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Replacing your telephony solutions – does it have to be a pain?

Nowcomm

Before the pandemic, a decision to rip out or even phase out your telephony platform would have been a bold move. Replacing legacy infrastructure is likely to be expensive and cause major disruption to business operations. For these reasons it was possibly at the bottom of the list for a majority of companies. However, in the past year the world has changed and so have our working habits.

54% of CFOs surveyed in the June 2020 PwC US CFO Pulse Survey will make remote work a permanent option. Remote working is here to stay and that means, make-shift telephony solutions are no longer fit for purpose.

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With most users now working remotely, companies with office-based telephony solutions may find themselves in a situation where they are unable to transfer calls or are even forced to close their phone lines. With disconnected direct lines and unreliable diversion to mobiles, it becomes increasingly difficult to get hold of the right person.

The fact is 80% of business communications occur over the phone. Therefore, disconnected network infrastructure can cause major disruption to the business. Since 85% of customers whose calls go unanswered will not call back, telephony disruption has an impact on not only company reputations but also the bottom line. In fact, on average businesses lose around £30 billion each year due to missed calls.

With businesses struggling to recover from the impact of the pandemic, integrated telephony solutions should become the priority.

Rip and replace or wrap and extend?

Ripping out all your voice infrastructure and starting again from scratch will likely cause at least some level of disruption to your staff. However, this does not have to be the case.

You can install Unified Communications servers on your site that give all the same benefits as their Cloud-based equivalents, but also support traditional telephony systems. If you are really attached to your old handsets you can still get all the benefits of UC on your desktop machines running alongside your handsets.

Alternatively, this is a great intermediate step if you want to split up the cost of an infrastructure upgrade. Ordinarily you would have to upgrade your legacy network first before you could get any benefits from new technology, meaning a much more significant investment is required to get the best out of your new solution. A Cisco UC platform can be installed on-site on day one to get great new features to your staff. Your network can then be upgraded when it suits you to allow you to roll out new handsets with all the advantages they bring.

Engage and innovate.

Many organisations have been making do hoping that things will get back to how there were before. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that this will not be the case. Using various video conferencing apps for internal and external calls and internal meetings was good in the short term. These solutions are often pose security vulnerabilities and are not integrated with the current network.

It is time to think beyond temporary solutions and into the future. And it is easier than you may think.

By pointing your existing voice circuits in the office to the Cisco Webex Calling service you can upgrade your current system with minimum fuss and minimum disruption. There is no need to change PSTN provider (ISDN or SIP) or terminate contracts. There is also no disruption to call plan or billing with porting requests. The system can be setup within days of an order being placed.

Cisco WebEx Contact Centre will add extra features such as instant call recording, integration with CRM, email, and other business apps, many manual processes can be automated, making it easy to communicate crucial information to customers. Besides, cloud telephony is highly scalable, flexible, and customisable. Features and services can scale up or down more efficiently and economically at any given time without the headaches of changing or merging lanes. The solution can handle dozens of calls simultaneously and automatically route queries to the right agents as needed.

Because WebEx calling and WebEx Contact Centre are delivered over the web, cloud telephony can be integrated into your employees' mobile phone with a business phone number or the organisation's current telephone system to improve or transform the current telephony capabilities, using IP handsets.

Beyond Lockdown

In 2020, telephony was for coping. In 2021, it is for competing. The winning businesses will be those that embrace the flexibility of VoIP and broaden their opportunities for customer dialogue and enhanced customer experience. They will streamline communications, encouraging smarter, more effective conversations with partners, and thrive in the ‘new normal’.

For next year’s businesses, communication is king.

Alex Gould
Nowcomm