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If your phone system support team had their way they would put an exchange server at every branch

By November 16, 2013 Voip

The idea of centralizing telephone services and systems makes sense. Years ago, the idea of centralizing servers, mail servers, etc. seemed equally sensible.

But, why was one done yet the other is lagging in popularity?

I think the answer is pretty simple, and it relates to one word, ‘protection’.

But what are we protecting?

I don’t believe that we are protecting jobs, not many companies are hiring phone system administrators these days.  Most of these tasks have been simplified by user interface tools or Move Add, Change requests.

But who do the Move, Add and Change requests go to?  Vendors.

The ‘AH HA’ moment is that the vendors like PBX’s because vendors like selling them,and they like maintaining them.  Phone companies like selling the phone lines, and the integrators like the kick backs that they are getting for recommending the phone lines.

Fact is, it’s still a big business.  Not much Research and Development spending going on these days, I mean that the good old POTS (phone) line built by our dearly departed Alexander Graham Bell has not advanced all that much, or at all.

Consider as well, that over 60 per cent of office communication does not actually involve “talking” on a phone.  Email or collaborative messaging and voicemail have made that happen nicely.

But still, those nice “interconnects” or the phone system resellers are still pushing those nice upgrades and licenses.  Lots of licenses (user licenses, trunk licenses, application licenses).

A voicecloud like Frontier’s or even others can provide a phone, with the same five features that everyone wants and the remaining 50 or so that no one wants.

The familiar five:

  • Pick up a call when the phone rings;
  • Show who is calling;
  • Transfer a call;
  • Leave voicemail;
  • Check voicemail;
  • Dial a number;
  • Hang up a caller when you don’t want to talk anymore;
  • Throw the phone and watch it return to hit  you… kinda like a boomerang (courtesy of that fancy cord that attaches the phone handset to the actual phone set).

Ok, I am being a bit facetious.

  • There are better features;
  • Voicemail to email;
  • Call queuing;
  • ACD;
  • Find me anywhere (desk, mobile etc.).

The best feature is cost, for Frontier (as an example) we make money each time a call is placed and answered.  So for us, we like to “fund” the infrastructure to get the sale.  It’s really a win-win for everyone.  This is why we moved to a rather “head turning” model of pricing on the concurrent user vs. actual end user.  It saves money, gobs of it.

Even better, when you use Frontier broadband, we actually use voice to cross subsidize the bandwidth deal.  This is what funds our “no one time cost” policy that we enacted a year ago.