Simpler Switching for Landlines

Switching broadband and landline just got simpler thanks to new rules from Ofcom. With effect from 20 June the entire switching process will be handled by the new supplier, meaning that consumers will no longer have to shuttle between old and new suppliers or provide transfer codes. The new rules only apply to phone and broadband services on the open reach network.

Commenting on the rule changes Ofcom chief executive, Sharon White, said “This will make a real difference for consumers, and will encourage more people to take advantage of very strong competition in the landline and broadband markets.” Ofcom is now investigating a similar switching process for mobile users.

Whilst the new switching regulations are aimed at consumers, many businesses will also benefit. But when it comes to transferring business lines, particularly where there is more than one member of staff, businesses may need to undertake some research before deciding to switch. As a business grows and develops its telephony needs change and it is important not to become mired in a contract which will not support changing requirements. For example, whereas once a simple phone divert may have sufficed, with growing employee numbers the business may need to consider hunt groups or other incoming call management pathways.

Similarly, a one-man band operating in a single geographical area may find that a regional number suits their business but other regional, or indeed national numbers, may need to be added as the business expands its marketplace. Ensuring that the phone system is business-fit can make a measurable difference when it comes to attracting potential clients and therefore sales.  Luckily, adding new phone numbers doesn’t mean having to sign up to new phone lines; with the new phone numbers simply being diverted either to the main phone line of the business or elsewhere as required.

One service which can help businesses to define and test potential phone services is the Callagenix ‘try before you buy’ offer. This enables businesses to set up a trial account and test out various configurations before signing up for their new phone service. Another advantage of the Callagenix system is that it is fully flexible, thereby enabling new services to be added as and when required. So when new employees are taken on, call answering pathways can be reprogrammed quickly and easily via an online link.

All of this means that growing businesses are able to view their telephone system as an integrated part of their marketing mix and flex it in line with changing company needs. As businesses grow they may well decide to opt for a company switchboard. This provides them with a fully integrated virtual switchboard service which because it is online can offer the functionality of a large PABX switchboard for a fraction of the cost. Services such as programmable number diversion and call recording can be taken as standard with other services being added as required.

But virtual switchboards are not just for growing businesses. With an ability to handle tens of thousands of calls per hour and multiple switchboard memories, virtual switchboards can provide a business telephony solution for large organisations as well. Online customisation and management enable business leaders to respond swiftly to changes in caller patterns whilst call data and reports help to ensure that call pathways are optimised at all times.

With the simpler switching regime pioneered by Ofcom, businesses (and individuals) now have a far greater freedom to choose a phone supplier who will help them to optimise the way in which they view and use their telephone system. Taking advantage of the options available can also help to turn business telephony from an unwanted cost into a business driver.

Written by Alison