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Moving Your Numbers to the cloud -  SIP Trunks -  VoIP

Switching to VoIP-based solutions is becoming increasingly popular among businesses.

 

This is thanks to reduced costs and greater flexibility. But what happens to your existing numbers when making the switch? How easy is it to port a phone number over? And what steps can you take to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible?

Hosted VoIP is an easier and more cost effective way to manage your telephony

In its simplest sense, hosted VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a phone system that converts voice calls into data and transmits them over the internet. Hosted in the cloud, it offers small and growing businesses enterprise-level functionality, but without the corresponding price tag.

our Smart Cloud is suitable for businesses of any size with single or multiple sites. We can scale from the very small single office to multi site networks or indeed large corporate headquarters, providing seamless, reliable, predictable and hassle-free levels of communications functionality. For those businesses with multiple sites, we provide ethernet circuits to ensure maximum call quality, securely linked by our virtual private networks (VPNs). Our call traffic bypasses the public internet entirely, ensuring absolute quality of service for your users.

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KEY BENEFITS

 

RAPID DEPLOYMENT: setting up the service and plugging the desk phones into a data network is quick and easy, ensuring your team can get on with serving customers

 

IMPROVED CUSTOMER SERVICE: businesses must provide high-quality customer service across all channels. Smart Host offers:

  • HD voice, so your team can always understand customers

  • The ability to answer calls anywhere, on any device so customers never have to wait

  • Calling Line/Name presentation so calls are always answered in the correct manner

  • Calls routed to staff based on their experience, so customers can get an answer quickly

  • A consistent experience e.g. the same on hold message to customers whatever department they’re contacting

  • Record calls for training and PCI compliance

 

FASTER COLLABORATION: communicating in real-time across multiple sites can be challenging. Group call handling and unified communications apps on mobiles, tablets and desktops help speed the flow of communications across your business.  Extension dialling and BLF (Busy Lamp Field) also helps

 

REDUCED COSTS: consolidating your ‘voice estate’ to a single provider has proven cost advantages. With infrastructure savings and free calls between all staff across sites both up-front costs and monthly bills will be reduced.

WHAT COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES CAN I ACCESS?

 

Smart Host offers a wide-range of features for you to leverage as your business needs evolve. With strong core services and new hosted innovations, an advantage of Smart Host over PBX is that whether your employees are based at multiple sites, or working remotely, your communications are unified seamlessly without the need for a physical solution on-premise at each site. In addition to managing your inbound calling more easily with core features including Hunt Groups, Auto Attendants and Calling Plans, you can also manage and manipulate your employees’ working patterns for improved productivity.

Smart Host includes the following strong core services:

 

•HD calls

•Sophisticated call analytics

•Alternative number presentation

•Call/voice recording

•7-year call storage

•Call logging

•Configurable calling plans

•Hunt groups

•Call handling

•Hot desking

•Smartphone and tablet integration

•Built-in mobility with a mobile app

The following additional services can be added as components or bundles as needed:

 

•Instant Messaging (IM)

•Skype for Business

•Desktop Share

•CRM Integration

Moving Your Numbers to the cloud -  SIP Trunks -  VoIP

Switching to VoIP-based solutions is becoming increasingly popular among businesses.

 

This is thanks to reduced costs and greater flexibility. But what happens to your existing numbers when making the switch? How easy is it to port a phone number over? And what steps can you take to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible?

The future is VoIP

The telecoms industry is moving towards an internet protocol-based (IP) model and by 2025 BT aim to have completely converted from the old public switched telephone network (PSTN) standard to IP nationwide. This comes at the same time as a large-scale fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) rollout which will see over two million premises served directly by fibre as opposed to copper or ISDN by 2020. And by 2025 this is expected to have reached more than 10 million. Learn more about what actions your business may need to take before the BT big ISDN switch off.

So if we’re all eventually going to be IP-based, why bother making the switch now and go through the steps needed to transfer a phone number to VoIP before you have to?

Because there are major business advantages.

The biggest advantage is the savings in cost of having an ISDN line and you can easily expand your capacity as the business grows or to cope with seasonal variations in demand. You can save on the cost of an in-house PABX too by switching to a cloud-based solution, which means reduced maintenance and power costs too. And of course, you can make cheaper calls, particularly if you regularly call long distances or overseas.

The right solution

The first step in moving from traditional telephony to a VoIP-based product is to identify the right fit for your business. This might not be as easy as it seems because in recent years there has been a huge proliferation of companies offering different types of VoIP based services.

It’s therefore important to select carefully. Look at the reviews both the service and the company has received, study the contracts and terms and conditions carefully, and if possible, talk to other customers. Remember that price should only be part of the equation; you need to be looking at the levels of service on offer too. The cheapest provider won’t necessarily be the best.

How porting works

 

So what’s the actual process of porting a phone number to a VoIP service?

Your first step should be checking that the number you hold is live on your current telephony product and that you understand that when the number ports to your new VoIP solution the current product will cease. Any additional services ran over your line such as broadband on an analogue line, fire or intruder alarm monitoring services or card processing services will also cease.

What you don’t need to do is place an order with the existing provider to cease the line, this will happen as part of the porting process. If you do place an order to cancel, then you may risk losing the number altogether.

You will of course also need an internet connection for the new VoIP service to operate over. This is a good opportunity to review your needs and perhaps upgrade your connectivity to ensure you have the right speeds needed to carry you voice traffic or ensuring quality of service (QoS) on the line.

Switching from broadband to an Ethernet leased line, for example, can give you the synchronous speeds and added reliability that is needed to ensure that your VoIP service runs smoothly and delivers a consistent service for you and your customers.

In order for the new VoIP network to progress the porting request, you’ll need to supply the service provider with signed authorisation to port your number or numbers on a Letter of Authority. They will then submit the porting request to the losing communications provider, and range holder, the Letter of Authority will be validated and processed between the gaining network and the losing network and range holder.

The lead times for porting numbers are in the most part agreed with providers in their mutual porting agreements and, depending on the volume of numbers that are porting, can typically take between a fortnight and 30 working days.

It is important to plan ahead to ensure that your porting date suits your plans. You can often request a specific future port date beyond 30 working days if you have other timescales to adhere to and most providers can change the port date if required or plan for porting to be carried out of hours, however, this can often incur additional charges.

 
 
 
 
 

For additional information call   0808 178 0858   or

Calls are recorded for training and monitoring purpose only

Smart Connect Ltd 

Athena House 612-616

Wimborne Road

Bournemouth  Dorset  BH9 2EN

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