How Technology Is Revolutionising The Answering
_Answering Services Contribute to Business Efficiency
The technology age that we live in has transformed almost every industry – and this is especially true of the communications industry.
The Answering Service business is currently benefiting from the leaps and bounds that technology can offer.
A group of Internet technology, using the Internet to route phone calls, is making big changes in the Answering Service business.
Formerly, each answering service business had a switch board and a Private Branch Technology (PBX). This was how calls were switched between Telephone Service Operators (TSRs), voicemail, answering machines etc.
Technically speaking a PBX is an in-house telephone switching system that interconnects telephone extensions to each other as well as to the outside telephone network (PSTN). A PBX enables a single-line telephone set to gain access to one of a group of pooled (shared) trunks by dialing an 8 or 9 prefix.
PBXs also include functions such as least cost routing for outside calls, call forwarding, conference calling and call accounting. Modern PBXs use all-digital methods for switching, but may support both analog and digital telephones and telephone lines.
The new technology that allows phone calls to be made through the internet is changing the traditional process of Answering Services.
A good example of this is the existence of large Call Centers in India and other countries servicing the United States.
This is done through Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), with switching done through Internet Protocol Private Branch eXchange (IP PBX) - that is, a telephone switch that supports VoIP.
“Voice-over-Internet-Protocol is a protocol optimized for the transmission of voice through the Internet or other packet-switched networks. VoIP is often used abstractly to refer to the actual transmission of voice (rather than the protocol implementing it).
VoIP can facilitate tasks and provide services that may be more difficult to implement or more expensive using the PSTN.
- The ability to transmit more than one telephone call over the same broadband connection. This can make VoIP a simple way to add an extra telephone line to a home or office.
- Conference calling, call forwarding, automatic redial, and caller ID; zero- or near-zero-cost features that traditional telecommunication companies (telcos) normally charge extra for.
- Secure calls using standardized protocols (such as Secure Real-time Transport Protocol.) Most of the difficulties of creating a secure phone connection over traditional phone lines, like digitizing and digital transmission, are already in place with VoIP. It is only necessary to encrypt and authenticate the existing data stream.
- Location independence. Only an Internet connection is needed to get a connection to a VoIP provider. For instance, call center agents using VoIP phones can work from anywhere with a sufficiently fast and stable Internet connection.
- Integration with other services available over the Internet, including video conversation, message or data file exchange in parallel with the conversation, audio conferencing, managing address books, and passing information about whether others (e.g. friends or colleagues) are available to interested parties.
- Advanced Telephony features such as call routing, screen pops, and IVR implementations are easier and cheaper to implement and integrate. The fact that the phone call is on the same data network as a user's PC opens a new door to possibilities.?
IP PBXs convert IP phone calls into traditional circuit-switched TDM connections for the PSTN. They also support traditional analog and digital telephones, allowing enterprises to migrate slowly to an all-IP telephone system.
Outside making it possible to open up call centers around the world with much less outlay compared to what American companies with the same facilites and staff numbers would rack up in expenses, VoIP and IP PBX have made it possible for someone with a wireless Internet connection to take calls anywhere in the world where he can get Internet coverage.
So, if someone can get Internet by satellite transmission, it can be arranged to receive a telephone call anywhere in the world.
Using IP PBX, and WPBX (Wireless PBX) your business can have a telephone number that rings into your very own automated system with multiple mailboxes, and other features. You can create the impression of a single office by assigning private extensions to employees and partners even if they work from different locations.
To many traditional answering service providers, VoIP is seen as a threat to their usual way of doing business.
Due to this opinion, outsourcing is increasing, and this is a strong trend in the United States and aroudn the world.
However, the secret to making the most that this new technology has to offer is for business to spend time training their staff to avail of them in the most profitable and efficient way.
These exciting new advances in technology are set to change the way Answering Services conduct their business in a very significant way.