If you have Swan (Inter-Tel/Mitel) Phone Manager or any similar applications, these are all in-house. Based on a PC that connects to the CCU (central control unit/phone system box) so information is passed internally between systems.
With Hosted Telephony being, as it says, 'hosted' in data centres, only about 90% of the functionality of the old PBX can be replicated so 'over the top' (OTT) applications have had to be developed to achieve the other 10% by using API technology!
One of the original telephony software packages for the Hosted Market was developed by Broadsoft called Broadworks, originally developed way back in 1998 and went public in 2010. Hipcom were one the first to use Broadworks and was eventually acquired by the supplier in 2013. There are many companies (including BT) that have used Broadworks to build their first Hosted Services. In 2018 Cisco acquired Broadsoft.
Another example is Gamma Telecom which developed a system called Horizon back in 2011. It was built using Broadsoft, but instead of just reselling the services, Gamma placed the application in their own data centres and started to overlay other applications, such as Akixi, a third-party Call Centre product, sold as a separate licence.
The original call recording service was also a bolt-on and, as compliance became more of an issue, new vendors had to be found to keep up-to-date with business demands. Gamma does not and has never sold directly to 'end users' as they are a trade-only company and once were outselling BT solutions by 2:1 through their partner network.
Now, in 2023, just type in VoIP or Hosted telephony into any search engine and have your mind blown away by the sheer number of vendors, platforms, and price plans that are on the market. Be my guest and read through all the terms and conditions of supply, functionality and how to create the services that you require (statistics, call recording, mobile apps and PC/laptop softphone applications etc). It'll blow your mind.
Coming back to internet connectivity, if this is not right, the whole experience of hosted telephony will be a disaster. Call quality will be akin to using a mobile phone back in the 1990s and your customers/clients will complain that the line is crackly and you sound like a Dalek! Remember those days? It doesn't have to be like that as long as you have both a hardware and software engineer on your team.
Next is WiFi. Did you know we are on WiFi 6? Barely have these latest WiFi chips in laptops, tablets and smartphones been upgraded to cope with this new protocol and the manufacturers are prototyping WiFi 7!
"As we know from the automotive industry, lab tests and real-world driving are two very different realities!"
Don't believe the hype on 'speeds'. Firstly, with the volume of WiFi signals flying through the air from both public and private equipment these days, to get the right speed, a signal survey is required to check all the other overlaps from neighbouring equipment and then you choose the right system for your business. Then you optimise the settings to minimise interference all round.
There will be a Part 3 soon as I want your business to run efficiently and not be hampered by technology.
Until next time ...
Would you like to know more?
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about telephony and communications for your business in 2023, it may be a great idea to give me a call on 01604 926100 or take a look at my website which you can find by clicking here.
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