Why is it Company owners want to take a perfectly good telephone system and completely change the way it works? Voice telephone systems as a whole are extremely reliable. What good can come of replacing or changing it to move the “working bits” of the service out into the “cloud” ??

So – traditional telephony. A big attraction is that it was always there. Even when no one was on the phone, the phone service was there. Any time you wanted you could pick up the handset and hear dial tone. Possibly its biggest advantage was that it was always standing by, waiting for someone to make a call. The wires connected directly to a port on a local telephone system and were dedicated to your business and no one else. You could use it or not, but your phone bill paid for that consistent availability just as much as for the calls you made.

This  was true for your place of business up through the 1970s and into the 1980s when it became common for businesses to get their own phone systems rather than multiple analogue lines with handsets . In a way, the Company became the “phone company”  for themselves, providing a desk phone. The phone sat there at your desk with a hardware port and wires that sat unused until you made a call.

Along came Company LAN networks and the internet and  companies committed to using networks as an integral part of business communication, they also committed to new, expensive wiring for their buildings. It took several years for that wiring to standardize to such as CAT5e , but it became common to see network and voice wiring to every desk and along the walls where anything might need to plug in.

By 1990’smany Companys had converted from analogue to a digital phone system with (mostly 1308 ) 2-wire digital phones at each desk. Most of the time there’s a DC voltage across those two wires, but nothing else. When the phone rings or when you make a call, there is some data exchange across the wires, but if you analyse the voice data then you can ascertain long spaces in the conversation when nothing is happening. Even a busy conversation has short periods of silence between words and sentences. Those periods of silence are important to the communication, but they are still times when the wiring is not being utilized.

Your Company probably uses Ethernet ( eg CAT5e cables) with two transmit wires, two receive wires, and two used for power for data – ie PCs. There is frequent movement of data across the transmit and receive wires, whether or not any actual data is needed. The amount of data that can move across these wires is massive. Most users never come even close to pushing the wiring (and connected switch port) to its capacity even once. When your computer downloads an email message with an attachment, there is a burst of activity that might last a second or less, but it only uses a tiny fraction of the available power of the network port.

It’s no wonder that the sensibility of combining the voice and data on a single network of wires and ports has long been the way forward . Of course, there is no way you can squeeze the same data speeds and capacity through ( 1308 – 2 wire ) voice wiring, but there is generally  no problem superimposing the voice communication into the data system as long as you could convert the voice stream to IP, and that’s what VoIP is – Voice of Internet Protocol.

When you convert the voice communication to IP data and integrate it into the Ethernet data stream, you eliminate one entire set of wiring infrastructure. That saves thousands of £ on a new building. If you want to move a phone to a different location, you just unplug it and move it to another available Ethernet port. Most of the PBX equipment in the telecom cabinet is there to provide a dedicated port and set of wires to each phone. All of that can go away. More savings. You no longer need to have to have ANY phone equipment other than phones that plug into the Ethernet jacks.

Whats not to like …………………. And that’s why Company owners are moving their telephony into the “cloud”