These days, the word “revolutionized” gets thrown around rather loosely. It’s used to describe everything from kitty litter, to air fresheners, to apps that can help find a lost TV remote control (OK, that’s pretty useful, but revolutionary?).
However, there are situations when labeling something revolutionized isn’t fluff and hype: it’s an honest, objective assessment because it has re-invented a concept and established a new category of excellence and expectation. And without question, one such scenario is cloud telephone systems.
Here are five ways that cloud telephone systems have revolutionized business communications:
1. Cloud Telephone Systems Enable Small Businesses to Look and Act Big
The remarkable affordability of cloud telephone systems — there are no (or in some cases minimal) up-front CapEx costs, no ongoing maintenance fees, and no domestic long distance charges, and no tech support costs — enables small businesses to look and act like large, established enterprises with advanced features like auto attendant, message/music on hold, live call transfer, and the list goes on. They can also affordably get local phone numbers in different geographic areas (e.g. a business based in Greensboro, NC can get a phone number that is local to Raleigh, NC), as well as toll-free numbers to expand their profile and footprint nationwide. As a result, small businesses can go up against the “big boys” in their marketplace and succeed vs. get crowded out and disappear.
2. Cloud Telephone Systems are Built to Support a Remote Workforce
In the distant past, remote working was the exception and typically limited to field sales reps and technical specialists. But these days, remote working is becoming the norm. Consider these statistics:
- By the end of 2020, 72% of the workforce will be partially or fully mobile. (Source: IDC)
- 55% of workers now work remotely full-time. (Source: AND CO)
- 90% of mobile workers plan on working remotely for the rest of their careers. (Source: Buffer)
- 48% of workers don’t think traditional offices will exist by 2021. (Source: com)
Cloud telephone systems make it easy, efficient and cost-effective for businesses of all sizes — including startups and small firms that do not have a brick-and-mortar head office — to deploy a remote workforce across the city, state, country or world. What’s more, cloud telephone systems support the seamless integration of existing mobile devices, which allows remote workers to be managed at a fraction of the cost of legacy hardware.
3. Cloud Telephone Systems Leverage Unified Communications (UC)
A conventional landline telephone system runs on a separate, distinct voice network — and usually lives in a closet in the back of the office that staff do not dare to enter. However, a cloud telephone system runs on the same network used to transmit data and connect to the public internet. In addition to immediate and dramatic cost savings, this convergence (voice+data on the same network) allows businesses to leverage a range of Unified Communication (UC) tools and features, such as desktop and room-based video conferencing, real-time presence, and instant messaging. This improves collaboration, customer service and compliance — all of which are vital for stability and success.
4. Cloud Telephone Systems Ensure Business Continuity
With a conventional landline telephone system, during a blackout or brownout businesses can find themselves unable to make or receive phone calls — which not only grinds productivity to a halt, but it can lead to customer churn and lasting reputation damage. After all, if a customer has an important question or significant problem, the last thing they want to hear upon calling is “We’re sorry, the number you have reached is out of service.” A cloud telephone system uses a geographically dispersed cloud infrastructure that automatically shifts operations to another part of the state or country that is unaffected by the power outage (and then automatically switches back when local power is restored). As a result of this built-in business continuity, workers remain productive and customers remain satisfied.
5. Cloud Telephone Systems Support Scalability
Even the most perceptive and visionary business owners and executives don’t have a crystal ball that reveals precisely how many phone lines they’ll need in the future. A surge in demand or an opportunity to expand into new markets could trigger the need for 100 new numbers to support temporary and full-time staff. With a conventional landline telephone system, adding new lines is excessively — and for many smaller businesses, prohibitively — expensive. It can also take weeks or months for installation to be completed. But with a cloud telephone system, adding 1, 100 or 1000+ phone numbers isn’t an obstacle. Businesses simply add the number of “seats” they need based on current staffing levels and capacity needs. It’s affordable, fast, and since everything is managed in the cloud there are no physical lines to install and configure.