At first glance, business telephony systems can seem confusing. Trying to understand them can feel like you’re wading through a constant stream of jargon, abbreviations and specifications. For some small to medium business owners, this confusion is enough to avoid business telephony altogether and opt for less effective methods of communication – simply because these ways of communicating may seem more familiar.
In reality, however, the basics of business telephony are simpler than you think. Knowing this can make all the difference to how your business operates. In this blog, we’re explaining all the fundamentals of business telephony – from its importance, to how you can go about choosing the right SIP provider for your business.
Do I need a phone system for my business?
The short answer is yes, all businesses will experience improved productivity with a telephony system. Sure, some businesses use only personal mobiles for their operations. But there are a number of problems you’ll run into if you choose this option.
Using a personal mobile for business activities can:
- Make your business appear less professional to your potential clients or customers.
- Be inconvenient, especially considering mobile does not have key features that telephony systems offer (such as voicemail to email, call forwarding and online faxing).
- Be a security threat, especially if your personal mobile number is made public online or on social media.
- Limit your understanding of how your business interacts with its customers. A business telephony system can allow you to track logistics, sales data and also monitor employee customer service skills. This is not possible with mobile.
- Disrupt your work-life balance. Using mobile makes it difficult to distinguish when to answer calls that are business-related (especially after office hours). A business phone solves this easily; you can set up automatic redirects to voicemail if a customer happens to call after hours. You can even create a VIP list to allow certain callers to contact you any time of the day.
What is a PBX system?
A PBX (or Private Bank Exchange) system acts as a private telephone network for a business. Think of it as the doorway between a company and its clients. Traditional PBX for SMEs is onsite, meaning it physically relies on the public switched telephone system (PSTN) – the copper infrastructure that connects telephone lines, cellular and other types of communication.
PBX for larger companies is also on site, but instead of using PSTN, it often relies on the integrated services digital network (ISDN). The main difference between PSTN and ISDN is that ISDN supports multiple simultaneous functions and channels, which is more viable for larger organisations.
In Australia, it was recently announced by Telstra that the ISDN and copper PSTN lines will be decommissioned, due to the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN). This means that soon, businesses that rely on an onsite PBX will need to look to alternative telephony systems. One of these is SIP.
What is SIP?
Session Initiation Protocol or SIP – also known as VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol – is a telephony system that uses the internet to send and receive voice data (as opposed to ISDN and PSTN). Because it uses the internet to operate, it’s hosted in the cloud rather than being stored as a physical unit onsite. For this reason, SIP is also commonly known as hosted PBX or hosted telephony.
With the rollout of NBN, soon SIP will be the standard business telephony system in Australia. To avoid any downtime with a phone system, businesses must migrate their telephony to a SIP solution before the old ISDN and copper PSTN lines are switched off. And finding a SIP provider is the first step in the process.
Choosing a SIP provider in Melbourne
AWD IT is a full-service IT and digital agency based in Melbourne. We are dedicated to helping businesses grow with our suite of IT support services. Not only do we provide core IT solutions like disaster recovery and network consultancy, but we also stay ahead of the industry and its advancements. This includes helping your business through the transition from onsite PBX to SIP (or VoIP).
With over 20 years of experience as a business in providing a range of IT services, AWD is well-equipped to be your SIP provider. We can help transition your business to SIP in a smooth and seamless manner from start to finish – whether you have a small, medium or large company. Our experienced team can also set up and integrate the SIP system with your CRM, email and teleconferencing platforms to ensure a seamless transition with minimal impact to your business operations. Migrate with AWD today to stay connected tomorrow.
Want to know more about how we can be your SIP provider? Our experts are available for a free consultation. Contact us online or by calling 1300 855 651 today!