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Slowly but surely, the way Americans communicate is changing. This is not something that is wholly unusual. After all, whenever technology changes, the way we communicate tends to change as well. It did not take long for society to switch from using the telegraph to using wired telephones. Similarly, it is not taking very long for us to switch from wired telephone connections to wireless ones, the IP phones.
Landlines were, at one point, the most common way to communicate in America. Landlines were cheap for local calls but expensive for long-distance calls. Everyone—including businesses—needed to have them in order to make direct contact. Although the first US coast-to-coast phone call did not occur until 1915, by the 1980s Americans were tied to their phones. In fact, an individual may have been considered backward for not having one. For a business, not having several phone lines easily led to angry customers and a loss of revenue.
The invention of the cell phone helped mitigate the need for wired phone connections. The disappearance of payphones was an early indication that times were indeed changing. Still, even 20 years ago, landlines were extremely prominent in American homes. And few businesses would have considered the possibility that their phone systems could ever be replaced by any other form of technology.
Modern Technology Changes the Game with IP Phones
Fast forward to today. Recent studies have shown that more and more Americans are shunning their landlines. At first, research showed that this primarily was evident among the Millennial generation, a group that is more tied to mobile technology than any generation before it. Yet newer studies are showing that this shift toward a more flexible means of communication is spilling over into older generations. Now over 40 percent of households do not own landlines. A growing number of people are preferring instead to communicate solely with their mobile phones. Many opt for the voice, video, and text communications that are not possible with a wired landline phone.
So what does this mean for businesses? Specifically, it means that any growing business that is both attracting Millennials as workers and expanding into larger markets should be changing its own internal communication methods to better meet the modern demands of doing business. This includes upgrading any old phone systems to ones powered through Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP.
Internet Protocol phones are an interesting, unique addition to any business. These phones are a far cry from the old-style business phones you may be accustomed to using. As recent as 15 years ago, the entire concept of IP phones for business would have been considered the realm of science fiction. Today, IP phones are becoming an integral part of growing businesses. They can completely change the field for any business seeking to attract new customers, hire new workers, and revolutionize how it operates.
The IP Phone Advantage
IP phones significantly expand what is possible for a business. By using data to carry any and all types of information, instead of just electrical signals to transfer voice, IP phones improve on landlines by expanding on and reinventing the very idea of a “phone.” In a manner of speaking, the term “phone” is almost incorrect. The term indicates the transfer of just sound. IP phones can transmit all kinds of data: sound, video, or text. Because these phones carry data signals using Internet Protocol, businesses that use them are able to host an innumerable amount of calls at a time through their system. Data bandwith is a business’s only limitation, but that is increasing every year.
Cisco is one of many companies that make IP phones, but it is undoubtedly a market leader in this area. Take their DX80 phone, for example. Not only can this phone use a wide selection of Android applications, but it comes with an upright screen and a built-in digital camera for sending and receiving video. Integrating perfectly with business applications such as Jabber and WebEx, this phone highlights the exact reason why IP phones are quickly replacing traditional landlines. They’re more versatile and more useful. Further, they offer the ability to remove the impersonal nature that can sometimes result from communicating over a traditional landline phone.
The collaborative shift in business is also a key driver behind the move toward IP phones. Much of this is coming from the education world. Students are often encouraged to work together on projects, even remotely. When these students graduate from high school and college, they are coming into the workforce with the skills and desire to be able to collaborate with their teammates. Most importantly, they are prepared to do this regardless of their locations.
And indeed, recent studies seem to indicate that a culture of collaboration is something that younger workers not only need, but actively seek out when looking for employers. Cisco’s IP phones are helping to solve that problem by incorporating video and data capabilities, and integrating phones with Cisco’s Unified Communication systems. This allows for more and greater connection between resources.
Where will communication take us in the next 10 years? The next 20 years? If current trends are any indication, IP phones are only the first step. If your business is still behind, or your phone system has not been upgraded to some of the newest IP phones available, then you’ll definitely want to consider and weigh your options. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][mk_custom_box bg_color=”#f6f6f6″ bg_position=”left top” bg_repeat=”repeat” bg_stretch=”false” padding_vertical=”30″ padding_horizental=”20″ margin_bottom=”10″ min_height=”100″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]