VoIP and Business Communications: A Case Study in B2C Green Manufacturing

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The worldwide demand for renewable energy and green products has made marketing at an international scale a lucrative venture for green manufacturers. While, even for mid-to-large manufacturing businesses, financing this venture can be challenging, recent developments in the telecommunications industry have made international marketing more practical and affordable than ever before.

Telecommunications Demands in Green Manufacturing

International emissions reduction goals and condemning economic studies have lead to a growing demand for products that are earth-friendly. This means that green manufacturing is marketable on a world scale, perhaps more so than any other emerging industry.

For businesses at any stage of international expansion, implementing affordable and efficient telecommunications systems can prove challenging. International calling is notorious for its costs, and expanding companies can be faced with significant phone bills that reduce their profit margins noticeably. Efficient functionality is also essential in green manufacturing telecommunications. With customers on a global scale, and possibly hundred of lines and extensions in play, poorly managed systems will soon fail, resulting in customer and profit loss.

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Traditional PBX Phone Systems

Many growing companies are still utilizing and struggling with traditional Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems. PBX systems connect internal phone lines to allow in-house call transfers, a development that was the height of cost-saving innovation in the 1960s.

Disadvantages of Traditional PBX Systems

In the face of recent telephony developments, traditional PBX systems have become outdated and outmoded. Businesses still using these systems often encounter the following problems:

  • Scalability Restrictions: Traditional PBX is an impractical option for any expanding company, as new PBX equipment must be purchased for every new location, and each PBX system has a line maximum. This means that mid-large size companies must operate multiple systems, making system management and maintenance costly and time consuming.

  • System Failure: Even a minor circuit-board problem in a traditional PBX system can result in complete system failure until a new circuit-board is ordered and installed, a disastrous situation for any growing company.

  • Customer Wait Times: Most large-scale PBX systems become so convoluted that customers are forced to wait through long hold times and dozens of transfers. Hang-ups are common with PBX systems, and frustrated customers redirect their business to companies who can offer them better hospitality.

VoIP Technologies

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology is a relatively recent development in the world of telecommunications. VoIP calls are transmitted via the internet instead of by traditional phone lines, allowing for cheap international and long-distance calling. VoIP has rapidly gained popularity in the business world, and is often included in new Hosted PBX bundles, working in combination with traditional methods to reduce the likelihood of dropped calls and service loss.

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Hosted PBX

Hosted PBX is a new form of PBX service that has all the advantages and more of traditional PBX, without the problems. Hosted PBX is an innovation offered by third-party service providers, allowing businesses to use advanced telecommunications systems without actually having any on-site equipment. Service hosts forward incoming calls directly to the intended recipient, taking all of the footwork out of PBX service and eliminating installation and maintenance costs altogether.

Advantages of Hosted PBX

  • Unlimited scalability: With hosted PBX, an unlimited number of lines can be added without any additional cost.

  • Reliability: By offering both VoIP and traditional services, Hosted PBX providers can reduce the number of lost or dropped calls. If a call fails to connect due to a problem with traditional phone lines, VoIP automatically takes up the slack. Hosted PBX has additionally proven its value during natural disasters. In many cases, the reliability of Hosted PBX has helped to make disaster relief efforts possible, as Hosted PBX systems remain up-and-running when other services go down.

  • Ease of Use: Hosted PBX is 100% easy to use, all management and maintenance is performed by the service provider.

Hosted PBX Success Story

The $500 million company It Works offers homeopathic and herbal products. It Works made the switch to Hosted PBX service after their previous service failed to address their global-expansion needs. With a hosted PBX solution, It Works was able to add new international numbers instantly, and reduce their carbon footprint thanks to the reduction in utilities and resource consumption that is part and parcel of every Hosted PBX switch.