Do you know what a “party line” is? Or a “rotary dial” phone? How about a “switchboard”? Or “exchange letters” on a telephone number? It’s entirely possible you’ve never heard of any of these things, because they’re all outmoded aspects of the telecommunication industry.
Have you heard of VoIP? Video conferencing? Voice and data network services? If you’ve been in a modern office lately, you know exactly what these things are — they’re the future of small business telephone systems.
Cutting the Landline.
The landline used to be the only way to receive a telephone call or get on the internet. But we live in the Mobile Age, and many offices have removed their landline altogether. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) has become the go-to option for telephone services for many businesses, allowing companies to make calls, receive and transcribe voicemails, and video conference with other businesses and clients around the world. In fact, some experts predict that traditional landlines will be used by only 6% of the population nationwide by the year 2018, allowing your in-house technical support services to double as your telephone troubleshooters.
Video Killed the Telephone Star.
Studies show that almost three quarters of people prefer to video conference into a meeting rather than travel there in person, and the business world is paying attention to this trend. Many technical support services now specialize in configuring video conferencing for small businesses, which can cut travel costs, improve efficiency, and even reduce greenhouse gases (since fewer people would need to drive somewhere).
A Job Interview… From Your Kitchen?
Video conferencing isn’t just for business meetings. Many hiring professionals are turning to live video interviews as a way to connect with a much larger pool of potential employees without either side needing to incur travel costs. Video conferencing equipment has become more and more affordable over the past few years, so it’s become reasonable to expect a job-seeker to have access to the technology to video conference with potential employers — many times with nothing more than their mobile device.
An Office Without the Office.
A modern office might be unrecognizable as an office at all to a time traveler from the ’50s or ’60s — especially since some modern offices can be almost completely mobile. Laptops, tablets, and mobile phones have made the concept of a fixed physical location almost obsolete when it comes to “where you work”. Video calls and VoIP are accessible to almost anyone with an internet connection, and startup businesses can cut their initial costs by nearly 90% by foregoing the traditional landline. Some technical support services can even operate remotely, troubleshooting problems over the internet through chat windows, VoIP calls, or video conferencing walkthroughs on a separate device.
Modern business is faster, more streamlined, and more connected than ever before, and all with a reduction of wires, cables, and equipment. We’re doing more from more places, and reaching more of the world in the process. And it’s just the beginning.
What do you think business will look like ten years from now? What innovations would you like to see? Leave your ideas in the comments below.