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How to switch to IP voice calling if you don't know where to start

How to switch to IP voice calling if you don't know where to start
How to switch to IP voice calling if you don't know where to start

There are many reasons why the people of West Africa have embraced the mobile phone. Some love to text. Others see the phone as a source of information or a ‘place’ to be entertained. Some use the phone to buy things or prove their identity.

But all of them use the phone to talk. 

This simple fact should make every enterprise in the region sit up and take notice.

For the first time in history, your customers have a device in their hands through which they can talk to you. This is a wonderful opportunity for any forward-looking organisation. It offers a chance to:

?       Solve your customers problems quicky

?       Get direct feedback on how you can improve your services

?       Provide important information in person

?       Make more sales

While this is exciting, it is not always straightforward to put into practice.

Here’s why; many enterprises still run physical ‘on-premise’ phone systems. These analogue ‘PBX’ systems use copper-wire telephone lines to connect to a PBX box (typically housed in an IT department). This box receives calls and routes them to different desk phones in the office. 

What’s the problem? Well, ‘on-premise’ phone systems can’t do much more than route calls. They are inflexible. And they certainly can’t handle the need of modern businesses to scale up (or down) their teams fast, support remote working, offer messaging or video features, integrate with enterprise software and more.

Thank goodness, then, for IP voice calling.

IP voice basically turns your phone system into software. In a way, telephony is evolving just like music, cameras, video and newspapers. It’s moving away from being a physical thing and turning into a digital signal that travels over the Internet.

In the world of phone calls, this is VoIP or ‘voice over internet protocol’, and it allows you to make a call directly from a computer or a special VoIP phone (sometimes called a softphone).

Just as important, thanks to a special protocol known as SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) it lets you receive calls on these digital devices from traditional phones.

If this sounds technical and intimidating, don’t worry. Switching your contact center over to IP voice calling is incredibly easy.

When migrating your system to cloud-based calling, there are no upfront costs and no expensive kit to maintain, no upheaval within your offices of workers doing installations, we set everything up remotely. You just pay a monthly fee based on your users and activity.

In other words, a softphone contact center is an OPEX (operating expense) as opposed to a traditional IP PBX system, which is a CAPEX (capital expense)

The cost savings of having no on-site equipment to manage can be huge. In fact, research says companies can reduce monthly telecom costs by over 50 percent when they switch to VoIP. Also, an Opex model is better for tax purposes as companies can take a larger annual deduction based on their monthly payments.

Let’s list a selection of reasons to switch to a ‘soft phone’ system:

?       It’s expandable. You pay only for the number of phone numbers. You can add more as you grow – or remove if you downsize. You can get new business numbers with just a few clicks.

?       It’s low-maintenance. You pay zero maintenance or installation fees because everything happens in the cloud. No need to purchase, house, and maintain equipment. You can perform any upgrades remotely in the cloud.

?       It supports remote working. Your IP phone system doesn’t care where you or your employees are. You can work from anywhere you can connect to the system without installing additional equipment. Each employee has a unique extension so incoming calls can be directly forwarded to the right person.

?       It turns your laptop into a phone. IP calling makes it possible to take and receive calls on any connected device, not just a phone.

?       It’s easy to use. You can use friendly and intuitive software to make and take calls. Instead of trying to remember which landline button to press, you can drag and drop on a laptop to transfer calls, hold, activate voicemail and more.

?       It displays rich customer information. Your team can see rich information about a caller before they answer.

?       It does the easy jobs. You can automate basic tasks so your staff can do more important human-facing work.

?       It works with your existing systems. You can integrate IP voice calling systems with your business software systems.  This means your team can easily access a shared contact directory, and the system can automatically create a new customer record. No need to do manual entries, which saves a lot of time.

?       It’s secure. IP phone systems offer tighter security. You can set limits so that staff can only see the customer details they need to see.

?       It gives your customers a customized experience. Recognise your callers and personalize their call sessions. Calls can be forwarded to the appropriate department/individual with IVR, preferred language etc.

Alchemy has already helped many West African enterprises to migrate over to IP calling.

We can do this because we are a full-stack CPaaS provider. CPaaS stands for Communications Platform as a Service and it means we have developed the technology that can turn voice telephony into software.

This tech helps us to develop programmable APIs. Your tech teams can use these APIs to quickly integrate voice (and video and messaging) into your own applications and websites.

This is simply not possible with on-premises PBX systems – or even some ‘unified communications’ platforms, which emerged around a decade ago.

And the process of getting set up is incredibly easy.

PLEASE REACH OUT so that we can discuss our simple onboarding process