Business communication is changing as companies experiment with different kinds of technology. One form of communication technology that is gaining a lot of attention is ‘hosted VoIP.’

If you’ve never heard about hosted VoIP before, that’s fine.

Keep reading, and you’ll learn exactly what hosted VoIP is. You’ll also learn the benefits of adopting this form of technology and how it can improve your business. By the time you’re finished, you’ll know so much about hosted VoIP, and you might even want to start a company that sells it.

Let’s begin!

What Is Hosted VoIP?

VoIP stands for voice over internet protocol. It is essentially a system that allows for you to make phone calls using the internet.

Normally, if you were going to use a VoIP service, you would need to have some kind of hardware installed in your offices. Hosted VoIP, however, allows for you to make use of VoIP technology, without the need for any local hardware.

Cheaper Installation and Maintenance Costs

One of the main benefits provided by a hosted solution is that it helps cut down on installation and maintenance costs.

With a traditional VoIP solution, you will need to buy the hardware associated with this service. If you did not know how to set up everything the right way, you would then have to pay for someone to help you get this done. If you are doing this for a large office, the costs can become quite significant.

With a Hosted solution, though, you do not need to invest in any form of hardware.

Everything is kept ‘off-site.’ This means that all you have to pay for is the service you are using.

This can help keep costs low, whilst still allowing you to experience some of the benefits that come with using such a service.


Another benefit of using a Hosted solution is that it is easy for you to scale your systems. If you are going to experience an expansion in the number of people working in your office, it is not hard to add more ‘VoIP phone lines.’

If you are using a traditional VoIP solution, it would be a lot more work to get this done. You might need to invest in additional hardware. You might also have to pay extra for someone to increase the capacity of your VoIP solution.

This can also create problems because it could mean downtime for your telephone systems.

Depending on the kind of business you are in, this kind of downtime can create a lot of problems.

A Hosted solution, however, is a lot easier to expand.

The company that is providing you with the hosted solution already has the spare capacity to offer. Therefore, if you want to increase the number of people using your hosted solution, you just need to ask the company providing the service. They will then be able to add some more ‘phone lines.’

Because such companies have a lot of experience with this sort of growth, they’re able to add the extra users in a very short period of time. This means that there will be minimal disruption to your services.

Customization Options

If you are using a hosted solution, you will also be able to benefit from some level of customization.

The company providing the service will have protocols in place to provide for such needs. You might want to set up a disaster recovery option. This is so you’re protected if something goes wrong with your ‘local systems.’

You may also want to set up a system where calls are redirected to a certain number. This is generally quite easy to do with the help of a hosted solution.

If you run a large business, you might even want to create a ‘centralized reception.’

This will mean that no matter where calls are coming from, they are sent to one specific location.

This can help improve customer service levels. It can also reduce customer service costs since you might be able to cut down on the number of support members you need.

It’s also worth mentioning, that you can route calls, based on the timezone.

If you have an international business, you might have people calling you throughout the 24 hour day. With a hosted solution, you can ensure support staff is always able to answer the phone.

This is because calls are automatically routed to staff in the correct time zone.

Bear in mind that you will only be able to experience these benefits if you are using a reputable hosted VoIP solution such as horizon platforms.

Improved Productivity

One of the best things about using a hosted solution is that it can allow for improvements in productivity. The improvements in productivity can allow you to recover any money you might have spent setting up a hosted solution.

One of the ways a hosted solution can improve productivity is because it allows for people to take calls in a variety of locations. This is especially helpful if your employees make use of a virtual office.

The company providing the hosted solution can help set things up so that the same number can be used to reach someone in the office and on a mobile device. This reduces the odds that someone working in your office is going to miss a vital call that might lead a revenue-generating opportunity.

If your employees are in a position where they are unable to answer phone calls, they might have to rely on the caller sending them a voicemail.

One of the good things about hosted VoIP is that voicemails can be transcribed into emails. This means that someone can identify the nature of a call, without necessarily having to listen to their voicemail.

This reduces the time it takes to take the correct course of action regarding a call. If another employee needs to be involved, then the voicemail transcript can just be sent to them.

Management Is Easier

It’s also easier to manage a hosted solution. That is because you can use the interface provided to control the numbers people are using to contact the people in your office.

Suppose someone leaves your office. You can use the interface to make sure that calls to their phone are now redirected to the employee that replaced them. This also provides a security benefit, since you have tight control over the numbers being used by employees.

It also becomes easier to monitor the calls that are being made by employees. If you want to keep an eye on whether certain sales team members are hitting the call quotas, VoIP makes this easy. You can also integrate a hosted solution into your CRM suite. This makes it simpler to keep track of potential deals and where things stand regarding certain clients.

Easier to Deal with Negative Connectivity Events

A great thing about hosted VoIP is that it allows you to be shielded from problems that might arise as a result of poor local connectivity issues with your network.

For instance, if the entire internet connection goes down in your office block, you can still talk to clients. That is because calls can just be forwarded to mobile devices now.

Of course, you will sometimes need to make sure you set this up ahead of time. This should not be a problem, though. If you are not a technical person you can ask the provider to help you set things up as you want them to be.

Consider Starting Small

If you are going to use a hosted solution, you should consider starting small. This will give you the chance to learn how this kind of thing works and how it can be adapted to your business.

A small installation will also give you the chance to train staff, before a full rollout. By taking these steps, you can avoid any major issues when hosted VoIP is present throughout your company.

Should You Invest in Hosted VoIP?

In this post, we’ve taken a look at some of the benefits of hosted VoIP and why you might want to consider investing in such a solution.

The level at which you benefit from a hosted solution is going to depend on the kind of business you are in. But if you take the time to learn how this solution works, you will figure out how to best adapt it to your business.

You might use this solution to set up a centralized reception, for instance. You might even want to create a support team that can be reached at any hour of the day.

Whatever your intention is, make sure you know ahead of time. That way, when you are speaking to companies about implementing this kind of solution, you can ask them if they’re able to help you reach your goals.

Want to learn more about how technology can improve your business? Check out our technology section to see some of our latest content!

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5 Simple Steps to Getting Started in The Cloud

All start-ups and small businesses have heard that the cloud is everywhere and can transform your business. But what is it and what can it do? Cloud-IT specialists Principal have the answers.

Confusingly, the cloud is used by providers, software sellers and businesses who want your money as a catch-all term for a variety of things. It can become quite complicated, but it doesn’t need to be.

The cloud is basically an on-demand storage or software resource that you can access immediately through the internet.

Tech giant IBM offers a handy definition of the various different types of cloud applications which is a good place to start. It’s likely that after reading that you’ll have more questions than you started with. To help, here are 5 simple steps to getting started in the cloud.

1. Pick your cloud

The first thing to clarify is, like the sky above, there isn’t one cloud – there are infinite numbers of potential clouds. As a business, you need to configure one that works for you.

As a small business you will want to focus on how the cloud can benefit you. For most, that’s likely to be moving certain data and applications to the cloud.

The first step is to analyse your data centre usage. This audit can identify your current software and storage requirements, enabling you to identify areas that could be better served in the cloud.

It’s important to recognise that to work any proposed move needs to improve efficiency and be cost-effective.

The bottom line is, if it won’t save you time or money, then think again.

2. Solid security

The cloud is as secure – if not more secure – than your own proprietary network, but you still need to be cautious.

Once you’ve identified the information and software you’d like to be hosted by the cloud then take the time to assess what this means for security.

The Data Protection Act and European Data Protection Regulation all have implications for how you manage and store data, and how you select your partners too – more on that below.

3. Simple strategy

Once you’ve done the groundwork, you can begin straight away. Microsoft, Adobe, SAP are just a couple of the huge names who have moved to providing software via the cloud. Dropbox is a leading name in cloud storage, but isn’t the only one.  All you need to do to get started in the cloud is get your credit card out and sign up.

If you do though, you could be making a mistake. According to tech bible ZDNet, what most cloud projects miss is a strategy – and we agree.

A solid cloud computing solution needs structure. This will help create a system that works for the organisation and your customer. It is also built with the future in mind, growing and developing as your business does.

4. Cloud culture

Your implementation strategy is important. Equally important is how your organisation embraces the cloud. It’s all about culture.

The cloud offers freedom to access information, work collaboratively, remotely and at all times of the day. But it comes with some new risks. These are particularly important to recognise as employees increasingly use their own devices for work.

Businesses need to develop working practices and approaches that are fit for the new world of the cloud. You’ll need to introduce new staff guidelines for document sharing and storage to help you and your employees work in a new way.

5. Provider or partner

If you’re tech minded it’s relatively easy to set-up a personal cloud, but you need to explore whether it’s the right approach for you.

Focusing solely on individual providers can leave you with a fragmented cloud system, with complex and inefficient interdependencies between different pieces of software from different providers.

In the end, you could end up paying for a system that far more complicated than the one it replaced.

One way of avoiding this is working with a partner who can help you configure a cloud solution that works for you. They can also take care of some of the security and access issues, helping you devise a strategy for success.

A successful transition to the cloud needs some thought and some planning, but genuinely does have the power to transform the way you work – increasing productivity, efficiency and profit.

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