Modern Telephone Engineers – The Future of Communications

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A telephone isn't a telephone any more. It's a communications hub - the central dot in a mass of spoke applications, all of which allow businesses and individuals to talk to each other in hundreds of different ways and on hundreds of different devices. The only thing pretty much that remains of the old dial and speak telephone is the line. Modern telephone systems, which ought really to be called communication systems, use that phone line to send voice data, computer data, numbers, signals - everything we use to communicate with is sending its stuff down those lines. Which is why, modern telephone engineers are rapidly becoming the most important employed people in the western world.

A telephone engineer used to install new lines and go home. That was it. Back when a telephone was an instrument with a receiver, which you picked up and spoke into, there was nothing else needed. The engineer was there to make sure the line was correctly installed and working. In a sense, of course, he or she still is: but these days, there's so much delicate stuff attached to and using that line that the telephone engineer is required to be an expert trouble shooter for computers, networks, mobile phones, pagers, voice mail systems and server or internet hosted private branch exchanges.

Let's use the example of the virtual private branch exchange, as it has the most applications attached to it. Telephone engineers, in order to understand and maintain a virtual private branch exchange (a virtual private branch exchange is a network hosted communications suite that uses a phone line to consolidate email, voice mail, phone calls and any other sort of comms a person can imagine) need to be fully qualified in IT. They have to be able to fix networks, route portions of a network and apply themselves with equal skill to problems arising in email accounts; domain names; servers; mobile phones; landline phones; conference calls; pagers; answering services: the lot. Telephone engineers also need to be able to get their heads around the segueing of all these technologies: a virtual private branch exchange, for example, can translate email or text messages into speech, and then re-translate speech back into text. That means one user can carry on a conversation entirely in email, sending and receiving written comments; while the other party in the conference replies by speaking over a phone. The voice of the second party is transcribed by the private branch exchange and delivered as email: the text from the first party is translated into speech and delivered as a voice.

That's only a simple example. Modern phone systems, and hence modern telephone engineers, have to be able to perform and maintain this kind of trickery across several conversations at once. Conference call management alone, when some members of a conference are using speech, while others write and all want a video hook up, is hard enough. Without this new breed of telephone engineer, who is a kind of techie savant, able to understand and fix pretty much any type of communications device or problem, there wouldn't be a business world.


Panasonic telephone systems, and their equivalents, are increasingly the centre of good business operations: which makes telephone engineers essential to continued success.

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