A cloud telephone system may sound confusing to the uninitiated. All this means is that your business uses the internet to make phone calls, which have typically made over analog platforms.
Consider your current business circumstances to evaluate whether you’re due to upgrade your technology. Weigh the different features and benefits of cloud telephony against outdated copper wire PBX phones.
Evaluate your present business needs against the costs and maintenance of analog, and then compare these elements to digital cloud phone communications.
We’ll show you the advantages and disadvantages of making this move, so you can make an informed decision about whether it is beneficial for your business to make changes now, or later.
Cloud telecom system terminology
Cloud telecom systems have become a buzz word in this industry. Simply stated – these are telephone systems that use the cloud (or the internet) to communicate. Whereas conventional phone systems worked on an analog basis, cloud telecoms work on a digital basis.
Other terms that may sound familiar, are Virtual PBX, VOIP, internet calling, hosted VOIP, or internet constructed telephonic system.
What is great about this new system is its many features in excess of conventional phones. The user connects this phone system via the internet at a regular monthly fee. According to Nextiva, the popularity of these business phone services is increasing in response to the low costs, and because of additional features that traditional phones don’t offer.
How do hosted phone systems actually work?
Not everyone is in the know about this new trend, so it’s normal to ask how this hosted phone system operates.
Because a secure external data center is used, no on-site maintenance is needed, which is a major cost-saving.
Hosted phone services are basically software that you install on your systems. The software needs an internet connection to work, and acts as a virtual phone on your computer.
Cloud phones or systems of internet phones are compatible with other equipment. A conventional phone can be transformed into a cloud phone with an adapter. VoIP-compatible phones, appropriate software or apps for smartphones are all optimized for use with a cloud-based telecom system.
Why should your business consider changing to a cloud-based telecom system?
Conventional analog phones and private branch exchange or PBX systems are quickly becoming outdated. Copper wire phone lines with on-site PBX connections and internal extensions entail a lot of maintenance – and are costly.
Small and medium-sized businesses can leverage extensive cost savings by switching to internet phone systems. Some figures estimate that these savings run as high as 40 percent for local calls. International savings on calls can go up as high as 90 percent.
Switching to cloud telephony will only be viable if your internet connection is reliable. Your current equipment compatibility needs to be established. If you have a decent amount of digital telephones than you have strong foundation.
Internet phones use cloud storage. While hosting may be touted as secure, privacy risks do exist due to third-party router and server equipment.
Where intense security is not much of an issue, the internet telephone system delivers flexibility, extensive geographical connectivity, beneficial features, and reduced maintenance.
Compare the costs of your current phone system with that of cloud telephony. Weigh the features of your present system against that of a new one. Think about the compatibility of your old system moving forward, and how much it will cost to replace in the future if left for too long.
When weighed against contemporary technology, old PBX phone systems just don’t offer the same benefits or features of internet phone systems.
What internet phone system features will benefit your business?
Cloud phone system vendors will offer various packages catering to different business interests, which you can compare cloud phone systems to find the one that’s right for you..
Common features are:
- Caller ID. This feature is self-explanatory and is one that most are familiar with. The number of the caller will be reflected on the phone screen. Benefits of this feature include call prioritization and info on which calls may safely be blocked.
- Online management. This is a useful business feature because the administrator can make changes to adjust to business needs. Team calling features, adding users, setting up ring groups, call-forwarding, directory and call data access, and voicemail are just some of the manageable features on internet phone systems.
- Voicemail. This is always a welcome feature, enabling users to better manage their time with respect to missed calls and messages.
- Don’t disturb feature. Another handy feature that silently sends your incoming calls to voicemail.
- Call forward. Set your phone up so that calls are forwarded to a different number.
- Voicemail transformed into text. Incoming voice calls are transformed into text and email for convenient manageability.
- Messaging, Calling and Video. Multiple users can collaborate simultaneously on one phone call by sharing screens, files, and on-screen conferences. Document edits can also be shared in a similar manner in this team collaboration process.
- Ring groups. Team groups can be created so that anyone in that team can answer calls from a specific group.
- Automated attendant. This is artificial intelligence at its best. This feature acts as a live receptionist by transferring calls internally at the caller’s request.
- Standardized comms. A communication platform for real-time events. This feature aids the centralization of CRM, and other functions that augment business performance.
Advantages of cloud telephony organization
A multitude of benefits are associated with internet telecoms.
– users can anticipate substantial cost savings.
– useful business features are included with the package.
– flexible in relation to easy administration, installation, and future growth.
– scalability that excludes massive costs, labor, and inconvenience.
– mobility linked with telecommuting and apps.
– disaster management features in that data is recoverable, the system is resilient, and it is reliable.
– uniformity is practically built in if a geographically distributed business wants a uniform system.
– this phone system is so reliable that it frees the IT staff component to concentrate on core issues.
– ISO security standards demand intense security measures when dealing with client data, ensuring that your data is well protected, if not guaranteed against risk.
– cost recovery or time that it takes to recover the value of your investment in this system is lower than for conventional phone systems. Installation time is reduced, and IT implementation is minimized.
– compatible with most other modern equipment such as smartphones, landlines, fax machines, and others.
Additional benefits to be anticipated from internet telephony services
– flat fee subscription business model that provides full features and covers maintenance.
– worldwide reach and exceptionally portable across locations.
Disadvantages of cloud telephony systems
As with any old or new system, there are drawbacks. As wonderful as internet telephony is, it does have its own disadvantages, which every business needs to consider.
– a poor, unreliable, slow, unstable internet connection is the enemy of cloud telephony.
– latency and jitter issues can occur with inadequate equipment, including the physical internet connection, cables or routers.
– disruptions beyond your control or that of your service provider can cost your business.
– Always do your research before purchasing so that you can find the best plan that the company has to offer.
– limit disruptions and security concerns by bolstering your own software systems with comprehensive anti-virus protection.
– a steep learning curve can be met with resistance to progress.
– downtime of internet systems is unavoidable at times, although the same applies to analog or PBX systems. The upside is that data is stored with internet phone systems and is more easily stored, protected, and saved than with other systems.
– tracking of emergency calls may be restricted, which is a limitation for emergency services or related businesses.
– call quality may be affected when signal interference is present or when a time lag occurs between voice comms from mobile phones.