We provide a host of telephony platforms for our customers to allow them to take advantage of telephony services without having on-site equipment. The terms “hosted” and “cloud communications” really are very interchangeable. They mean one and the same thing. The term cloud is relatively new and simply refers to services that are provided by a third-party provider in the cloud. We believe that customers should have access to a telephony platform that comes without any hidden costs. That platform needs to be stable, scalable to business needs and agile enough to adapt and be able to accommodate things that the business requires. There are many reasons for a business to choose a hosted platform over premises based piece of equipment. I think firstly, there’s the capital expenditure. Because the system’s rented, you can plan the expenses very easily.

Also, there’s no in-school or maintenance costs associated with operating on a hosted platform. Secondly, to reduce risk, the system’s already there, it’s already in place, and it’s already working. It’s going to scale with your business and you don’t have to make decisions as you would with premises based equipment, for example, where you would need to buy maybe, a 25 user system now although you only have 10 users, you don’t need to plan your capacity in advance.

I think also this [xx] professionalism. Typically for a small business, you need to provide things like IVR’s, and actually the feature sets that you require from a hosted or telephony system are a lot more than a large business would provide.

By using a hosted system you can unlock those features far more easily on a standard monthly fee than buying an expensive in-house system. There are numerous technical benefits of running on a hosted platform.

First thing’s is the lines and the access. We will take care of the connectivity to the public telephone network and actually routing the calls which means you don’t need to worry about legacy circuits such as ISDN on your premises. On the access circuits chances are you’ve already got an existing connection to the internet but we can use that to group the calls over as well. Operationally, you don’t need to worry about back-ups because the provider will maintain that. You don’t need any support staff on site to maintain any on-site equipment. These benefits of reliability and scale, reliability as the platform provider, we provide fault tolerance to make sure the platform runs 24/7. And in terms of scale, with multi-tenantism can run from one to thousands of extensions very easily.

We also have the ability to integrate with on-site equipment. This is probably best explained with an example. Maybe we use the example of looking up a sale and record of a customer assistant. So when a call comes in, we would look up the name rather than the numbers so we can present that with the call.

This really puts us apart from one of the mail-hosted telephony platforms. By virtue of using a hosted platform, location independence comes out of the box. So it doesn’t matter whether you’re connecting from the office, whether you have some remote workers, whether you have people connecting from hotel rooms while they’re on the move.

That all happens by default. One of the trends we all say is start-up companies are exclusively using cloud based services. Particularly, they will getting their email services, their application services, from people like Google Apps and now the telephony services all from the cloud. This is because of the availability of high speed internet connections such as broadband and AFM circuits. We got customers right through from agricultural, right up to finance. We have them on a simple level, of simple to telephony right through to call centers.

The choice of using a hosted telephony platform is really more about how you buy it, and your capability of buying what you need.

You may need 10 extensions today and not know what the scalability requirements are, and it’s easy to scale a hosted platform down, or up to maybe 20 extensions in a year’s time. As a good example, one of our customer’s marketing moves, moved to the Foehn telephony platform and saved 50% on their annual communication’s cost. That’s a very good reason for moving. There’s also good reasons for owning your own PBX on-site. The hosted telephony platform we provide at Foehn is based on the same technology and offers exactly the same features as our own premise equipment.

The moving and transitioning from hosted to home premise or home premise to hosted or actually having a mix of both for disaster recovery is perfectly feasible and very easy to do..