Cloud Phone System Guide

Cloud Phone System Guide

Your business needs an efficient and easy-to-use communication system to keep you competitive, and your customers satisfied. A cloud-based phone system is the perfect solution for businesses of all sizes, with more and more modern businesses considering the switch. Here is a complete guide to cloud phone systems, outlining what these systems do, the many useful features and benefits, as well as why your company will want to switch today.

What is a cloud phone system?

These systems are called several different things including:

  • Cloud PBX (private branch exchange)
  • Virtual PBX
  • Hosted PBX
  • Hosted phone system

This is a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone system which conducts calls via the internet and is completely managed off-site. There is no more reliance on traditional phone lines and complicated telecommunications infrastructure, with smartphones and tablets able to handle the cloud phone system. You simply set up a monthly or annual subscription and the service provider will do the rest.

Read more: VoIP vs Landline

What businesses benefit from a cloud phone system?

These innovative phone systems, are ideal for businesses industry-wide, and they’re the perfect fit for businesses which fall under these categories.

  • Seasonal businesses where communication needs fluctuate.
  • Companies that operate across multiple sites, nationally or internationally.
  • Businesses working with call centres.
  • Businesses with several remote employees.
  • Companies that don’t have traditional office space.
  • Start-ups that have unpredictable capacity needs.

What are the features of a cloud phone system?

Cloud phone systems have a variety of features that make business communications much easier, and the options keep expanding. The great thing about these features is that you can select only the ones you need for your business, and then pay accordingly. This cuts out unnecessary expenditure on features that remain unused.

–        Unified communication and integrations

These cloud phone systems can bring all the best communication forms onto one platform. This streamlined service will include calls, instant messaging, video conferencing, emails, voicemails, CRM software and more. Cloud systems can also integrate with your existing resources for a more comprehensive approach.

–        Multiple device support

These cloud phones are supported on multiple devices using the same number which means you can have calls forwarded to you wherever you are.

–        Video conferencing

The modern age of remote working means that video conferencing is a staple in business communications. Your workers will remain connected no matter where they’re operating from.

–        SIP forking

One call can be forked to multiple endpoints registered to an extension number. This means that incoming calls can be received on any device.

–        International calling

Calls made over the cloud mean you can call internationally without the extra cost. In fact, most cloud packages will offer free international calls as part of this.

–        Auto-attendant

Cloud phone systems come with automated voice menus that greet your customers and direct calls to the right department with no human intervention.

–        Instant messaging

Cloud phones can also send text messages to various devices which is important in business communication when you need to refer to previous conversations.

–        Artificial intelligence (AI)

There are AI features for cloud phones that improve customer service by converting speech-to-text and performing sentiment analysis.

–        Voicemail

There is virtual voicemail so customers can reach you at any time, as well as voicemail-to-email where the system transcribes voicemails and sends them as an email.

–        Ring group

This feature will allow you to distribute calls among employees in particular departments as all the phones in the ring group will ring sequentially or concurrently.

–        Distinctive ringtones

The system can assign different ringtones for different inbound calls as a way to determine the intention of the call. This makes it easier to address and deal with timeously.

–        Block and allowlist

Blocklist can block incoming and/or outgoing calls while allowlists are allowed regardless of the blocklist settings. This helps to secure businesses from nuisance calls and builds a more secure phone system.

–        DID (Direct Inward Dialing)

This gives you with a local phone number from a chosen city or country that can then be forwarded to your company’s PBX system. This is great if you have a local presence without a physical location.

What are the benefits of a cloud phone system?

There are many benefits to the cloud phone system which make business operations swifter, less costly, and more productive. Here’s a look at the many business benefits of the cloud phone system.

1.     Cost savings

This is the most affordable phone system as it reduces your upfront investment in equipment and maintenance. You might need to invest in IP phones, but most tablets and smartphones also support the system. The monthly or annual subscription cost will include 24-hour support, maintenance, and upgrades.

2.     Scalability

If you’re a start-up business that is rapidly growing, or you simply don’t know what your future capacity will be, then a cloud phone system is perfect. This is completely scalable, so that as your business grows, the phone system can expand. Inversely, if you downscale, the system can reduce correspondingly to meet your business needs.

3.     Hassle-free

The cloud phone system is hosted off-site and managed by your service provider, including any upgrades and maintenance. This means that you don’t have to worry about the day-to-day running of your phones, or get involved in any of the technical aspects of business communication.

4.     Flexibility

The cloud phone system can be adapted to suit your business’s individual telecommunications needs. Whether you operate a traditional business structure or have remote workers, branch offices, or call centres, cloud phone systems are flexible enough to suit all your needs. This means you can work from the office, from home, or overseas uninterrupted with your cloud phone system.

5.     Security

Any internet and data-based communication can be hacked, but the cloud phone system comes with extra security features to protect you and your customers. Just choose a top service provider with a secure portal.

6.     Integrated communication

Because systems can be integrated with the cloud phone, all communication channels are unified under a single platform. This means you can access them from a single dashboard, diminishing hassles and time.

When should I switch to a cloud phone system?

There’s really no bad time to switch over to a cloud phone system as it’s quick to set up and a good service provider will ensure a seamless transition. It’s saving you money and making business easier at the same time.

What questions should I ask before choosing a cloud phone system?

Before taking the leap, you might want to consider the following questions that your service provider will no doubt put to you.

What equipment do you have?

If your business has IP phones, these can probably be integrated into a cloud system so it’s simple and cost-effective. However, if you have traditional phones, you might need to invest in adaptors. If you have neither, you could use computers and smartphones rather than traditional hardware.

What is your budget?

Cloud phone systems offer versatile packages so you can customise features and pay for them accordingly. The service provider can work your budget and needs into a package.

What is your internet connection?

Cloud phone systems are entirely dependent on the internet, so you will need to ensure an uninterrupted, high-quality, and secure internet connection if you want to switch.

What is your business size?

The size and scale of your business are important factors in determining your phone system, the equipment and features you will require.

Read More: Choosing A Cloud-Based Phone System for Small Business

If you’re keen to find out more about cloud phone systems and whether they’re the right fit for your business, get in touch with industry leader ECN. The experienced team will clearly outline your options, and support you through the entire process.

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