosted in the cloud versus one that’s on premises. However, there’s not much difference in how much either one can last — software for both types of VoIP systems can last upwards of 10 years, depending on how dependable your IT support is.
Technology today vs. before
In the past, hardware and software were built to last. Today, they’re built to adapt and change, thanks to cloud technology.
The effect of this shift on hardware and software is dramatic:
Most hardware components are very similar, with replacements and upgrades coming every 5–8 years on average.
Cloud software is faster, easier, and cheaper to upgrade than software for on-premises systems. Critical cloud updates can be released almost constantly, and a cloud system may be completely overhauled in as short as 2–3 years’ time.
Whichever phone system you choose, it should integrate smoothly with the other systems in your business, such as email or customer relationship management software. And as your business expands, your chosen phone system should easily scale with it, too.
Be a step ahead
Downtime results in loss of potential sales and, essentially, wasted money. If your phone service is spotty and constantly unreliable, perhaps it’s time to switch to VoIP phones.
Nowadays, it’s not the longevity of a tech solution that’s important, but rather staying ahead of the curve to trump the competition. Call our experts today so you can always leverage the best VoIP and other IT solutions available today.