18 Nov How to Choose a Cloud-Based Phone Service for Your Business
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.
One of the most widely-used cloud services today is a cloud-based telephone. Whether it’s long-distance calling solutions or focusing solely on local service support, there are many options to pick from when it comes to choosing the ideal cloud-based telephone service for your business. In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the top criteria to focus on.
Cloud-based solutions have given us the opportunity 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 have 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.
A 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 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.
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-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 scaleable 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 them directly (336) 544-4000 to see if they can meet your needs. As every service is different, it’s crucial that you 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.