A cloud phone system is one based on Voice over IP (VoIP) technology. Rather than operating like a standard business phone system, the platform is actually hosted by a third-party. Many businesses are moving to this type of phone system because of the increased security, lower cost and ease of use. There’s also plenty of other features to get excited about.
Here’s everything you need to know about cloud phone systems.
How is it different to other business phone systems?
Even though VoIP technology has been around since the 1990’s, businesses used to run their own phone systems. While it was great to have different extensions for staff and connect the team together, business phone systems were often more complex than they had to be.
Smaller businesses could simply use telephone software, but larger businesses looking to run their own systems would experience significant IT costs. Not just for installation, but also for ongoing management of the system.
Cloud phone systems however, are hosted online by a third-party provider. These systems may also be known as Cloud VoIP, Hosted PBX or Hosted VoIP. Think of it like the software programs you use. Take Microsoft Office for example. You used to store the program and your data on a physical server in your building. Now, the software is hosted online and you just buy licenses for the number of staff you have.
Why choose a cloud phone system?
There are plenty of reasons to consider a cloud-based phone system. Importantly, many other business tools and systems are now heading in the same direction. Businesses are reducing overheads, saving time and increasing security by moving their systems to the cloud. So, the logical step is to also manage your phones in the same way.
When you consider all the expenses involved in hosting your own phone system, cloud-based phone systems becomes very appealing. Firstly, you don’t have the initial setup costs of purchasing the server and other services required. But furthermore, you won’t need to spend money on IT specialists to configure your system, upgrade it, or monitor security.As a long-term business communication solution, cloud phone systems are easily the most cost-effective way to go.
Easier to manage
When you host your own phone system, there’s a lot of maintenance required. Even if you employ a dedicated team of IT professionals, their time is certainly better spent on business improvements rather than endless phone configurations.
Cloud-based phone systems allow designated staff to simply set up phones and phone numbers for new staff. It’s so easy that you don’t need any specific IT skill to do it. In addition, if something goes wrong, your provider is there for support.
The phone system grows with your business
Scalability is important in all parts of your business and the phone system is no exception. This is exactly why cloud software programs are so popular. If you have a new staff member join, you simply pay for an additional license. It’s a similar situation with phones.
These systems also allow users to register their phones from anywhere. This is hugely beneficial for workplaces with remote-working employees, or those who plan to in future. It’s also a lot cheaper than paying for staff members’ phone bills.
More features and flexibility
Every business should be looking for features and flexibility in their systems. Why? Because this usually translates to a better way of working, more efficiency, and higher productivity. Cloud phone systems offer heaps of integration options that can make running your business easier.
For example, integration with your CRM, or web-based apps allowing users to log in from anywhere. It also allows easy access to services such as third-party online video conferencing platforms.
Security is a big consideration for everyone, and like anything that takes place over the internet, there are always risks. VoIP phone systems can be hacked, meaning unscrupulous people are using your resources and money to do whatever they do. In the days of hosting your own VoIP system, you would be responsible for ensuring security, and this comes at a cost.
In the competitive market of cloud phone systems, providers are always looking to deliver the best and safest product. They’re in control of the security and continually investing in improvements. Those improvements keep you safe, without the hassle or costs to time and budget..
Choose the right phone system for your needs
Every business is different, and will have different needs from their phone system. Budget is also a concern, but fortunately there will almost always be a provider to suit your budget. Once you’ve narrowed it down based on costs and suitable services,, online reviews and testimonials are a great source of information to ensure your provider is reputable. Also, 24/7 support should be standard, to make sure your phone system isn’t compromised any more than it needs to be should any issues arise.
Find the right cloud phone system for you, and you’ll never look back to the time-consuming, expensive ways of the past!