There is no doubt that Cloud based services are offering numerous benefits to businesses large and small. This has been well documented and widely discussed as more and more businesses have made the switch to Cloud based software solutions.
But what about Cloud Telephony? What benefits can small companies see from transferring their old hardware-based phone systems to new Cloud based solutions?
Like Cloud Computing, where you access your personal software or documents from the Cloud - think Dropbox and Google docs - Cloud Telephony is a virtually hosted system. Upgrading your telephone software to the Cloud offers a number benefits for small businesses.
Many small businesses do not have the luxury or the budget to support an in-house IT department. When something does go wrong with your hardware-based phone system, it can mean hours and money lost. A member of your team will have to drop what they are working on to try and contact your service provider and arrange to get the problem fixed.
Because the phone system is effectively on-site and reliant on hardware, the chances of getting the problem fixed immediately are slim. Having your service provider visit your business premises, or replacing hardware, can be a high and unexpected cost; something many small businesses can’t afford. With a Cloud Telephony contract, many repairs and changes required can be made remotely, which means no more call out fees.
By switching to a Cloud Telephony system you can reduce your hardware costs, all you need is a router, and you only pay for the number of users on the system. Calls between your offices and sites are completely free. This alone can save organisations hundreds or even thousands of pounds a year.
Without the installation of hardware, or the need to visit your premises to get your new phone system up and running, implementation is quick, easy and seamless.
When accessing your phone system from the Cloud, you can be sure that you will have the maximum up-time available.
There’s nothing worse than your phone system going down and not being able to make the calls that you need to, especially if you provide phone support to your customers. If something goes wrong with your system in the Cloud, there are steps your provider can take to get you back up and running almost instantly.
A solid and trusted reputation is vital for business growth.
Delivering good quality services over the phone to your customers can increase the reputation of your brand, but if you’re constantly letting your customers down by dropping calls or being unavailable when needed; your reputation can just as quickly be destroyed.
Cloud telephony allows you to pick up calls from wherever you are, giving small and medium enterprises access to features usually only used by large scale businesses; thus allowing you to continue delivering the very best levels of service to your customers.
Because you are accessing your telephone system from the Cloud, you have the option to add extensions easily, and so the system grows with your business. This can also be beneficial if you decide to streamline your business and need to scale back usage.
All in all, it is much more efficient than an on-site system. With additions and deductions to the number of users being handled remotely, all it takes is a quick phone call or email to your service provider.
Many businesses operate more than one site, often in more than one country. This used to mean that the company would have to maintain multiple phone systems and contracts. With Cloud Telephony however, you have one system and cost across multiple locations. This saves both money and time; if you open a new location as your company grows, you can simply extend your Cloud system to that area.
By transferring your telephone system to a Cloud solution, your contract often includes automatic system upgrades. This means that your staff will always have access to the latest software and technology, there’s no need to remember to upgrade and you have the peace of mind that the system you’re using is the latest available.
Although many businesses have adopted and benefited from Cloud technology, some are unsure on whether or not to take the leap. They feel that, by transferring their systems off-site, they are losing control. This couldn’t be further from the truth; by transferring to a Cloud solution, many businesses find that they have more control and can manage their whole system easily from a central control panel.
Cost savings, increased reliability and support are three great reasons small businesses should look at switching to a Cloud Telephony system.
This article was written by Peter Gradwell, founder of Gradwell Communications, UK providers of high-quality communication technology with years of experience provide optimal communication solutions for businesses of all sizes.