What Is A Cloud-Based (Hosted) Phone System and Is It Right For My Business?
The cloud (a.k.a ‘Hosted’)— we’ve all heard the buzzword but in the case of cloud-based phone systems, it’s not a new idea. It’s really another word to mean the Internet. A cloud-based phone system refers to a phone service where you can make calls, route inbound calls and provide features like virtual voicemail and call recording — all delivered through your Internet connection.
Your phone system essentially works through an application that sits out in the “cloud” and as a subscriber; you connect to it for a monthly fee. The phone system becomes a unified communications system and there are many benefits for your business — the biggest being that the technology is often at a fraction of the cost of traditional phone systems.
- Cloud-based phone system offers more features and less cost. It’s typically less expensive than a traditional solution because there are no upfront hardware costs. Cloud phone systems can offer savings in IT personnel and your provider also takes care of server configuration and maintenance. So how do you decide if it’s right for your company? Well, from small consulting companies to mid-sized corporations or large companies, a cloud phone system offers many advantages. The phones are physically in your office but the service is secure in the cloud so no matter where you are, it’s one solution that unifies your phones, fax, video, web and audio conferencing. This eliminates PBX hardware and wire-filled phone rooms and provides redundancy in the chance of bad weather or if your physical office is ever compromised. In case of emergency, the cloud system isn’t impacted so you can log in from anywhere and reroute your calls accordingly with little to no downtime.
- Still managed by your telecom experts. With a cloud-based approach, you can still rely on your telecom experts to configure your phone system such as add new lines, change your answering services or record a message played for all callers, all via an easy-to-use web interface, and even your smartphone. Changes you want to make for setup and customization like adding new offices take effect instantly. Cloud systems can also grow and contract with your business as you add new employees or locations. Think about how you want to grow in the next year or so. If you are expecting rapid growth or operate seasonally with employee base fluctuation, a cloud-based phone system can make a lot of sense as new users can be added or removed quite easily.
- Concentrate on growing business while cloud service handles IT concerns. A cloud-based system allows you to concentrate on what’s important —growing the business — while letting the cloud-based service handle the IT concerns like security, maintenance and support. The result can streamline your business workflow and cut down the need for in-house IT personnel and hardware.If your organization has a lot of remote employees, a cloud-based system makes it that much easier for them to work, access information and to collaborate online. Long distance and international calls are also typically lower.
We know choosing the right phone system is important to the success of your business. Choosing a cloud-based system for your business essentially comes down to the amount of control you would like to have and the specific needs of your business.