Market musings

Does Your Office Phone System Support the New BYOD Reality?

by Sasha Viasasha
November 3, 2017

Looking for a new office phone system? Maybe you’ve grown beyond a single business line, and need a more sophisticated phone system to help your company manage increased call traffic. Or, perhaps you invested in an expensive setup that no one ever really understood how to use, and it’s already become obsolete. Or maybe the hosted VoIP solution that seemed so perfect never really lived up to its promise.

The Quest for Simple

Many office phone systems and desk hardware sit unused, costing companies millions of dollars each year, while employees use their mobile phones to transact company business and provide personal service. The consumer app market has radically reshaped expectations of what employees expect from technology, even at work. Technology that is too difficult to use or too time-consuming to learn simply isn’t adopted. People seek out simpler and more accessible solutions, which usually means just using their smartphone.

The Future of Work

An informal BYOD policy is the status quo at many companies, who end up looking the other way rather than tackling head on the many challenges that such a shift inevitably presents. And yet, an unofficial BYOD policy can create other problems, including:

  • Security issues for both the company and the employee
  • A loss of company call data and phone numbers
  • Difficulty finding numbers and locating people in the field
  • Lack of access to basic business phone features such as call transfer and routing

Finding a mobile-first solution that fits the way you work without breaking the bank is a huge challenge for small businesses. Among the challenges companies face include having to add physical phones or software to support a single mobile device, inability to manage the phone system remotely, and having to pay for IT resources to manage an office phone system.

Babysitting legacy technology is a huge headache for small businesses, who need to run lean and operate remotely.

JD Power conducted a survey that found small business owners everywhere are not happy with their office phone systems. The 2017 U.S. Business Wireline Satisfaction Study found that small businesses were most unhappy with the quality of their communications, the cost of maintaining the system and the lack of customer support for their office phone systems.

This is a huge miss.

Why Do Communication Providers Ignore the Needs of SMB’s?

Small businesses are overwhelmingly the engine of new economic growth and innovation, so the size of this problem and its impact on the US economy is enormous. According to the SBA, small businesses are responsible for 64% of net private sector new jobs, 46 percent of private sector output, and 43 percent of high tech employment.

Given these stats, why is this space so poorly served when it comes to business communications solutions, particularly office phone systems?

The simple answer is that the PBX office phone system evolved in a large-scale, multidepartment corporate setting. These systems had to be sophisticated enough to rout and manage a huge influx of calls, as well as handling most of the company’s internal communications. They were location based and not worker based. A worker might sit at the same desk and use the same extension for years without any change.

Empowering SMB Mobility in the Field

The business communication needs of small businesses today are very different. They have an active field service component, workers come and go, and a lot of business communication, both internal and external, has been diverted to other channels. There isn’t time or resources to train people to use complex systems, and yet there is still a need for a business-grade setup. A patchwork system of personal devices can bog operations down as people spend precious time delivering messages, giving out phone numbers and tracking people down in the field.

Freedom and Power

Small businesses need a phone system with the routing power of a PBX, but without the hardware costs and high maintenance of traditional office phone systems. A virtual PBX in the cloud seemed like the ideal solution for many companies, but these off premise solutions often come with a loss of control and too much complexity for the needs of a streamlined organization.

Can your smartphone deliver the freedom of hosted PBX and the power of a dedicated VoIP service provider?

An Era of Disruption

The copper-wire landline network that once connected us all into one big happy telephone network doesn’t really exist anymore. In its place is a patchwork of solutions where voice is one channel among many. The regulatory oversight that governed the telecommunications industry is dissolving along with the old infrastructure.

This means there will be plenty of opportunities for new companies to provide a business grade solution that answers the demands of business communication in our digital era. And as computer networks have gotten faster and cheaper, Internet based companies deploying voice over IP (VoIP) to enable voice calls were able to win space that was previously the domain of telecoms. However, disruption and evolution are far from over.

The Limitations of Plain Old VoIP

With a VoIP application, packets of voice data are sent over the internet and require dedicated resources. The packets are treated like any other data, and rely on the speed and reliability of the internet. This is why some VoIP service suffers from latency, jitters and dropped calls. The next generation of VoIP service is being rolled out by telecom providers, and it priorizes the voice experience as well as supporting other digital media. 

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) shuttles voice calls to the LTE network, allowing users to experience superior reliability and call quality. Verizon, At&T, T-Mobile are using VoLTE to deliver an enhanced voice experience across mobile networks. HD voice is delivering a new standard that unlocks the true value of voice communication and allows crystal clear delivery, without disruption or delay.

The Future is Mobile

A staggering 95% of Americans own a mobile phone  and most of them are using them for work. Smartphones are rapidly replacing desk phones, computers and even tablets and becoming a universal remote for business operations.

More than 72% of US workers be will mobile-enabled by 2020, according to the IDC. You can’t compete when you’re stuck with an office-bound phone system.

A Better Office Phone System

Can an office phone system be designed to run exclusively over a mobile network? At Spoke Phone we’ve answered this question with a powerful but simple application that is built for the mobile world. You can port over your business line, or run it exclusively on your smartphone using a DDI number. It gives you all the power of a virtual PBX, including:

  • The ability to transfer calls mobile-to-mobile
  • Team calling and extensions
  • Smart routing and AI receptionist
  • Ability to capture call data and phone numbers
  • Smart directory that maintains itself
  • Access to a shared call log across multiple devices
  • Masks your personal number when using your personal device
  • Consolidate all phones under a single number
  • Ability to manage the application directly from your smartphone

The Spoke application is 100% secure and solves the BYOD dilemma effortlessly by managing company data in a separate application while providing security and privacy to employees. Live presence and office hours help employees manage work/life balance. The application masks their private numbers while using their devices for work. Spoke helps you slash your phone system expense by up to 88% by compacting all the features of a traditional PBX into an app that employees will run their own phones. They are already using their phones for business, so keep your data safe and keep your employees productive with a solution they will love to use.