Large businesses have typically shied away from using virtual telephone systems preferring instead to use traditional in-house PBX systems. The reasons for this are varied but virtual systems just did not provide the tremendous advantages to them as large companies as it did small and medium businesses. Large businesses would already have feature rich systems that could manage call queuing and many of the specialized features required to support contact centers and large salerooms. However, lately there has been a shift towards virtualization due to rising confidence in the internet and the cloud service provider’s capabilities. Similarly, advances in technology have seen vast improvements in internet bandwidth via xDSL and this has circumvented the problem with call quality and capacity. Both of were major concerns for large companies, as dropped call, distorted voice and failure to establish a call did little to enhance the company’s reputation in the eye of their customers.
However, with these improvements in the core technologies performance and confidence has risen and we are now seeing large company’s looking at virtual telephone systems. So what are the direct benefits that they can now get out of a virtual system?
- Mobility and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device): By supporting inbound call forwarding and outbound calling using the virtual company’s number employees can use their personal devices to make and receive calls using the business number
- Converged communications: Voice, video and email can be integrated into one service providing voice and video call conferencing and transcript voice-mail to email.
- Follow-the-Sun routing: By using a virtual number for a contact center in bound calls can be redirected to the closest operational contact center depending on the time of day
- Collaboration and home-working: By utilizing the IP collaboration tools available with virtual telephone systems contact center workers no longer need to commute hours a day to work. Instead, they can work from home and communicate in real time by messenger, voice or through onscreen displays, which shows each workers status. This means the business can save on renting contact center premises.
- Automated Call Distribution: provides a system for your customers to call into and be connected to the correct people quickly and reliably.
- Virtual Regional Presence: Virtual telephone systems allow the business to have virtual telephone number for any city or country. This means the business can have virtual toll-free numbers that their customers in other regions and countries can call, even if the business has no presence there; this is a major benefit for both the customer and the business.
- Lower Cost of Ownership: By saving on monthly leasing fees for a traditional PBX and on the ongoing maintenance and support a large business can if it is careful about planning the virtual system make considerable savings. The point they have to remember hear is that if they want an extension on every desk then the monthly virtual telephone fees are going to soon outweigh the PBX costs.
- Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery: This is one of the biggest advantages for large businesses. The major benefit with business continuity practices ensures that the risks involved (and costs) of providing redundancy and fail-over hot sites is passed to the service provider. Similarly, with disaster recovery, it is the responsibility of the service provider to ensure there are disaster recovery options and hot sites available. This can be a major saving for any large business.
- Cheaper call tariffs: This is probably the most obvious but largest saving as the costs of international calls especially can be greatly reduced.
To conclude, it is now advantageous for large companies to consider virtual telephone services. Whereas before the technology and services were not mature. Now improvements have removed some of the disadvantageous and they deliver real benefits in price and operational savings.