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The Complete Guide to Cloud-Based Phone Systems

Being able to communicate anywhere at any time is no longer a nice-to-have for businesses; it’s a necessity. Cloud-based phone systems provide this accessibility and so many other benefits. If you’re contemplating a switch to the cloud, you’ll want to read this guide so you can make the best decision for your team.

Cloud Phone Systems vs. On-Premises

Phone systems can either live in the cloud or reside on-premises. With on-premises solutions, you face many challenges, even if they use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). The phones are only usable while at the location. Access to this outside of your physical space is highly complex with forwarding, if even possible. It just doesn’t deliver what the modern hybrid workforce needs.

Phone systems in the cloud ensure complete mobility. Your team can access the solution via an app on their desktop or mobile device. They can also use desk phones. The quality and reliability are the same across applications, as the phones use the internet.

The Cloud Saves You Money and Future-Proofs Your Phones

Every business wants to reduce costs. Technology expenses are usually a big part of operational budgets. If you’re using on-premises phones, that number will include the hardware, maintenance, and other fees. Whereas the cloud is more cost-effective.

It’s a monthly cost that remains the same and requires no capital expenditures. It makes budgeting much easier.

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

The Cloud Offers Flexible Scaling

Another consideration for your phone system is how easy it is to add new users or change configurations. If it’s complex and requires lots of steps, that’s not efficient. Further, scaling without the cloud is expensive. The cloud offers flexibility to self-manage as your user base grows or changes.

Using the Cloud Enables You to Grow Your Talent Pool

With cloud communications, people can work from wherever and access all the same tools. As your company expands, recruiting talent only from your metro area could be challenging. Additionally, more workers want to have autonomy and work remotely.

Having cloud-based phones gives you a competitive advantage. You can seek talent throughout the country or world. Those remote employees will also have the communication tools to do their job effectively. If your phone system locks you into one location, you could miss out on talented applicants.

Cloud Phones Are Feature Rich

Why else should you consider the cloud? The features of such a solution make all the difference. Legacy phones can’t compare. Some of the functionality you’ll appreciate include:

  • Virtual voicemail: Voicemail transcription alerts go to phone or text, so users can immediately take action.
  • Call analytics: You can track the usage and performance of those that are customer-facing, like sales teams and customer support. With data-centric reports, you can identify key insights to improve these interactions.
  • Spam caller protection: Businesses get spam calls just like individuals. They can be a nuisance, but with spam protection, the system can block these calls.
  • Advanced IVR (interactive voice response): Customize IVR to fit your specific needs to route calls. By creating these workflows, you can optimize customer experiences. With easy IVR in cloud phone platforms, you can easily adjust it as necessary.

Business Continuity Is Easier in the Cloud

No business wants to encounter downtime with communications. It can erode customer confidence and cost you money. The cloud helps ensure business continuity. Should a disaster occur that shuts down power, you’ll still be able to make and receive phone calls on mobile devices.

Quality and Reliability Remain Constant with Cloud Phone Systems

Some businesses may have the misconception that the cloud can’t provide the quality and reliability they require. The reality is that many organizations see an uptick in this when migrating from traditional phones that use analog technology.

Now, not all cloud phone systems are equal in quality and reliability. You’ll need to ask questions about this and understand a provider’s annual estimated downtime. The minimum you should consider is one with 99.999 percent uptime.

The quality of the sound is higher for cloud systems as well. And that applies across devices. A call on a mobile device versus a desk phone won’t have quality variations.

Cloud Phone Platforms Are Secure, Too

Another concern about the cloud is that it’s less secure than other options. That’s not true. Again, not all clouds are equal, so you’ll 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. You’ll gain peace of mind that the cloud is a safe, stable place for your phone system.

Ready to Move Your Phone System to the Cloud?

Cloud-based phone systems offer flexibility, mobility, and reliability. You can also reduce costs and improve the quality of calls. Plus, your team can be more productive with anytime access. Now is the time to upgrade to ensure your company can grow and flourish.

Find all these features and much more by taking a tour of Intermedia Unite, the unified communications platform designed to modernize business communications.

About Kirsten Barta

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