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The Complete Guide to Using a Cloud-Based Phone Service

The ability to communicate anywhere at any time is no longer a bonus feature for your business; it’s a necessity. A cloud-based phone service provides this accessibility and other vital benefits.

Numerous companies have already implemented these cloud phone systems to gain a competitive edge. In fact, the number of cloud business lines grew sevenfold in less than a decade, and experts foresee further adoption by small and medium-sized businesses.

You could hold your company back by delaying a move to the cloud. Read this guide about cloud phone systems to make the best decision for your team.

Key Takeaways:

  • A cloud-based phone service allows voice calls and other communications across high-speed internet for better quality and reliability than traditional phone systems.
  • Cloud phones offer several benefits for businesses, including additional cost savings, mobility, flexibility, continuity, and security.
  • Cloud-based phone services are not all equal, so you must find a provider that offers essential features.

How a Cloud-Based Phone Service Compares to Traditional Phone Lines

Calls over copper or fiber-optic telephone lines use an older technology that can only transfer limited information. The signal grows weaker with distance and permits excessive noise interference.

A cloud-based phone service sends communications over high-speed internet. This superior connection allows contact through voice, video, text, and email.

Cloud-based system users can employ various smart devices to make calls and connections instead of relying only on phones. Plus, cloud systems can store data for retrieval, meaning users can easily access details from calls and communications later.

Benefits of a Cloud-Based Phone Service

Cloud phone services can enhance every aspect of your business. Consider the following advantages.

Cloud-Based Phone Services Offer Superior Mobility

Phone systems can either live in the cloud or reside on-premises. However, you face additional challenges with on-premises solutions, even if they use Voice over Internet Protocol. 

For example, accessing your in-office lines outside of the physical branch is highly complex, if even possible. Such difficulties limit the modern hybrid workforce.

A cloud-based phone service ensures complete mobility. Your team members can access the solution via an app on their desktops or mobile devices. 

Workers can also use high-quality desk phones. In all cases, a cloud phone system provides a consistent experience inside and outside the office.

The Cloud Saves You Money and Future-Proofs Your Phones

Technology expenses are usually a big part of operational budgets. If you’re using on-premises exchanges, that figure will include the hardware, maintenance, and other fees. 

Using a cloud-based phone service is more cost-effective. Your monthly cost remains the same and requires no capital expenditures, simplifying your budget.

In turn, you’ll continue to save because cloud-based phones work for you today and tomorrow. You don’t have to upgrade equipment constantly because your provider manages the solution.

The Cloud Offers Easy Setup and Flexible Scaling

Another consideration for your phone system is how easy it is to set up as well as add new users or change configurations. Complex onboarding and reconfiguring are inefficient. A skilled cloud phone provider helps you install and adjust things in record time.

Further, scaling without the cloud is expensive. A cloud-based phone service offers the flexibility to self-manage as your user base grows or changes.

Using the Cloud Enables You To Grow Your Talent Pool

As your company expands, recruiting talent only from your metro area could be challenging. Additionally, more workers want to have autonomy and work remotely.

With cloud communications, people can work from wherever and access the same tools to do their jobs effectively. A cloud phone service gives you the competitive advantage to seek talent throughout the country or world.

Cloud Phones Are Feature-Rich

Another reason to consider a cloud-based phone service is its abundant features. Legacy phones can’t compare. You’ll appreciate advanced functionality such as:

  • Virtual voicemail: Voicemail transcription alerts go to phone or text. Thus, users can immediately take action.
  • Call analytics: You can track the usage and performance of customer-facing agents, like sales and support teams. With data-centric reports, you can identify key insights to improve interactions.
  • Spam caller protection: Annoying spam calls cut your productivity. With spam protection, your system can block these nuisances.
  • Advanced Interactive Voice Response: Customize IVR to fit your specific needs for routing calls and optimizing customer experiences. With an easy-to-use interface, you can adjust workflows as necessary.

These features have become modern essentials that you don’t want to forego. Providers that offer these capabilities and more help you remain competitive.

Business Continuity Is Easier in the Cloud

No business wants to encounter downtime with communications. Going dark can erode customer confidence and cost you money. 

The cloud helps ensure business continuity. Should a disaster shut down power, you can still make and receive phone calls on mobile devices.

Video Embed: Beware the Legion of Downtime

Quality and Reliability Remain Constant With Cloud-Based Phone Service

Some businesses have the misconception that a cloud-based phone service can’t provide quality and reliability. In reality, many organizations see an uptick in these benefits when migrating from traditional analog phones.

Keep in mind that not all cloud phone systems are equal in these respects. You’ll need to ask the right questions and check a provider’s annual estimated downtime. The minimum you should consider is one with 99.999% uptime.

Also, the sound quality is higher for cloud systems due to high-speed connections with high-definition capabilities. That applies across devices; a call on a mobile versus a desk phone won’t have quality variations.

Cloud Phone Platforms Are Secure

Another concern about using a cloud-based phone service is that it would be less secure than other options. That’s not true. 

Again, not all cloud services are equal, so you need to investigate their security protocols. Look for SOC 3 and regulatory compliance

You’ll also want to inquire about endpoint protection, backups, infrastructure security, and data privacy protocols. You can be confident in the cloud when you know cybersecurity best practices are in place.

Ready To Move Your Phone System to the Cloud?

Cloud-based phone services offer flexibility, mobility, and reliability. You can also reduce costs, improve the quality of calls, and boost productivity. 

Now is the time to upgrade to ensure your company can grow and flourish. Find all these cloud-based phone service features and much more by touring Intermedia Unite, the ultimate unified communications platform that modernizes business communications.

About Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Program Manager of Digital Content and Strategy at Intermedia