Hosted Telephone System

Business telephony. Evolved.

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Our VoIP phones look and operate in much the same way as any other business phone.  It has a keypad that you dial the same old telephone numbers into, and a handset that you can talk into and listen with.  No surprises there.  But these phones take your voice, and turn it into lots of little chunks of data, that can then be transmitted over the Internet.  It’s similar in principle to how your computer takes your typed words and sends those over the Internet in the form of email.  As the little chunks of data can travel anywhere over the Internet for free, the costs of calling have been slashed, in much the same way that email slashed the cost of sending faxes or letters.

All your telephones are connected to our service, which is ‘in the cloud’ (in the cloud means based, or hosted on the internet).  This is in a similar vein to how your computers email programs are connected to an Internet Service Providers email system.  Our service runs on dedicated servers in London and Manchester, running carrier-grade software.  This is the hub of our call routing, and effectively it replaces the old PBX switchboard, which means you no longer have need for an old-fashioned, expensive to maintain and run box in your business.

But most importantly, when you make a call with Criterion, everything feels, works and sounds exactly as you’re already used to.  Even your telephone numbers stay the same.

Horizon Hosted Telephony.

  • Zero upfront capital cost
  • Short-term contract
  • Latest Cisco IP phone as standard
  • Enterprise grade IVR (Interactive Voice Response) and routing etc.
  • As many concurrent calls as seats
  • Free VoIP-to-VoIP calls
  • Instantly scalable, up or down
  • Outbound call monitoring wallboard
  • Use your extension anywhere in an iOS/Android app
  • Data centres in London and Manchester for maximum security and reliability

Is VoIP right for me?

If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, then it is almost certain your business can benefit from Criterion’s VoIP solution (which we call ‘Horizon VoIP’).

Are you…

  • looking to cut the cost of your normal telephone bills?
  • wanting remote employees/branches to make inter-company calls at zero cost?
  • wanting to network multiple offices and employees?
  • looking to centralise cost control and management?
  • in need of a more flexible, dynamic telephone system?
  • moving offices, utilising remote working, or looking to expand your business soon?
  • nearing the end of your current PBX or support contract?

The old fashioned PBX does not come cheap, there is the capital cost of acquisition, installation, on-going maintenance and added high cost for additional functionality such as voicemail and unified messaging. That’s before you’ve even made a call.  With Horizon VoIP, businesses can take a complete bundled package from us which slashes costs and enables almost any company to have a best of breed communications system, which features and abilities usually reserved for systems costing many thousands.

10 great things about Criterions VoIP business phone system

  1. You already have the infrastructure in place

Any business that already has a broadband connection can very easily add a VoIP-based phone system (a phone that transmits voice communication over the internet instead of a separate set of dedicated telephone wires).  By doing so you get more for less.  Since you already have a high-speed Internet connection, making the switch to VoIP has never been easier or been more cost-effective.

  1. Low cost calling

Rather than paying a long-distance fee to your landline provider, or racking up charges making international calls on a mobile phone, you can pay a low fee to a VoIP provider, which connects the call through the Internet at a much cheaper rate.  Since VoIP utilises your existing Internet connection, you no longer pay for access and usage fees on two separate sets of wires.

  1. You only want one phone number

With VoIP you can use one phone number for all locations.  This means that calls placed to your VoIP number can go to your landline, your office or your mobile phone.  This is great for the busy mobile professional who is always on the go, yet needs to stay accessible to those, their team or customers.

  1. Create a bigger presence for your business

Want to have a London phone number but not based there?  Want to have an international presence in locations you are not (yet) in?  With VoIP that is not a problem.  Criterion Communications offers numbers from over 40 countries around the world giving your business an International presence and allowing callers in these countries to phone you on your VoIP for Business telephones in your office, for the cost of a local/national call from their telephone carrier.

  1. Setting up a new office

When it’s time to set up a new office, organisations often only consider contacting BT (or whoever their phone provider is) to order a new analogue or private branch exchange (PBX) phone system, but is this the right long-term decision for the business?  When examining the total cost of ownership over the complete life cycle of a phone system, VoIP is typically 30% less expensive than a competitive PBX system and this analysis does not include the incremental user features, application and productivity benefits and agility that VoIP can deliver, providing additional return on investment.

  1. Moving offices

Using a VoIP system makes it very easy to move office. No cumbersome phone systems, PBX boxes etc. to take with you and no need to change your well promoted phone numbers?  No matter which new geographical location (or country) you are moving to.

  1. Keep your phone system up-to-date with leading edge features

Since a VoIP system is hosted by the VoIP provider (e.g. Criterion) and is largely software based (rather than physical telephony equipment), you do not have to worry about your phone system going out-of-date or needing to be upgraded to get the latest features.  Quite simply a VoIP system can turn on new features at the touch of a button and if new features are being developed by the VoIP provider and Criterion is constantly developing and adding new features, then they will be immediately available to you, the end user.

  1. Multi-location companies with high intra-office call volumes

One of the basic elements of VoIP is that intra-office calls among company locations can be routed via the IP network, rather than the (cost-based) landline phone voice network, avoiding intra-office call charges.  For some companies, 60% of calls and calling costs can be avoided.

  1. I work in a highly flexible dynamic work environment

With VoIP, phone sets can often be relocated by simply unplugging them from the current network port and plugging them into a new port.  They don’t require central system changes or reconfiguration.  Similarly, new phones or sites can be added much more quickly than a PBX phone because most of the configuration is a simple software click and update or plug/play.

  1. Unified Communications

Unified Communications is a fancy way to describe the ability to integrate your VoIP phone service with other communications such as email and fax.  With Unified Communications you have the ability to have voicemail messages emailed directly to you wherever you may be.  Long gone are the days you have to repeatedly call into the office to see if there are messages waiting.