Before the coronavirus pandemic, 43% of American employees already worked from home with some regularity. For years, remote employment has been on the rise. However, nowadays many companies have seen a sharp increase in their remote operations due to the various safety-and-security measures in place across the country in regard to the coronavirus. This means that it’s never been more important for companies of all sizes –– from telecommunications giants to small service providers –– to understand how to use the remote capabilities of their communications systems to their full capacities.
Here’s the good news:
Businesses that optimize their telecommunications processes with a PBX like Asterisk can:
- Manage and resolve security threats.
- Increase remote connectivity.
- Improve remote employee performance.
- Scale usage.
- Save money.
Here, we’ll explain how businesses can leverage their communications systems to ensure they’re able to survive, and thrive, in the current business climate:
What is Asterisk?
Simply put, Asterisk is a PBX (private branch exchange) platform that serves as a “baseline” for telecommunications systems. Asterisk is highly flexible, and it provides a number of built-in features such as call queues, voicemail, call treatments, and music on hold –– to name a few. In addition, Asterisk is compatible with Hosted VoIP phone applications, and developers all over the world have created updates and patches for it.
Benefits of Asterisk
Asterisk servers are uniquely suited to ensure that remote team members are able to stay connected with each other –– as well as with clients. A few essential remote features that Asterisk offers include:
- Voicemail-to-email redirection.
- Virtual conference set up.
- Voicemail groups.
- Call waiting.
- Call forwarding.
- Voice-over IP (VoIP).
- Fax compatibility.
- 3-way calling.
- Computer-telephony integration interfaces.
Also, because Asterisk is an open-source PBX, it’s available for little-to-no licensing fees or costs. Business leaders should also note that Asterisk does not require proprietary hardware to function. It can even be installed on a regular PC.
Asterisk’s flexible configuration promotes business scalability. In fact, one of our biggest clients, Volli Communications, partnered with us to optimize Asterisk during a period of rapid client growth in 2016. (You can read more about our work with Volli Communications here.)
Transitioning to Remote Asterisk Use
As we’ve established, Asterisk PBX can do a lot for businesses –– particularly during this time when many are transitioning to a remote-based work schedule. However, the key to getting the most out of an Asterisk PBX depends on taking certain steps to promote: 1) security and 2) performance.
One of the simplest ways to address both of these issues is to update Asterisk on a regular basis. Asterisk is very popular and very effective software, which means that a lot of businesses may not have felt the need to update it over the years. Yet, this presents a problem; if the system is outdated, it may not operate at peak efficiency or it may be susceptible to certain security breaches.
In terms of security, remote use also poses a challenge for Asterisk users. To enable workers to access the system from their homes, businesses may need to adjust their security firewall and deliberately open portals that might otherwise remain closed. Therefore, it is imperative to monitor the system closely for any red flags in addition to implementing tight security measures such as setting good passwords, changing them often, and restricting external access on occasion.
As for performance, in many instances the architecture of the system plays a significant role in its overall effectiveness. For example, some PBX systems are so badly configured that they require several servers to complete basic functions that would normally require only one server. It can make something as simple as forwarding calls a frustrating ordeal. Therefore, business leaders should seek to simplify their PBX system and reduce any inefficiencies found within the system. (Choosing the right hardware and customizing the virtual environment can matter a lot here.)
Optimizing PBX architecture will save a business time and money now and in the future.
Business leaders who are transitioning to a remote office setup may not have the time or the specific knowledge needed to optimize their PBX system. That was true in the past, and it’s certainly true now. Thankfully, our team at Pantek can offer the support business leaders need at this moment. We have years of experience working with a wide range of companies to deliver meaningful telecommunications solutions. Our on-boarding process will work to discover common pain points, automate updates to boost efficiency, facilitate data transfers and uploads, and, ultimately, reduce costs. (Note that while these measures offer short-term solutions for companies transitioning to a remote setup, switching to or updating Asterisk does offer long-term advantages in regard to both employee productivity and business ROI.)
Finally, a word for business owners concerned about price. All across America, business leaders are making some of the most difficult financial decisions of their lives. And any service that can reduce costs is practically a blessing. Under normal circumstances, an Asterisk PBX will deliver lasting value and reduce costs, in part because it has no licensing fees. If you decide to switch to an Asterisk PBX with us now, though, we can work with your business to migrate the upfront costs of the installation as part of our managed-services contract. This means you won’t pay a penny out of pocket to upgrade.
Also, you can contact our team here for a completely free ROI analysis of your system.
We are here to help –– so give us a call today.