What Is Cloud Communications?
With cloud communications, your users can connect with co-workers and customers from anywhere. It doesn’t matter if your team is in the office, at home, or on the go – they can still be productive when you have the right cloud-based communications tools.
Essentially, cloud communications is the technology your business needs to function as a work-from-wherever organization.
But, before you adopt any new technology, you need to understand what it is and how it can benefit your company. To help you decide if cloud communications is right for you, we’re covering everything you need to know about this technology.
Cloud Communications Defined
Cloud communications refers to communications technology that uses the internet to send and receive data. Whether your users are offering customer support over the phone, participating in a video conference, or sharing files with one another, everything happens through an internet connection.
The software for your communications technology is hosted in the cloud. That means your business doesn’t have to buy and maintain hardware to run applications. There’s also no need for physical phone lines in your office, so you don’t need to pay PSTN (public switched telephone network) calling costs – in fact, with internet calling, small businesses generally save hundreds of dollars every month on calling costs.
Because cloud communications are hosted on off-site servers and managed by your cloud provider, it’s also easier for you to customize your communications technology stack to revolve around your business’s needs. You can adopt additional cloud-based software, integrate your communications technology with other business apps, and add or remove users easily.
Why Are Businesses Shifting to the Cloud?
The cloud offers advantages that are helping businesses across industries be more flexible and efficient. With the cloud, businesses can:
- Lower IT and phone costs
- Enhance productivity
- Reduce security risks
- Enable employees to work remotely
According to research by McKinsey, most enterprises plan to spend 80 percent of their IT hosting budget on cloud services by 2024. Part of the reason for this pivot toward massive cloud adoption is the pandemic – while COVID-19 shut down a lot of companies, it also taught the business world that operations can continue when you have the technology in place to enable remote work.
Another driver is the estimated $1 trillion in business value that cloud adoption can unlock. Because software is hosted in the cloud, businesses of all sizes can access enterprise-level technology and near limitless scaling capabilities.
Not only does this make faster development and more seamless innovation possible, but being a cloud-first company is also becoming a prerequisite for being competitive.
Basically, if your business isn’t tapping into the advantages of cloud technology, but your competitors are, you’re going to get left behind.
3 Cloud Communications Solutions for Small Businesses
You can use cloud technology for voice, video conferencing, instant messaging, file and document sharing, and contact center communications.
If your business simply wants a cloud-based phone solution, you can use VoIP. For a comprehensive solution, consider UCaaS and CCaaS. Let’s look at what each of these cloud communications solutions brings to the table.
1. VoIP or Cloud Phones
For cloud phone services, your business can switch to VoIP technology – or voice over internet protocol. With VoIP, your business only needs an internet connection to make phone calls.
VoIP phone systems are also known as cloud or hosted phone systems because the software is hosted in the cloud. To use your VoIP solution, your employees simply need to download an app to their device and they can make and receive phone calls whenever they have an internet connection.
If your business uses other communications tools, such as video conferencing and chat messaging, you can adopt a cloud-based solution that combines VoIP technology with other types of cloud communication tools. UCaaS, or unified communications as a service, brings together all the important tools you need to facilitate communication and collaboration.
UCaaS comes with voice, video conferencing, chat, and file sharing. With an all-in-one solution, your users can be more productive, and you can simplify your communications technology stack.
UCaaS is for internal communications. If your business needs a cloud-based solution that will handle all of your customer support communications, you’ll need a contact center solution too.
CCaaS, or contact center as a service, is a cloud communications solution that comes with all the features and tools your contact center agents need to handle customer calls. Even better, when you adopt a contact center solution that works with your UCaaS, you can offer a modern customer experience that allows your customers to contact your business through their preferred channels, whether they want to use voice, email, or chat.
You’ll also have access to data and reporting features that let you track the quality of customer interactions, spot trends, and identify ways to improve the customer experience.
Make Your Business More Flexible with Cloud Communications
With cloud-based communications technology, your business can save on office costs, reduce your IT burden, and increase flexibility, scalability, and agility. Employees can work from anywhere. Decision-makers can access useful data insights. And, your business has what it needs to offer a better customer experience.
To get started with the cloud, explore Intermedia’s cloud communications solutions. With unified communications, contact center software, file management, and more, you can get everything your business needs to stay productive. Learn more about how Intermedia cloud communications can help your business.