The traditional phone line, otherwise known as a landline when you think about what you have (or had) at home, is still very much common place in the modern business environment. Legacy equipment is also still very much part of this set up. The most prominent example is the traditional PBX along with an array of analogue end points which can take the form phones on a factory floor, guest rooms in hotels, lift intercoms, door entry systems, the list goes on… And with over half of businesses still relying on the classic communications technology as their primary method of liaising with customers this legacy infrastructure is not something that can easily be ripped out in a big bang type approach in favour of migrating telephony to the cloud.
Phones are typically connected to PBX (private branch exchange) — a private telephone network used within a company — , which is connected to the PSTN (public switched telephone network) via traditional copper wires back to the service provider. Landline telephony has numerous benefits, such as a reliable connection (always on dial tone) and perceived corporate professionalism vs using mobile phones.
However, solely relying on landline telephones has several drawbacks, including high costs, a lack of flexibility, and insufficient versatility given there is no support for video and chat tools. These are all things that can be solved by the adoption of collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams or Webex Calling which uses VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to enable users to place calls over the internet.
So what exactly is the way forward for businesses? Well, it turns out that the interoperability between this legacy equipment and online collaboration platforms is possible and can enable the best of both worlds.
Unify your communications
With most employees now operating from different locations, the importance of maintaining effective communication cannot be overstated. Key to achieving this is Unified Communications, “a system in which every communications channel (chat, file sharing, phone calls, video conferencing, email and more) is integrated within a single platform.” This offers a range of benefits, from reduced licensing fees and streamlined operations, to better customer service and organisational agility. Perhaps most importantly though, it makes communicating via a company’s telephony system easier than ever and more suited to hybrid teams, as employees no longer need to be in an office using a physical telephone. This hugely benefits external communication capabilities in particular, considering a huge number of business calls still take place on the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), the traditional telephone network.
Callroute’s unique solution makes unifying your communications incredibly easy by integrating external calling within key collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex, as well as integration with existing legacy equipment. This enables you to enjoy full PBX (Private Branch Exchange) integration with your collaboration platform, giving your business a path to PSTN and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephony systems in minutes.
Consequently, you can communicate with others regardless of whether they’re using the main circuit-switched telephone network (the PSTN) or online calling (VoIP). Furthermore, our Callroute solution offers greater functionality than others on the market including improved global calling and advanced calling capabilities and our pricing model lets you pay for the capacity your business needs rather than every user by pooling users across channels and geographies.
Connecting endpoints to collaboration platforms
The best way to harness legacy equipment and the benefits of VoIP is to integrate your telephony endpoints (including your telephones) with cloud-based collaboration platforms, creating a hybrid telephone system. Among the best platforms for this are Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex due to their huge number of features (including HD video conferencing, integrated communications and instant messaging) and ability to be integrated with telephony systems.
Connecting your PBX and analogue endpoints to these platforms enables you to make either VoIP or PSTN calls via your device of choice, whether that is still a physical telephone, a laptop or UCaaS client running on your mobile phone. This gives your business much greater flexibility than before.
Callroute’s integration solutions
Here at Callroute, we can easily and quickly connect your PBX to popular UCaaS platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Cisco Webex. For example, our Direct Routing service enables external calling from Microsoft Teams, as we become your PSTN provider and port all of your numbers into one place. Our easy to use number management portal then enables administers to mix and match number assignment across the hybrid estate. Furthermore, you can build calling logic like hunt and ring groups that sit across legacy and UCaaS endpoints.
Among the benefits of our service are global calling plans, auto-scaling to match rising demand, comprehensive analytics and reporting with our easy-to-use dashboards and secure and high-quality calls.
The advantages of Unified Communications
Implementing a hybrid telephony solution helps you to achieve Unified Communications, which is where every communications channel (chat, file sharing, phone calls, video conferencing, email and more) is integrated within a single platform. This has numerous advantages, including:
Unified communications lets employees communicate wherever they are and whatever device they’re using. Corresponding apps are not required considering all the communication tools are contained within Teams or Webex.
A more productive business has greater organisational agility, which means it’s better at changing or adapting because of changes in the market. Unified communications also makes it easier to implement these changes.
More Affordable Infrastructures
Unified communications allows companies to reduce costs in a number of ways. For example, businesses no longer need multiple communication tools and can have more virtual meetings, reducing travel costs and other expenses.
Improved Customer Service
Unified communications enables companies to automatically redirect calls from a fixed number to a mobile device, making it easier for customers to communicate with them, even if somebody is away from their desk or out of the office. Ring groups can also be established to transfer the call to the next most suitable individual.
Another advantage of unified communications is being able to employ a single person to oversee this part of the business, eradicating the need for multiple account managers or support technicians. This helps to streamline operations significantly.
If you’re eager to retain your legacy equipment while moving to a more flexible telephony strategy, integrating this with your collaboration platform is the way to go. Get in touch with The Callroute Team to see how it works on a short demo.