A few weeks ago, Renier and I talked about the the difference between VoIP and a traditional phone system, the benefits of a cloud-based phone system, using a normal phone with VoIP, keeping your current business number when switching to VoIP, the disadvantages of VoIP, and comparing different VoIP phone systems. Renier answered the top questions business owners have about VoIP.
Today, we dive into details. Renier, tell me, when you jump into working remotely, what are some of the things that you need to keep in mind to make sure that it does appear as if the business is as usual when your phone systems are now abroad or potentially distributed between many places?
Renier: The main thing is you want a system that moves along well that you can pack up into a laptop take it somewhere else. And with that, the whole cloud-based solution means that everything is kind of already in the cloud in one place ready to go, and you just connect to it. If someone calls up, it's not being forwarded somewhere. It's not going to someone's cell phone number, it's still going through the system, so you have all of your messages, you can have your call recording style, and you can still transfer calls as if you were in a normal office.
Understanding Different Phone Systems
There are lots of different types of VoIP and lots of types of phone systems, such as IDSN, IP PBX, VoIP systems, cloud systems, on-premise systems, hybrid systems, systems that have trunking, and SIP trunking. The list goes on. What's the easiest way to drill it down and simplify it?
Renier: Many countries have made promises to shut down ISDN because it's old infrastructure and it's becoming redundant to an extent. Some countries have said that they'll do that in 2020 and others in 2030. IP PBX is basically the same concept, but it's a completely digital system, so that's also still something that you have in the office, but it's a bit more versatile.
You can also get a free PBX, for example, and you can run that from a normal PC. Even if you have a small requirement, you can use something like a Raspberry Pi to put on your little PBX on. That’s a digital system that runs through the Internet. It’s a cloud-based system that backs all of that equipment up and puts it on a server run by the cloud provider. This means you don't have any hardware that you need to worry about. You just need to worry about your connection to that server.
That's a pretty big difference when you think about it. Traditionally, PBX systems came with this bulky package of hardware. Businesses were paying thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars, locked in contracts for years and years and ultimately kind of just felt like that's the way that they had to do it.
Gain Flexibility With a Cloud System
A lot of people aren't aware of how easy it is just to move across to a cloud system that allows you to remotely work and allows you to have a distributed office without any of that hardware. Imagine that you decide to move office from X to Y, especially if we're looking at commercial real estate in Australia and the way that it's working at the moment. You wonder what's it going to cost to move everything. The beautiful thing is you can move your office two, three, or five times and there's going to be nearly no business interruption.
Renier: Exactly right. Our team started working from home a long time ago because our very solution allows for that. So why not utilise it? And ultimately, even us as a company, we've saved money because we're a company with global focus. So you need people in different places, different countries, that speak different languages. So now we can have a team member in the US, for example, which didn't need us to buy up a property or rental property or something so that that person can have an office. You just ship hardware that they need and you're done. Most of the things that you use already are probably cloud-based, so you might as well move your phone system too.
It definitely gives you flexibility, and it shouldn't be something that you're too scared about as well. It sounds like I'm spruiking VoIPstudio, but it's just a product that we've come to love. We've tried lots of others out there, and you could probably do it yourself without having to have any other technical expertise.
Renier: Depends on the scale and how quickly you really need it. If you hustle, you can be done in a day. The main thing that takes time is migrating over to a different VoIP provider. But usually, you can have everything set up beforehand. Again, that just depends on the scope.
'By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.'
- Benjamin Franklin
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