Unified communications convergence continues to transform the way businesses work.

Is the desk phone relevant?

Despite witnessing some amazing developments over the years, PSU’s Head of Telecoms, Glyn Evans, thinks we’re now living through one of the industry’s most exciting periods, with unified communications convergence transforming the way businesses work.

Glyn sat down with PSU’s marketing team to offer his opinions about this more unified world of communications.

Glyn, having started out in the comms sector in the mid 90s – how do you feel about these latest advancements?

They’re great. Compared to how static the industry was when my career began, this has got to be one of the most interesting times since the dawn of the internet.

Glyn Evans

Rapid network developments are happening across mobile, wireless & fixed line solutions. Through advancements such as next generation networks and packet based technologies like MPLS, we’re delivering more, much faster.

From viewing and sharing videos, large image files & documents to VoIP calling, real-time UC collaboration and video conferencing. Powerful and agile networks, supported by high-speed business connectivity are enabling us to get more work done from our desktops & mobiles.

So where does the desk phone fit in with all of this?

It’s still as critical as ever. In fact, business communications are now more powerful & intelligent, thanks to greater integration between the telephone system & mobile device.

There are many fine examples. Mitel has made significant progress in this area, integrating mobiles into the PBX, to streamline communications, keep users connected and increase their productivity, wherever they’re working.

Through their Mobile Client, Convergence & Extension solutions, Mitel is improving businesses’ mobility and saving them money through features including single number reach, conference & call forwarding and least cost routing.

Similarly, in the wider industry there are a growing number of cloud-based, Virtual PBX services, streamlining communications and promising an array of business benefits. However, whilst one of the best known, Google Voice, can help improve mobility, it cannot match the reliability of a business landline.

What’s driving these communication developments?

Employee demands for a better life balance is one of the main reasons, as well as businesses wanting to be more productive on the move. The former is the most interesting trend, with companies battling it out to attract and retain the best talent. Those who've already invested in mobility and support for flexible & remote working will be at a distinct advantage.

This all sounds great, but how well equipped is PSU to help customers benefit from these opportunities?

We’re extremely well placed, as we already have the detailed technical knowledge of IT and Telecoms, required to help customers with ongoing communications convergence. And by deepening our expertise, following our recent acquisition of ICT company Hub Business Solutions ltd, our solutions and services for supporting this are getting stronger.

Having talked about networks, telephone systems and devices, it seems everything within telecoms is becoming more unified.

That's a fair statement. We’re even starting to see convergence in service billing for business customers - something already available in consumer markets through the likes of BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Sky.

Traditionally, businesses have spent many hours trawling through individual contracts for landline, mobile and broadband services. But increasing bill aggregation is making it easier for them to manage, administer and save money on services.

PSU is already there in terms of reporting through our online billing portal myPSU. With the ability to view, analyse and report on all their telecoms’ services from a single portal, we're helping customers to get their billing under control, with no compromise on the quality of service they receive.

So what does the future have in store and how will PSU deliver more value for customers?

We’ll need to become even more customer centric, if we’re to remain in tune with our clients’ needs.

By gaining a deeper understanding of what their companies & industries do and providing more of a business rather than technology led approach, our strategy will more closely mirror theirs. This will help boost the way they interact with their own customers and increase their market share.

Final thoughts?

Never stop investing in new solutions and services, even if you think you’ve developed enough.

There’ll always be new technologies emerging, that can expose you to new ideas & ways of working and boost your business & the services you deliver to your own customers.

But you need to listen to the Telecoms experts, if you’re to gain the best value from any new developments and not fall behind competitors, who’ve already uncovered this knowledge and are using it to surge ahead.

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