person dialing in a telephone

A Brief History of Telephony and Its Business Functions

Imagine a life without social media: no Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, or other messaging apps. Communication would have been incredibly different and would have an entirely different story. Prior to telephones, people communicated through messengers, people, birds, and had to send handwritten texts to faraway places. Our social media today was once like the telephone back in the day. Let’s dive into what could have influenced social media today: the telephone.

Patented by Alexander Graham Bell, the telephone had been in its early stages and forms by other inventors. It was only until the late 1800s when dial phones started gaining popularity, with the first coast-to-coast call done around 1915. When the 1920s rolled around, telephones became common household items. Soon after, emergency responses and communication followed suit during the 1960s when needs started arising from emergency situations.

Analog and Digital Phones: What Do I Need for My Business?

With the invention of the telephone, it was no surprise that it exploded in popularity because of ease of communication with friends and far away acquaintances. In the business world, telephones allowed businesses to contact their clients directly. This allowed their needs to be met, as well as opened up more types of occupations such as field service management. Over time, phones have evolved and started adapting more digital features and services.

Analog

Today, the traditional type of phone that served businesses for decades are those built on standard copper wires and POTS (plain old telephone service). To this day, their advantage lies in clear audio quality, as well as basic features people expect in a phone: hold, redial, mute, and a speed dial options. In addition to basic, reliable features, they are inexpensive and easy to buy.

The downsides of traditional analog phones begin when it’s time for configuration and upgrade. Analogs are still being used today, primarily by businesses that rely mostly on transactions (e.g. stores and retail) and those with simple communication methods.

Digital

digital telephone in a conference room

The digital phones of today are more modern, with designs and functions that boast more features: music on hold, VoIP integration, and alarm capabilities. The digital nature and non-reliance on wires mean that these phones are more flexible for change, thanks to their software capabilities. There are many advantages to digital phones, including VoIP (voice over IP) capabilities that also exhibits good call quality and is cost-efficient, especially when making international calls.

Call quality and lower rates translate to a VoIP being attractive to businesses that rely on communicating and forming relationships with clients. If you own a small business that deals with a ton of local and international communication, coordinating with companies such as Lingo is a good way to start streamlining business communication. It will also provide VoIP services, so you can better serve your clients and spend less money on international calls.

It’s good to know that the type of business will dictate what type of phone line your company may need, with analog or digital options both having benefits of their own. A retail establishment will likely not be needing a digital phone for cost-effectiveness and simple communication methods, while a call center may need uninterrupted and reliable digital phones for more reliable transactions and processes.

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