All businesses want to grow—but this comes with its own set of complicated challenges. An increase in size, be it assets, budget, employee numbers, or all of the above, means that internal systems must adapt, often becoming more technical and complex to accommodate the heavier load. Like with building a bridge, the bigger it is, the more potential points of weakness emerge. For your business, cost and complications comes with an increased need of applications and tools. To stay competitive and profitable, you will need to invest in the latest technology and programs as well as worthy talent—and all according to the (sometimes tight) budget laid out for these kinds of resources.
Cloud technology is increasingly becoming a means with which to achieve this end. Cloud-based services allow for company growth without the high costs expected, as the technology is issues as a service instead of an expensive up-front investment. Cloud phone systems, in particular, can be used to integrate applications into existing technology, allow for flexibility and scalability, allow for employee mobility—all while saving money.
Is your company ready to move to a cloud-based phone system? If you can check any of the boxes below, you are probably ready to make the switch.
□ IT Resources Are Needed For Core Business Initiatives
Smaller business might not have the flexibility to lend their IT teams to tinkering with difficult phone systems. The IT team might have to prioritize other task over installing and maintaining communication systems. Cloud-based phone systems alleviate this burden from your company’s IT team, leaving them open to address more pressing and critical issues. Your business no longer has to lose resources to expensive in-house tech experts, as maintaining and updating the cloud systems is the responsibility of the vendor.
□ Other Business Applications Have Already Been Moved to the Cloud
Has your company already moved customer relationship management protocol to cloud-based systems? The “Software as a Service” mentality has grown exponentially over the years—and is continuing to do so. Cowen & Company estimates that 77% of enterprises currently use cloud-based services and that number is only increasing. If you are already using cloud-based services for parts of your business processes, you can make the most out of this investment by including cloud-based communication. Productivity will be enhanced by the unification of all communications platforms and instant access to customer data will improve the experience for customers and employees alike.
□ You Rely On an Off-Site Workforce
It is increasingly common to have employees working remotely or working during travel. Staff can be found working from home or satellite offices or on planes and from hotel rooms. There are already so many challenges to working on the go—don’t make communications systems and business alienated applications part of the problem. A cloud-based system can increase the ease of work and level of productivity by maintaining a unified system, available for any work location. If you are feeling disjointed due to a scattered workforce, maybe it’s time to upgrade to a system that accounts for that.
□ Business Growth Has (or Intends to) Increase
Adjusting for business growth can be a challenge. You don’t want these opportunities to slip away from you because you don’t have processes and resources in place to handle the increased work load. You also need reliable people and tools to keep up with growth and expansion. Flexibility is absolutely vital during times of change. Cloud phone systems make it easy to add and subtract services, including new branch offices, without causing too much disruption.
□ Budgets Are Tight
It is important to keep cost in mind when looking into the future plans of your business initiatives. So many factors can upset your budget, including many of the considerations mentioned above. Using services that are reliable and grounded can help when your budget may be a bit inflexible. The cost advantages in switching to cloud-based phone systems will impact up-front costs and manageable, predictable subscription services—taking away the unpredictability of these factors and assuring you are only paying for what you need.
If you checked any of the above boxes, it might be time for your business to move to a cloud-based communications system. In order to stay competitive, make sure you are an early adopter of cloud-based technologies in your industry. Be a leader, not a follower.
Deciphering “Tech Talk” by Understanding Cloud Phones, PBX, VoIP, and UC
Legacy phone systems are increasingly being uprooted in favour of cloud-based technologies. Unified communications, IP telephony, and collaboration market have been integrated by a massive number of companies, according to consulting firm Frost & Sullivan; the firm also notes that up to 41.9 million users will switch to these systems by 2021 in North America alone.
Understanding cloud-based phone systems can be tough when you are faced with unfamiliar terms: cloud phone systems, VoIP, UC, PBX. These clusters of letters don’t have to overwhelm you; instead, keep reading to get an overview of what these acronyms mean and how they can help your business.
Cloud Phone Systems, or “software as a service” (SaaS), allow for hosting communications systems through the cloud, offering many advantages and flexible services. IT costs and other expenses are often lessened for the company using cloud phone services and vendors/service providers take on the responsibility for managing, maintaining, and upgrading systems and software. Cloud phone systems also allow for unified communication systems for remote, home-based, or on-the-go employees.
“Voice over Internet Protocol,” or VoIP, simply means that calls are carried over the internet. Whether the calls are coming from telephones or commuters, they are all connected to the same online system. This kind of phone system is often cheaper to use and maintain and it removes the hassle of managing multiple communications carriers. These services might be delivered through the internet or private cloud connections, or a hybrid of both. No matter the service structure, these services are designed to allow easy access to various services and applications.
Unified Communications, or “UC,” is a system that seamlessly integrates data, voice protocol, and other important business applications—applications like ATS, CRM, and ATS. Also included may be features like instant messaging (“IM”), video calls, mobility, and online collaboration. These features are interconnected though a single, intuitive IP PBX solution. UC may also integrate popular applications like Microsoft Outlook and may even include video voicemail, desktop call control, automatic scheduling for conferences, and phone meeting invitation systems.
“Private Branch Exchange,” or PBX and IP PBX, is a telephone switching platform within a business that allows users to share a number of outside phone lines in order to make external calls. Routed internally, these calls are made by dialing a 3- or 4-digit number. While traditional PBX separated data and voice, IP PBX systems are used to integrate the two network types.
Increasing collaboration, streamlining communications, upping productivity levels, using competitive technological systems, and reducing costs are just some of the results of switching to these cloud-based platforms. With all of these potential advantages up for grabs, it’s not surprising that many businesses are choosing to make the switch.