Communication in the office for any organization is very important. To achieve its objective, the company provides mediums of communication between staff and other stakeholders outside the company such as suppliers and customers. The company has to use a communication service that saves on costs while at the same time it is efficient. Furthermore, the company has to keep up with technological innovations in the telecommunications industry.
PABX and Centrex Systems
The private branch exchange refers to telephone system in a company where each phone line has only three or four digits. In includes an internal switching network, telephone lines, wiring for connections, switchboards and a computer for data processing (Fischer, 1987). It was invented to deal with the increasing high costs in communication within the company offices. There are several advantages of using the PABX system. It helps cuts costs plus the staff is able to remember their colleague’s numbers quickly. The Centrex system is similar to the PABX but it is a system provided by a third party company. The company is provided with services such as call forwarding, voice mail, call transfer and call waiting services. In the Centrex system, the third party company or service provider invests in the hardware and the telephone hardware. All the hardware costs are borne by the service company.
The switching equipment is located at the service provider premises unlike the PABX system where the equipment is at the client’s premises. The Centrex system is therefore cheaper than the PABX system in terms of hardware purchase and maintenance. The system though has other cost elements. The company has to pay monthly maintenance fees.
In the PABX system, there are no monthly charges paid, the company will only pay the wages of the staff at the telephone switchboard. The other advantage in a PABX system is that the company can implement new features in their system immediately they decide to do so. The Centrex system users are limited in implementing new features. They have to request the service provider to do it. Secondly, the service provider adds the costs of new features into the monthly charges or fees.
Rotary and DTMF
The rotary dialing system is also known as pulse dialing. It is a system used in analog telephone. The telephone has a user inter phase that has a numerical dial-wheel which a person spins to place a call. The digits have to be dialed at a specific rate and within certain duration of time. When the user dials a number, there is a spring that winds then it goes back to the original position. There is a switch that opens and closes the connection to the telephone company. These break and makes represent the dialed numbers. This system of dialing phone numbers was slow necessitating the invention of the DTMF dialing system. It is also known as the touch-tone dialing system. The user inter phase for this system consists of a numbered key pad which the individual uses to place a call. The system is also used in analog systems. There are only two frequency tones used for each digit. Each digit pad row is associated with a low frequency while each of the column key pads is linked to high frequencies. When a person dials the number, the
system sends a combination of both high and low frequencies to the telephone companies (Gokhale, 2004). This is why the system is known as dual tone multi frequency system. It uses frequencies instead of make or break mechanisms. The system is also advantageous in that the communication is not susceptible to normal background noise.
Wide area Telephone Service and Leased Lines
This is a system used by companies that experience high volumes of long distance calls. The company subscribes to the telephone company for the service within a specified geographical area. The area may cover distances in the whole United States or just certain states. The business may be billed under two systems, either the Full Business Day (FBD) or Measured Time (MT). The advantages of this system are that the company is provided with a direct dialing system and there are great price reductions. The company may subscribe to either the Outward Wats or Inward Wats or both. The company is then billed at a certain base rate or for a specified number of calls. If the company is willing, incoming callers are allowed to call the company free of charge using the 800 service. The company will pay a fee at the end of the month for this service.
Many companies use the 800 toll free service to encourage their customers place more orders for their products. The hospitality industry uses the service to aid customers make reservations easily. This system is different from a leased line. In leased line system, the company uses a telephone line that is used exclusively by the company. This dedicated line is provided by a common carrier company that does its customer billing in the same way the
telephone companies charge their clients. The leased line is not connected to the telephone company but to a common carrier company. The customers pay a flat rate for the service. They can engage in an unlimited number of transactions. However when it comes to long distance communications, the company is charged on per-transmissions basis instead of a flat rate.
International Organization for Standardization and Open Systems Interconnection
The ISO is an international body that is involved in setting industrial and commercial standards in the world. Companies seek different appropriate ISO standards in order to assure consumers and other stakeholders on the high quality of their company operations. It was founded in 1947. It is a voluntary organization that has representatives from different countries. The organization has the goal of facilitating easier exchange of goods and services internationally through its work. It also aims to facilitate cooperation between different countries in different and diverse fields in the scientific, technological and economic areas. It is a powerful organization since it enters into international agreements which come to be recognized as international standards.
The Open System Interconnections on the other hand is a standard for network connectivity in information technology. It is a system that divides the communication system across networks into seven layers. The seven layers are physical, data link, network, transport, session, presentation and application layers (Austing & Cassel, 2000). Each layer provides a communication service to the layer above it and at the same time receives certain services from the layer below it. The aim of the model is to provide companies with a reference model for their telecommunications network. The model was adopted as an international standard by the International Organization for Standardization.
Austing, R & Cassel, L (2000). Communication Networks and Open Systems: An Application
Development Perspective. London: Jones and Bartlet Publishers.
Fischer, B. (1987).Office Systems Integration: A Decision-Maker's Guide to Systems Plannin
and Implementation. Connecticut: Quorum Books.
Gokhale, A. (2004). Introduction to Telecommunications. United States: Delmar Cengage Learning.