Flexfone is a Cloud based telephone system. This means it is simple and flexible to use. So let’s explore how Flexfone works, to provide that simplicity and flexibility.
First, let’s look at an example of a traditional telephone system so you can compare with a Flexfone cloud telephone system.
The diagram to the right shows a typical telephone system today, consisting of common control equipment, telephone handsets or end devices, connectivity to your Local Area Network (LAN), if an IP Telephony system, or to CAT 3 cabling, if a traditional telephone system.
If a very old system, the control equipment might be a single, wall-mounted box or a larger set of cabinets and shelves. If a newer VoIP system, it will likely be a server sitting in a rack in your data centre. Either way, there will be pieces of hardware with processors, memory, operating system, applications and other associated equipment for messaging, connections to the phones and line connections to the telephone company.
If you have more than one location, each one would have this hardware.
A single site cloud phone system does not house any ‘control’ equipment on your site. The only thing on your site would be the telephone handsets that you select. The diagram on the left shows a typical set up.
The diagram looks a lot simpler because all of the ‘complexity’ is in the cloud. An Internet connection is used to carry the voice traffic – its sized based on the number of simultaneous calls you require. A router (yours or ours) is connected to the Internet connection on one side and to your network Switch on the other side. Your telephone handsets plug into the data network.
The telephone handsets are configured to connect to the server in the cloud.
The Cloud is actually a Data Center. A Data Center is a facility specifically designed to house computer servers, storage systems and any applications, like Telephony. They are designed to support the large capacity powering and cooling required by these devices. These Data Centers are mirrored and redundant, so that an impact to any one will have no impact on the overall operation. They are strategically placed to be next to Points of Presence (PoPs) that allow inter-connectivity to other Service Providers or Telephone Companies.
One key advantage of this arrangement is that you will not require trunk or line connections to the local Telco – eliminating the large recurring, monthly cost associated with those trunks or lines. They are part of your monthly cloud system fee and connected at the Data Center.
A second advantage is that the only hardware you have to worry about are the telephone handsets. The rest of the telephone equipment is provided and supported at the data center.
When you pick up your telephone handset, our telephone system application running on the servers in our Data Center in the Cloud will be notified. It is now controlling your telephone allowing you to make calls, answer calls, activate other features like call parking, call forwarding and more, as if the common control is still on your site.
It is totally seamless and transparent to you.
But what if you have more than one location? Well, cloud gets even better. It can make those different sites look like one virtual site.
Calls between your phones at different sites are ‘free'; they are not local or long distance calls, but simply telephone to telephone calls, as if you were in one location.
In the diagram to the right, each site looks the same. The Internet connection would be sized to the ‘volume’ of simultaneous calls to that site, but essentially everything else would remain the same.
Trying to do this with traditional premise systems would require complex VPNs, dedicated hardware or site to site connections. It would not be easy to set up and manage, would require investing in technology AND monthly network costs to network the sites.
With cloud all sites would have access to exactly the same features and capabilities. There would be no additional hardware required at any site. It couldn’t be simpler or as inexpensive to set up.
There are many advantages to this type of system: Flexfone offers much more flexible design, especially for handling high growth, seasonal requirements or multiple locations. It is also simpler to set up and manage – the system can be up and running in days rather than months. A small business customer could be using this system while their numbers are being ported.
A challenge for many smaller businesses as they are building out a new business is that they will likely experience high growth for a period of time. However, determining how to size the amount of technology required can be problematic.
Telephone systems are typically built to support certain size ranges, such as 1- 24 telephones. This is done to make the equipment as cost effective as possible for that size of business.
A cloud telephone system like Flexfone, is flexible enough and cost effective enough to let you start small and grow as you grow. No changing any control equipment. Simply increase the size of your Internet connection and add more phones.
Some businesses are seasonal. They may have requirements for a significant increase in the spring and summer – like a landscaping company, for example. Typically you would buy a system sized to your peak number of employees or telephones. But this means paying for unused capacity for 6 months of the year.
Flexfone’s monthly payment plan allows you to increase or decrease the number of active users, thus only paying for what you use.
Many businesses current phone systems prevent teleworking or are limited in supporting mobile staff. It has been shown to improve employee engagement and retention and offloads the cost of providing office space. What if you could make it all work as if one system?
Flexfone can do that. If you have a number of other offices, even if small ones, they connect to the Cloud in the same way. Only now you can effectively make calls between sites as if they were on the same system. Flexfone is simple, flexible and affordable.