Just how dominant has the cloud become across the business landscape? Here are some statistics that confirm beyond any doubt that the on-demand delivery of computer power, database storage, apps, and other IT resources through the cloud is here to stay, and will continue shaping and transforming the future of work for years to come:
- 83% of workload will be in the cloud by 2020. (Source: LogicMonitor)
- 85% of enterprises keep sensitive data in the cloud. (Source: Vormetric)
- 74% of Tech CFO’s say that cloud computing had the most measurable impact on their business in 2017. (Source: Forbes)
- Spending on cloud computing is projected to grow more than 6x the rate of IT spending through 2020. (Source: IDC)
- Total worldwide revenue for cloud computing solutions is approaching $250 billion, and is rising at a rate of 18% annually. (Source: Gartner)
It would be difficult — if not impossible — to find a business that isn’t using the cloud for some purpose or function, such as email, file storage, data backup and recovery, productivity tools (e.g. Office 365, Google Docs), and of course social networking through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
However, there are still some businesses that haven’t upgraded their phone system to the cloud — typically because they do not yet know it is a smart and proven option for 12 key reasons:
- COST SAVING: A cloud telephone system dramatically reduces up-front CapEx costs. In most cases, all that businesses need to purchase are affordable IP phones for their staff. All voice and video communications use the existing data network (i.e. the one the business uses each day for email and accessing the web).
- FLEXIBILITY: A cloud phone system is agile and scalable, and businesses can increase capacity (i.e. add lines) as they grow. They can also easily transfer numbers to different locations simply by plugging in their IP phones. There is no need for technicians to come on-site, or to dig and lay cable.
- COST CONTROL: A cloud telephone system comes with fixed “no surprise” pricing, which makes it easy to plan and control budgets. Conversely, conventional on-premise phone systems are notorious for tacking on a slew of unpredictable fees that can run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars a month — and all without warning.
- MORE CHOICE: A cloud telephone system gives businesses the freedom and flexibility to choose hardware (e.g. IP phones, managed routers, switches, etc.) from a large pool of vendors. This is not the case with a conventional phone system, as businesses are typically forced to accept proprietary equipment from a limited number of vendors — and in many cases, a single vendor. Naturally, this lack of competition drives up profit for vendors, and drives up prices for businesses who are forced buy.
- ADVANCED FEATURES: A cloud telephone system leverages unified communications (UC) to give businesses a range of enterprise-grade calling features that are either not supported by conventional landline system companies, or come with a very hefty price tag and are therefore out of range for most small and mid-sized businesses. Some popular enterprise-grade calling features include: voicemail-to-email, voicemail-to-text, auto attendant, music on hold, live call transfer, video conferencing, and more.
- FUTURE-PROOFED: A cloud telephone system is a future-proofed investment, and businesses don’t have to worry about their PBX or other telecommunications hardware becoming obsolete and needing to be replaced every few years, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. The cost and responsibility for updating and upgrading the phone system, applying all fixes and innovations, and taking care of all technical support lies with the solutions provider — not the business.
- BUSINESS CONTINUITY: A cloud telephone system leverages a geographically dispersed cloud infrastructure to stay online and operational during a local power outage. As such, businesses can continue making and receiving calls through their smartphones and tablets, as well as forward calls to other locations by logging into a web-based dashboard from anywhere in the world, and through any computer or device.
- REMOTE WORKERS: A cloud telephone system is ideal for supporting remote workers who may be working from home, at a satellite location, are constantly on the road or visiting customers. These workers simply launch an app on their smartphone or their PC (i.e. softphone), and can send/receive calls, as well as chat with and check the status of their colleagues. What’s more, when remote workers make outgoing calls, the business’s name/number shows up on the recipient’s caller ID — not the remote worker’s name/number.
- INNOVATIONS: A cloud telephone system ensures that all businesses get the latest, best innovations. This is not the case with conventional phone systems, where carriers typically reserve the latest advances for new or high-profile customers only. Loyal customers who have been with them for years must wait in a long line, and it could be several months or years before they have access to new tools and features — and even then, it will likely come with a steep price tag.
- CALL CENTER: A cloud telephone system supports call center functionality, but without the high — and for many businesses, prohibitive — operational costs of setting up and running a separate physical call center. This significantly improves responsiveness and customer experience, which are critical for retaining loyal, profitable customers and cultivating them into brand ambassadors.
- IMPLEMENTATION: Implementing a cloud telephone system is straightforward and streamlined, and can be done in stages to minimize or eliminate disruption to staff or customers. Since the system runs on a business’s existing data network infrastructure, there is no digging or laying cable involved.
- SECURE & RELIABLE: A cloud telephone system is highly secure, employs a range of anti-fraud technologies and tools, and features a guaranteed 99.99% uptime standard. It also supports E911 calling for emergencies to keep employees and customers safe.
The Bottom Line
Businesses that have elevated their phone system to the cloud are not asking “why are we using the cloud for this?”, but instead they are wondering “how did we ever manage before?”