It cannot be said with certainty that the days of analog phone devices are over yet with the arrival of digital phone systems, the business telecommunication landscape has changed considerably in the last ten years. It is important to understand the functional and technical differences of both the systems so that the right mix of capabilities and features can be determined to meet a business need. Selecting a telephone system must be based on the type of business so that it should be understood clearly whether a business is transaction-based or a relationship-driven one.
An in-store retail business is primarily a transaction-based business in which the telecommunication need will be rather simple and straightforward. Relationship-based businesses, on the other hand, believe in nurturing relationships so that any type of telecommunication barrier can prove detrimental for business. Moreover, one has to also consider factors like call forwarding to mobile, VoIP desirability, and many such other aspects. Therefore, these factors must be weighed in for selecting a phone system. In the following sections, we will look at some other points and try to figure out what can be the best phone system for an organization.
Awareness is the key
Selecting the desired phone system is related to the awareness for the system. Businesses, should, therefore, calibrate their needs first before investing in a system. The main challenge for many businesses can be an understanding of new features that might be offered by a given solution. Therefore, without understanding an operational impact, it will be tough to find out the exact value of a specific feature. That is why awareness is so important in determining the correct phone system. However, since digital phone systems offer so many features, it can be said with much confidence that this type of system can be highly useful for any professional organization, and startups.
Understanding an Analog System
This type of PBX systems has been there for decades. They rely on POTS phones and standard copper wires for transmission, offer appreciable voice clarity, have some basic features like redial, hold, speed dial, mute, etc. and is reliable to a large extent. Additionally, due to their limited expansion capabilities and simplicity, they can also be comparatively cheaper. But that's all!
As it involves less-modular hardware, it can be quite costly to maintain, upgrade and to set it up. An analog system can look cheaper at the outset but a business can get into a vicious cycle because different types of adapters may be needed by it to integrate it with other applications like the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and VoIP.
Digital phone systems are smarter
A digital phone system is made with a proprietary bus structure so that more facilities and features can be added to it. In its cabinet boards can be added for digital, analog or IP phones. Modular add-on boards can be added to accommodate additional features like VoIP integration, alarm systems, music-on-hold, etc. As on date, all major digital systems employ an IP interface that is present on their controller irrespective of whether they use protocol or proprietary hardware.
An IP interface helps to access unified messaging features like fax delivery to e-mail, desktop client, voicemail delivery to e-mail, voicemail transcription to SMS, and click to dial. Systems that use these features are known as "hybrid PBXs" as they make use of a mix of standards-based IP networking and proprietary digital hardware. Taking it a step forward, a modern PBX is completely software-based and IP-controlled.
Digital PBX systems offer many advantages
As digital phone systems do not make use of copper wire circuits, it is relatively fast and easier to add, move or alter a service point. All these alterations can be affected through a point-and-click software. The voice clarity in it is also definitely better than an analog system and call transfers and extensions can also be managed more easily and in an effective way. Additionally, there are a lot of advanced features like call forwarding alternatives, virtual auto attendants and voicemail.
Along with all these benefits, a digital PBX system can be easily integrated with a sales software or with an existing call center as well. The software-based telecommunication in a digital PBX system is the distinct difference between both the systems that can be very effective for future business management like messaging, social networking and CRM.
Digital systems can support all types of organizations
The initial low cost of an analog system can be tempting at first but after considering its limitations and future costs, businesses will surely prefer to install a digital system. Moreover, an on-premise system will need more time and resources for installation while a digital phone system utilizes an existing internet connection so that an installation can be completed even within an hour. Administrating a digital phone system is rather easy and can be done by anyone, a resource specifically for it is not needed to be allocated whereas it is not true with an analog system. So, whether it is a large corporation, mid-sized business or a startup, a digital system can be highly useful for either of them.
After looking at all these points, we can definitely conclude that a digital phone system is far superior to an analog system. It is also a reason why analog devices are not very much preferred these days although at some places they are very much still in operation. However, with increased awareness and the need for more functions, businesses will be tempted to go the digital way. Hence, it can be said to some extent that the days of analog devices are just over.