Cloud-based phone systems are phone systems that run on a server on the Internet rather than a phone system that is maintained with phone system software on a local server in your office. You can purchase cloud phone system service from a provider and pay on a subscription basis. Here is a list of the benefits of a cloud-based phone system for you and your business as well as the drawbacks.
Cloud-Based Phone System Pros
Small businesses that switch to VoIP reduce the cost of their local calls by up to 40%. Those same small businesses reduce the cost of their international calls by up to 90%. A sizeable number of cloud VoIP providers charge less per minute than leading landline phone services. No matter what your call volume and usage, it’s almost guaranteed that a cloud-based phone system will cost you less each month than a landline service.
Unlimited minutes packages are economical for call centers with high traffic, while Pay-As-You-Go pricing models can accommodate those businesses who use minutes sparingly. And hosted platforms don’t require you to purchase expensive hardware that needs maintenance and installation, saving you quite a bit, as judging from the example above.
Flexibility of Location
Cloud phone systems offer geographic flexibility that allows you to work remotely without hassle You don’t have to be next to your desk phone to make calls on a cloud-based phone system. Cloud phone systems allow you to work anywhere with a working Internet connection. You can set up an IP phone, plug in your laptop, or use a softphone on your smartphone to make phone calls from your cloud phone system. This means you can work from home, on the go, or as a full-time remote employee.
Some cloud-based phone services offer free phone apps that allow you to work from wherever you like. You can extension dial your team, call the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) and use phone presence that tells you when your co-workers are occupied with calls, all without stepping foot in the office.
Geographic flexibility is also a great tool for connecting your offices under one phone system. If you have offices in multiple locations, a cloud-based phone system can connect your entire company to the same phone service, and have it managed by a single administrator from any location.
Most cloud-based phone systems house their servers in multiple geographic locations to avoid downtime. Since the components of a cloud-based phone system are not all housed in the same location, most providers have a low amount of service downtime and very few disruptions. ‘Geographic redundancy’ is the industry buzzword used for this decentralized setup. The word redundant is used to signify that all the different servers are a mirror replica of the others.
For example, if a service provider hosts servers in New York and San Diego, either of those servers can act as backups should an extraordinary event knock one of the servers out of commission. If the server in San Diego experiences a major power malfunction, the traffic will be routed through the server in New York.
Cloud systems usually have very small amounts of downtime due to geographic redundancy. If you’re in the market for a cloud phone system, ask the provider what the downtime of their service is to get a sense of how much these disruptions affect service. If they have good redundancy, the figure should be close to zero.
Many cloud PBX providers have hosted services that house all the phone system hardware offsite. Generally, all you need with a hosted cloud service is an acceptable Internet connection and working IP phones. This means you won’t have to pay for maintenance of the equipment, mechanical malfunctions, or additional IT hours to keep your system up and running. All of these issues are dealt with offsite by your service provider. Most VoIP cloud companies have a dedicated customer support team that can take your questions over the phone or via email. The smaller day-to-day issues you experience can be answered by a knowledgeable professional, most of whom are located in the US.
The Cons of Cloud-Based Phone Systems
If your Internet Service Provider is fairly reliable, and your cloud phone system has high redundancy, you won’t have to worry about dropped calls and connections. But if you have an ISP that frequently drops your Internet service, it will critically disrupt your cloud-based phone system. Of course, if you find an acceptable ISP, the problem will be solved. The issue only becomes serious for those who are locked into sub-par Internet providers through contracts.
The Time is Right to Switch to Cloud Based Phone Systems
Cloud phone systems are becoming increasingly popular for businesses of all sizes. Solutions for small and medium-sized businesses, along with enterprise-grade options, give customers a new kind of flexibility and reliability when it comes to phone systems.
If you are interested in the benefits of Cloud-Based Phone systems for your business contact us for a Free Consultation.