Businesses have all cited early failure as being part of the process, which leads them to success. Thomas Edison was amongst them, stating, ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’ Even business mogul, Jeff Bezos, said that for much of Amazon’s early years in e-commerce, it rarely made a significant profit. It seems that for those who follow their passion and see a future that many don’t, will naturally be met with a host of failures before a breakthrough. byphone and VoIP technology are no different.
The birth of VoIP has completely reshaped the landscape of telephony over the last ten years. The change, which as a business, we’ve had to learn how to react and adapt. First, our vision couldn’t be supported by suitable broadband technology and strength. Then, businesses weren’t willing to take a punt on a VoIP system; even the most forward-thinking of them, would not agree without the assurances of reliable security. As time moved on, a breakthrough was instantly met with a new obstacle. Our Ripe register put us on the map as a certified ISP dedicated solely to VoIP technology. Still, the difficulties in peering arrangements blockaded our progress of delivering efficient VoIP connectivity suitable for our vision: our only option, innovation.
Redesigning the Data Centre Infrastructure
Like the examples given before, many pioneers of various industries had to reinvent the wheel to conceptualise their dreams entirely. What would social media be without the connective and personal user interface of Facebook? How could a car, not the only function, but thrive on electricity before the designs of Elon Musk’s Tesla? We knew, that to deliver the VoIP technology that we wanted, we would have to find a new way of powering it. Thus, our engineers clashed their influential minds together to create a system that would not be reliant on just one data centre, but be spread over multiple ones. What this achieved was the ability to have a phone system that virtually never dropped out. In the instance of a data centre failure, the connection would immediately failover to another without the user ever knowing. Now that we had the infrastructure, we needed the power to fuel it.
The Birth of Reliable Networks
As the internet grew, so did the desire for many SME’s to have a more reliable network. Daily tasks, once approached in conventional and traditional ways of pen and paper, were now transferred to the digital landscape. Client information was now housed in a company’s CRM; customers were not only contacted via phone call and email but through social as well. The world was moving fast, and with its acceleration, came a growing acceptance by companies that their broadband connection would have to be more powerful. Enter, fibreoptic lines. Drastically improved processing speeds catered for faster downloads, more reliability and decreased data packet loss. Overall, this allowed byphone to finally go to market with a VoIP phone system that we believed could power any office, both large and small.
Reinventing VoIP Technology and Phone Systems
Now we had the connection solved, how would we separate ourselves in the market? Unfortunately, we weren’t the only players in VoIP, but we knew that our knowledge and expertise matched that of any establishment in the industry, even BT. So, how could we deliver a system that could improve the communications of any business, but be understood and appreciated from tech and non-tech folk? The USP soon became apparent; a simple to use platform that allowed for complex phone systems to be created at ease and in record time. How? Drag & Drop.
We turned to graph theory; a branch of mathematics that is used in networks, based on Euler’s famous seven bridges of Koinsberg. By substituting nodes (landmasses in Euler’s original work) and links (bridges) with functions on a phone system (nodes) and connections between these functions (bridges), we were able to adapt drag & drop technologies to control a phone system. Users could create complex systems with multiple numbers directing to specific ring groups quickly and easily. It also helped our partner-centric business model of inviting more non-tech partners to the industry by providing them with a manual-less approach to setting up phone systems. Gone were the days of inflated engineering fees for simple and sometimes, not so simple, phone system configurations. We had a proposition that solved problems for both partners/resellers and most importantly, end-users.
Introducing Call Reporting
Now that we had the configuration features locked in, how would this appeal to the end-user? Although a phone system could now be set up quickly and at a fraction of the cost, how could it benefit the success of a company’s communications? Analytics and call data soon became the driving force to how a company could improve its workforce efficiency and relationship with its customers. Our intuitive call reporting feature allowed managers to assess the number of calls their business was missing, what time those calls were made at and the employee’s who missed them.
However, merely whispering the word analytics and it’s enough to send shockwaves down the spine of non-tech minded Managing Directors and Managers. How could we formulise mass amounts of data into a digestible manner so that it can be used to provide immediate insights and recommendations for improvement? Graph charts proved the easiest way to present call data. The user could specify what sample date they wanted to look at, the time of calls/missed calls, what quantity of calls individual employees were making, and finally, the audio recording of all calls taken. Businesses could now pinpoint the exact areas their communications were failing at and where to rectify them. It was so good; we even used it in our own office after realising that our support was not as efficient over lunchtime hours. A simple change in our workforce lunch rota and voilà, fewer calls were being missed.
Taking the Phone out of the Office
OK, we felt good about ourselves. We had delivered the VoIP system of our dreams. We opened the door for non-tech partners to build complex phone systems without the need for an engineer. We provided a powerful reporting tool that showed businesses were they were faltering and where to improve in their communications, but did we foresee the shifting working culture? Thankfully, we did. As technology brought us closer together, it slowly diminished the traditional 9-5 office setup. People could spend more time out of the office, but still, deliver the same level of efficiency at home. For employees with young children or who lived in remote areas, it offered an option never before presented in the traditional working world. With this shift, we developed features that allowed for multiple mobile devices to be connected to the platform, showing your standard working number when your specific device made outbound calls. We also included a feature of changing an outbound number to match that of the area code you are calling. Employees now had the option of linking their work number from their device at home, but also could choose from a list of numbers in our database that matched the area code they were calling.
But what about inbound calls? For employees who are spread across multiple departments, how can they manage their call flow outside of the office? Using our ‘drag & drop’ feature, users could link various devices to separate ring groups, allowing multiple inbound calls to be filtered to the correct call flow. Users could adjust the settings when necessary to change their availability, reroute the call to another ring group, send an automatic email or voicemail and have all their linked devices ring at the same time. We not only offered business’ the option of being available anywhere at any time, but provided sophisticated call flow filtering. Furthermore, any company with multi-disciplined staff could change the architecture of their call flow when required to reroute calls to the correct place or device.
Excitement for the Future
byphone’s story has not been simple, but our vision always has. We have come through various obstacles and adversities only with the sheer will to make the communications industry a more straightforward place to operate within. We hope as the future continues that more business’ will embrace the power of our simplistic approach, making their communication with customers an enjoyable one and not a basic necessity. If we could leave on one note, it would be that dreams that do not scare you are thoughts not worth having; we challenged the businesses to transform their communications through the power of VoIP. Was it met with reluctance? Of course. But slowly, with intuitive design and more reliable networks, we turned heads and offered companies a way to communicate more efficiently, both on cost and performance. Our journey is far from over, but every day, we strive to introduce the world to the power of simple, and we thank you for helping us along the way.