Cloud services have drastically changed the modern business landscape. With easy access to business-critical services over the internet, it’s made running your company cost less and more accessible. However, choosing the right services can be quite a challenge, especially with the overwhelming number of choices available.
Cloud-Based Phone System: Pros and Cons
A cloud-based phone system, also known as a cloud PBX system, offers numerous advantages for businesses. These systems utilize the internet to make and receive calls, rather than relying on traditional phone lines. Here are some pros and cons of using a cloud phone system.
Cloud-based systems eliminate the need for expensive hardware and reduce maintenance costs associated with traditional phone systems. In addition, with cloud-based systems, you don’t need to worry about long-distance charges as all calls route through the internet. Switching to a cloud-based PBX system typically saves anywhere from 30% – 50% in costs. Allowing your staff to work remotely, means you can cut down on office space. That helps the bottom line for business owners.
Cloud-based phone systems offer greater flexibility than traditional systems. You can quickly and easily scale up or down depending on your business’s needs. Cloud-based systems also enable you to manage your system remotely and from any location with an internet connection. Employees can use desk IP phones, smartphone apps, or virtual phones on a laptop or desktop computer.
A cloud-based phone system typically includes a wide range of useful features and no additional cost. Features like auto-attendant, call routing, time-of-day, and other basic features allow you to streamline your business. Additional advanced features such as voicemail transcription and tools are a must. Just be sure you aren’t nickel and dimed with a bunch of hidden charges.
As with any online service, there are security risks associated with cloud-based services. Take these risks into consideration when selecting a vendor or VoIP provider for your service. It’s important that the provider is reliable and has strong security protocols in place.
The reliability of a cloud phone service depends heavily on the quality of your internet connection. If your connection is unreliable or slow, it could lead to poor call quality and dropped calls, which can hurt customer experience and satisfaction. Make sure your phone system provider has a plan in place to update software and prepare for power outages or other disasters. It is vital to make sure any cloud phone system you choose has a geo-redundant plan in place.
Determine Your Needs
Before choosing a cloud-based phone system for your business, it’s important to determine exactly what features you need from the service. Consider factors such as cost, scalability, portability, reliability, compatibility with other services/applications and security protocols, etc.
Once you know what features you need in a cloud PBX system, start researching vendors who offer those features at a competitive price point. Look at reviews from other businesses that use the same vendor and compare pricing models across multiple providers to get the best deal for your business needs.
Test Out Different Services
Once you’ve narrowed down your options based on research and cost comparisons, it’s time to test out different services before committing to one vendor/provider for your business’s phone system needs. Sign up for free trials of each one so that you can make sure that their features work as advertised before making any long-term commitments or investments in hardware etc.
These systems are hosted in the cloud, meaning they are not affected by physical damages or outages in the same way as traditional phone lines.
Cloud-based phone systems offer a wide range of advanced calling features such as video conferencing, international calling, team messaging, and collaboration tools, improving communication and productivity for remote teams.
With cloud-based systems, businesses can easily add or remove phone lines as their needs change, without the hassle of physical installations and upgrades. Your VoIP provider should make it easy for you you to reconfigure your system to meet current business demands.
Cloud-based phone systems allow users to make and receive calls from anywhere using their mobile phones or devices, eliminating the need for desk phones.
Cloud-based solutions have allowed us to make our businesses mobile. This means that employees can work from home or even in another country while remaining productive. Whether it’s keeping in touch with your mobile employees or giving them the tools to work regardless of their location, it’s a good idea to focus on mobility with the cloud-based telephone service that you choose.
You’ll want to ensure that your chosen cloud-based telephone service supports services such as a mobile app for your iPhone or Android smartphone, find me/follow me, a tool that allows you to call forward to your cell or another number if you are out of the office. Click-to-call is another useful feature that allows you to dial numbers on your computer with a simple click. Softphones (software telephone) are also great if you and your employees make ample use of laptops and mobile devices.
Local service provider means that your company can have a strong presence in different parts of the country or even the world. For example, if you’re a North Carolina-based business, then you’ll want to search for a partnership that offers local services in North Carolina. A cloud-based telephone provider should offer you the option to select specific rate centers to give your customers local calling rates. Unlimited calling plans are offered by many providers, but read the small print to see if they have soft limits on the number of minutes per user, limit the number of call paths, or don’t allow conference calling.
Make sure you contact the cloud-based telephone service you have in mind and ask them if it’s possible to select your phone number. This can be especially important if you are looking for a specific number that might spell your business name or service. The process involved may also differ depending on the service. For example, some services force you to pick your phone number for a random batch when you sign up, while others will work with you to find the perfect number for your business.
Service Setup Most cloud-based services can be set up within minutes, offering your business a quick and effective way to take advantage of specific services. However, configuring a phone system can be challenging, and, depending on the approach the cloud-based telephone service takes, you may find that it’s not as simple as other cloud-based services.
Luckily, most reputable cloud-based telephone services have intuitive setup processes. They’ll offer all of the basic elements, such as routing options and phone extensions, through simple guided menus. Setting up these services and adding users should be simple, so if there’s a long process or wait time to change any of these solutions, it may be troublesome further down the line when you need to make adjustments.
Future Plans Future-proofing is also an important consideration when it comes to choosing the right cloud-based telephone service. The last thing you want is to struggle in the future due to a lack of flexible or scalable options offered by your current provider. So here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- If you need more control and features in the future, will you need to switch to an on-premise solution later in the future?
- Does the provider also offer an on-premises telephone solution that can easily be merged with your existing cloud-based telephone solution?
- How much training is required if you decide to change from your cloud-based telephone solution to an on-premise one later in the future?
- How much does the functionality change, if at all, if you decide to switch to an on-premise solution?
- How easy is it to change phones and devices with your cloud provider?
As you can see, picking the right partner for your cloud-based telephone service needs can be tricky. It’s a good idea to look at reputable companies such as Carolina Digital Phone and contact us directly at (336) 544-4000 to see if they can meet your needs. As every service is different, you must speak to them at an early stage to see if they’re a suitable candidate to form a long-lasting relationship with for your cloud-based telephone service needs