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Cloud Business Telephone System Explained

Cloud based technology is all the rage nowadays but what exactly is it? Cloud-based telephone system is a new term. It means a phone service that is delivered through the Internet. The Internet is referred to as the “Cloud”. The Cloud telephone system can also be called Internet Phone System.

Data is stored in a secure server which you can access via the Internet. A cloud business telephone system replaces traditional landlines. It is usually hosted by a third party provider.

The word “system” refers to a group of phones working together. It can also mean the system of interconnections to make one phone work over the Internet. This system is stored digitally so there is no need for phone bills, answering machine tapes and wires. Therefore, this system is less expensive and easier to use. It improves business operations.

Back when there was no VoIP yet, all phone systems were based on the public switched telephone network or what we call PSTN. These are copper wires that form the global phone network. Today, you can still have a cloud-based phone system in the PSTN cloud but the trend is towards cloud services. A Virtual PBX delivers the widest set of functionalities and gives the most reliable service.

Functions

A cloud telephone system can deliver calls over the Internet. It can route inbound calls to the correct employees and provide features such as voicemail and even call recording.  

Requirements

You need hardware and software to make this set up work. You may need an IP phone or a computer. Most of the equipment is with the provider so there is less upfront costs. There is also less upgrade and maintenance expenses. If you need to expand, you can do it easily. Usually, you just need to log into your account and choose the service that you need.

Benefits

Cost Savings

The number one benefit of a cloud-based system is the savings. It is much less expensive than traditional phone lines. You can have a bunch of features that Fortune 500 companies have for the fraction of the price.

Small and medium businesses can take advantage of a phone system that sounds like something a large corporation can use without the high maintenance and high fees.

Easy Set-Up

This type is easy to set up because it does not require wire rerouting. In just a few minutes, you can start your operations.

Save Time

Because it does not need complicated hardware and wires, it is not high maintenance. It does not require intense set ups. You save time and can go on with your business.

You only also get one bill monthly so there is less fuss. You just need to review if everything is in order, pay and wait until the next month to be billed again. You don’t have to worry about maintenance and repairs on top of paying your bills.

Remote Capabilities

You can work virtually anywhere with this type of system. All you need is an Internet connection and of course, your devices must be connected to the platform. You can work at home, in a coffee shop, etc. You can meet your clients and not worry about missing important calls.

Advanced Features

You can have all the advanced features that you need. Aside from call forwarding and voicemail, you can also add multiple extensions. You can manage your messages more effectively. You can also choose from different physical phone options.

Updates

As soon as your provider introduces new features, you can easily download them or install them. You don’t have to think about having a large capital just to improve your system.

Pay as You Grow

You can be smarter with your money. You don’t have to pay for a system that you are not sure you will use in the next few years.

With a cloud system, you can simply buy additional handsets and licenses for each new user as they come.

Lower Call Costs 

Internet calls are generally cheaper than standard landline calls and even mobile phone calls. You can also get massive savings when you make international calls.

Greener Solutions

“Green” is becoming a very hot topic in our everyday lives. Businesses are also becoming more environmentally-responsible. We have energy-saving devices, gadgets, equipment and appliances. The phone system is no exception. There are now providers that team up with green suppliers that manufacture energy-efficient hardware. These handsets use less energy during calls and on standby.
Features

Now let’s talk about some of the features of this platform.

Message Management

Users can now manage their voicemails, messages, emails and other data more efficiently. This is a more organized platform than the traditional systems.

Users can access a web-based dashboard where you can manage features and check the status of other users in the system. You can check if someone is engaged before transferring the call to that agent.

Voicemail

You can record your own voicemail or set up several voicemails. You can also have the option of reading your voicemails online. Some providers can even give you a transcription of your voicemails.

Call Forwarding

Calls can be sent to a number of different locations. They can be sent to the customer service help desk or the support team. You can send the call to the development or sales team. You can send them to field agents. Cloud-based services are very flexible so you can customize them according to your requirements.

When a client calls, the system will automatically find an available agent.

Phone Options

You can use your traditional telephones or you can set up mobile phones to receive your calls.

Examples

Some popular examples include Skype and Gtalk. If a user wants to talk to someone with a Gtalk or Skype account over the Internet, the call is free. If the Skype user wants to call a mobile phone or a landline number, he needs to have credits in his account to pay for the call. No credits means no calls.

Finding a Supplier

There are several things you need to know before you find a supplier. You need to write down your budget, the number of users, the estimated number of users in the future, the features that you want and the features that are nice to have when your company grows. You can also have a telecoms audit before you switch to a cloud-based service. This way, you will know exactly what you are and are not using. Find a supplier that can grow with you. They should be able to upgrade your service without the need for investing a huge sum of money. Upgrades should be fast, easy and affordable.