How to properly design your corporate fixed telephony infrastructure?

The rule of modern business telephony is all IP. That is, the use of the computer network and the Internet for the routing of communications. Every IP starts at the PBX. So exit the PBX, most often replaced by an IPBX. However, several parameters will have to be taken into account to control your invoices.

The first major project for companies will be the shift from the private switchboard in favor of an IPBX (Internet Protocol Private Branch eXchange). Please note that this PBX can be hosted by the operator on a pay-per-use basis. This is IP Centrex, a solution particularly popular in modest-sized organizations, which we will detail in a future article.

Choosing the right PBX

In absolute terms, the operation of an IPBX does not differ much from that of a PABX: it is responsible for controlling the internal telephone lines, ensuring the routing of incoming and outgoing calls.

The choice of IPBX will depend on the number of telephones to be managed, but also on their type: if you want to maintain your fleet of analogue telephones, you must opt ​​for an IPBX capable of controlling them. Otherwise, it will be necessary to plan the purchase of IP terminals, accompanied by possible cabling of offices that do not have a network socket.

The other selection criterion is the sophistication of the IPBX: will it be limited to basic functions (call routing, switchboard, voicemail, welcome message and music on hold) or will it offer advanced functions (interactive voice server, email calls, ability to manage audio conferences, etc.)? Pricing can vary greatly depending on the features you choose.

Don’t forget to subscribe!

Another key element is the telephone network subscription. With a PBX, all stations can communicate with each other at no cost, only outgoing communications are charged. To reduce the cost of subscribing to the public telephone network, not all stations can access it simultaneously and not all can be called directly from outside.

Fixed telephony contracts associated with IPBXs are usually calculated per communication channel and not per line, which should reduce the cost of the subscription. Imagine a company with 50 workstations. Management may choose to limit the number of channels to 25. Thus, it will only be possible to make 25 outgoing calls simultaneously. If a 26and employee picks up the phone, he will have to wait. Therefore, it is necessary to find the right balance between the number of channels and the assumed maximum number of simultaneous calls on the public telephone network.

Management may choose to assign some of its extensions a dedicated public telephone number, which will allow them to be called directly from outside. To contact the other employees of the company, it will be necessary to go through the standard. These public telephone numbers are linked to internal extensions using the direct inward dialing (DID) technique. This is, of course, a paid service, calculated on the assigned number.

Phone numbers: space for freedom

A standard quickly established itself for IP phones: the SIP protocol. Allows great freedom of action. Thus, using a softphone (software that allows you to have a SIP device on your computer) it is possible to continue receiving and making calls linked to a company landline number. The employee can keep the same phone number at the office, on the go, or while telecommuting. All this contributes to giving an image of seriousness to customers. Remember, however, to verify that this functionality is offered by the operator and is compatible with your PABX.

The other solution is to opt for a fleet of cell phones. But without the benefits of having a consistent set of phone numbers. Fixed-mobile offers make it possible to respond to this problem by providing the possibility of having a SIM card with the same number as the employee’s fixed line. When you call a customer, he cannot, therefore, know whether he is calling from his office or from his home.

Last very popular offer in business: virtual numbers. These can be used through softphone software (accessible on a computer, tablet or smartphone); allow complete freedom in choosing the number or duration of the subscription. During a commercial campaign aimed at potential customers present in Troyes, it will thus be possible to contact them with a line starting with 03, even if the company is located in Toulouse. Practice!

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