Evolving customer expectations, the rise of mobile devices and the drive toward digital business transformation leads to a simple conclusion: Companies must find ways to improve efficiency if they want to stay competitive.
One potential area for improvement? Your business phone system. Many organizations still rely on plain old telephone service to handle calls and make connections, despite the widening availability of reliable and robust cloud phone solutions.
Let’s dig into the top five benefits of cloud-based communications for your bottom line.
Communications in the Cloud
Cloud-based voice over IP (VoIP) solutions are enjoying significant market growth. Both startups and established vendors are now finding their niche as businesses look to capitalize on distributed communication technologies. But what exactly is a cloud phone system, and how does it differ from on-premises alternatives? How does it fit under the larger umbrella of unified communications?
Traditional telephone sytems are hardwired into buildings and offices; calls made are routed through a telecommunications provider that handles connections, quality of service and troubleshooting. VoIP technologies, meanwhile, convert telephone signals into standardized data packets that are then transmitted via the Internet. On-premises VoIP solutions use hardware installed on-site to route and handle all calls — improving the traditional model but leaving companies with hardware to maintain and upgrade.
Cloud-based communications take things a step further by removing the need for physical hardware. Companies can connect traditional desktop and mobile phones to the cloud-based VoIP network, and all communications traffic is routed through off-site cloud VoIP services. The caveat? You need a reliable Internet service provider (ISP) to ensure your last-mile data is quickly and efficiently sent to your VoIP provider.
Also worth a mention are unified communications (UC) solutions, which offer the ability to handle video and other multimedia sources in addition to voice-over-IP calls. The mechanism remains the same, with cloud VoIP services handling all communications regardless of type — unified communications simply expands the range of content available.
How can cloud-based VoIP boost your efficiency? The top five benefits include:
1. Improving integration
In a mobile-driven, always-connected market, legacy technologies are problematic for many organizations. The expertise and time required to maintain these systems and integrate them with new offerings is substantial, and in some cases legacy tools simply won’t work with advanced technologies.
Cloud communications replace existing phone systems and easily tie into CMS tools, ERP systems, collaboration platforms and any other technology your business requires day to day. And since cloud-based VoIP requires no hardware, there’s virtually no downtime during setup, reducing the impact of implementation and integration on business activity.
Rising costs can quickly sideline business initiative and frustrate efforts to improve efficiency. When it comes to traditional communication tools, costs often stem from long-term maintenance and replacement: Companies must budget for natural end-of-life and sudden failure, both of which demand significant capital expenditure.
The cost of cloud-based systems, meanwhile, is directly tied to use — all hardware maintenance and upgrading is handled at the provider end.
Mobility drives business success. In fact, a significant portion of users now leverage mobile as their primary method to communicate and collaborate across the web3. The result? You need a business phone system capable of easily integrating mobile devices and that goes with users, rather than forcing them to work from specific locations. Leveraging cloud-based VoIP means approved devices can connect anytime, anywhere with full system functionality wherever a secure Internet connection is available.
The benefit to your business efficiency? Time and distance don’t impact the speed and usability of your communications.
Just like cloud computing deployments, cloud communication solutions can be scaled on demand. What does this mean for your business? If you’re in the middle of expanding your business or handling a sudden boost in sales or marketing, cloud communications can keep pace without requiring new hardware installations or integration issues. New phones and devices can be quickly added to the system as needs ramp up, and quickly removed as required. This last point is critical — former employees with admin privileges can be easily removed from corporate systems to ensure data security.
Digital transformation is now essential for companies to succeed, but technology leaders often encounter resistance to this change from both staff and C-suite members familiar with existing communications technology and worried about the impact of new cloud services.
Advanced VoIP solutions, however, are not only feature-rich, but also futureproof — offering all the collaboration and connection tools users are familiar with in addition to integrating with popular marketing and customer relationship tools. Here, the key is communication with employees and the boardroom — showcasing both the advantages of VoIP and its minimally disruptive transition can help limit resistance and drive digital change.
Tired of struggling with traditional business communications? Consider a cloud phone system to boost business efficiency with improved integration, better cost and mobility control, scalable solutions and enhanced digital impact.