A cloud phone service is a form of Voice over IP (VoIP) telephone system which is hosted by a third-party provider. Cloud phone services are internet based so that companies do not have to maintain phone system software on a server such as a Private Branch Exchange (PBX). Cloud-Based phone service can be purchased online and paid for on a subscription basis.
The Benefits of a Cloud Phone Service
There are a number of business benefits of a cloud phone service. These include:
- Cost savings: Small businesses which change to a cloud phone service can reduce the cost of their calls between 40% and 90%. This is because many cloud phone service providers have a lower per-minute rate than leading mobile and landline providers with virtual phone numbers. Regardless of your call volume, you will still save money by switching to a cloud phone service.
- Flexibility: Businesses can enjoy geographic flexibility. This means you can work wherever you are without any hassles. Your employees don’t have to be tied to desks or even offices; you can work remotely, which can also save money on your overheads. Not only does a cloud phone system allow you to work from anywhere with a functioning internet connection, but you can also you can also use your laptop, tablet, or smartphone to make calls from your cloud phone This type of flexibility also allows you to connect your employees on one phone system wherever they are, even if you have multiple offices in different geographic locations.
- Reliability: To prevent unnecessary downtime, most cloud phone services house their servers in several different geographic locations. This means you won’t have to deal with disruptions and lost or disconnected calls. For example, if a cloud phone service provider hosts servers in Los Angeles and Atlanta, either of these servers can be used as a backup should a malfunction knock one out of service. This procedure is known as geographic redundancy. Thanks to geographic redundancy, cloud phone services experience very little downtime. If you are looking for a cloud phone service provider, it’s a good idea to ask them about their service downtime and what happens if they get a disruption of service. The figure they give you should be close to zero if they have a good geographical redundancy.
- Hosted service: These days, most cloud phone service providers offer hosted services, which means all the hardware that the system uses is hosted offsite. So, all you will need is reliable internet service and working phones. This means you won’t have to pay costs for equipment, dedicated hardware or software, or training employees on how to use the system. Nor will you have the cost of equipment maintenance or additional IT service to keep the phone service up and running. The cloud VOIP communications provider will deal with all of these issues. Most cloud phone services have a skilled and dedicated customer support team. They will be able to handle all of your questions and concerns over the phone or via email, or online chat.
The Downside of Cloud Phone Services
There are some cons to having a cloud phone service. These include:
Phone and router: Depending on the kind of set up you already have, you may need to make some initial equipment purchases to use a cloud phone service. For example, if you don’t already have them, you may need to buy IP phones. Also known as VoIP phones, these are phones which use internet protocol to make and receive calls rather than a circuit-switched PSTN. IP phones are usually priced in a broad range, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one to suit your budget. To operate an IP phone, you will need an ethernet port. In some cases, you may also require a larger router.
Disruptions: If your cloud phone service has high geographical redundancy, you should not have too much of a problem with disruptions unless your internet service is not very reliable. If you have an ISP which often drops your internet service, then you are going to have to worry about dropped and lost calls. If you find a more reliable internet service provider, this problem will be solved.
Join the Age of Cloud Phone Services
More and more businesses of all types and sizes are switching to cloud phone services. Most cloud phone services offer cloud telephony solutions which are suitable for startups, small, and medium-sized businesses, as well as corporate enterprises. Cloud phone services take businesses to a new realm of flexibility and reliability when it comes to advanced phone solutions. Remember, it’s never too late to switch to a cloud phone service. It could be best to move your business ever makes.
Corinna Underwood is a British author based in the US who has published hundreds of features, articles, and fiction pieces. She authored a set of non-fiction books called Haunted History of Atlanta and North Georgia, Murder and Mystery in Atlanta, and the Darkside Chronicles. When she’s not writing, she’s imagining.