An Introduction to Telephony for SMBs in 2021

introduction to telephony

Have you ever wondered about how modern telephony options affect businesses? 

A web-based telephony option, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), offers a potential 90% reduction in communications-related start-up costs. Similarly, a VoIP system provides a 77% increase in productivity.

In this day and age, internet telephony is a cost-effective, accessible and easy way of making calls over the internet rather than using traditional landlines. Usually enabled by VoIP, internet telephony allows communication between anyone, anywhere, provided an internet connection is at hand. 

The most attractive quality of internet telephony for small to medium businesses is its versatility, with solutions capable of integrating with current digital ecosystems or incorporating additional features, such as video calling and call records.

But what are the main benefits for SMBs? What are the advantages that small to medium-sized businesses can harness? To find out, read these sections of this blog:

What is Internet Telephony?

Simply put, internet telephony allows SMBs to make and receive voice calls with data transmitted over the internet rather than traditional landlines. Similarly, it can also be used for services like SMS and voice messaging.

From the perspective of SMBs, internet telephony is cost-effective and flexible, with services usually provided at a fraction of the cost of traditional phone systems. Similarly, with an internet connection, you can speak to anyone, anywhere. 

If you’d like to learn more about internet telephony, how it works and why it’s the perfect choice for growing businesses, read our blog here. But what about the benefits for SMBs?

Professional Benefits

Internet telephony is the logical next step in a business world increasingly obsessed with how technology enables us to do our jobs better. Countless businesses worldwide are onboarding things such as automation, cloud computing, even AI to make their internal processes run more efficiently.

The key question to answer is - why not improve communication too? Without good communication, nothing works. The gears stop turning, collaboration breaks down, people are left in the dark. Modern communications systems, such as internet telephony, protect against these - but what else does it guarantee?

A Break From Legacy Systems

Legacy systems can be defined as those technologies which are old, no longer supported or no longer sold. In the case of telephony, the term ‘legacy system’ could be applied to older telecoms technology, which runs via analogue landlines to the Plain Old Telephone Service - known as POTS.

While that name is pretty tongue-in-cheek, it’s also accurate. Landline connections are quite archaic in comparison to modern-day cloud-based connectivity models. Legacy systems themselves are often cause for inefficiencies and usually lack the ability to be updated. Now, this isn’t to say that landlines are useless; that’s far from the case.

Our focus is more on implementing a communications strategy that has more capabilities and features than POTS. We realise that moving away from traditional phone systems might seem daunting, but the good thing about internet telephony is that it can be onboarded incrementally. Start with the base service and build from there. 

Improved Productivity

Telecommunications systems can be messy and expensive. Wires trail around the office, handsets get broken, subscriptions are costly. Plus, there’s the issue of a lack of connectivity brought by traditional landlines. Yes, it’s easy to call someone - but can you really run audio-visual conference calls with people from multiple countries enabled with features such as live chat and screen sharing? Not exactly. 

In short, internet telephony improves productivity by:

  • Time-saving capabilities: Imagine an employee has taken time off and comes back to countless voicemails. Listening through voicemail isn’t the most engaging thing in the world. Many web-based telephony systems allow you to actually send voicemails to those individuals that can best resolve any queries that have been made.
  • Remote working enablement: Remote and flexible working is the new trend, driven by the dual influence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ease with which remote working is achieved through connected technology. Employees are not stuck to the on-premise limitations of traditional landlines and can make calls from anywhere. 
  • Workload management: Having more of a visual approach to communication, through live chat, readable voicemail and screen sharing allows teams to better collaborate and manage the work they’re focused on.

These are not the only professional benefits, but it’s also worth looking into the personal benefits of web-based telephony for SMBs.

Personal Benefits

With improved productivity and connectivity comes improved job satisfaction, but these aren’t the only things that influence a better working experience.

More Collaboration Between Teams

Working together on a project, gleaning information from other experienced colleagues and democratising ownership makes for more successful projects overall. That’s what web-based telephony provides - especially for teams working remotely. 

There’s also the natural integration capabilities that come with web-based telephony systems. These systems are centralised and, more often than not, easily integrate with many other applications. For example, take Microsoft Business Voice, part of the wider Microsoft service offering that includes Microsoft Teams and a whole array of applications designed with businesses in mind. 

In our modern business environment, collaboration is key. Web-based telephony delivers that, guaranteeing agility, visibility and improved relationships between employees. 

Improved Job Satisfaction

A little-known benefit of web-based telephony is clarity of communication. Job satisfaction is heavily impacted by communication gaps. Did you know that 74% of employees feel they miss out on company information? A third of employees say that a lack of open, honest communication is the biggest hit on morale.

Through the above benefits of web-based telephony, SMB employees find themselves with improved avenues for communication. They’re more able to discover company information, more able to connect with their peers and solve problems and more able to experience those open and honest communication channels.

Applications that use software such as VoIP or cloud communication effectively allow employees to micromanage their own communication, tailoring it to how they want to connect with their colleagues. 

Overall, this will improve job satisfaction by ensuring that SMBs enjoy and are able to maintain unbroken lines of communication - the type of communication that is always helpful. 

Unbroken communication today is guaranteed by centralising communication strategies into accessible and flexible digital applications. Introducing internet telephony is just one way SMBs can centralise their communications capabilities and create an accessible and successful collaboration model. So what else can they do? Read our guide to find out.

How SMBs Can Improve Their Communication Strategies

Whether it’s Software-as-a-Service (Saas) models or cloud-based communications, when it comes to connectivity, the answer is digital. Traditional phone systems no longer provide what businesses need and are commonly clunky and outdated. 

But not only is it the move towards digital comms, there’s an increasing emphasis on how to develop communications as a strategy in itself. 

This is an idea we address in our latest guide, a guide you can read today. Click the link below to find out more.

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