For large and small businesses alike, the type of communication systems you use will define and influence the type of customer and employee experience your company offers.
More and more businesses are moving away from old-school communications methods and tools toward cloud communications. Cloud-based communications refer to communications services and data that are solely accessed over the Internet. As a simple example, an application such as Skype is a cloud-based communication tool.
Cloud-based communications differ from traditional communications in many ways, and by using a cloud-based system, your business can better adapt to changes, save money, and offer better communication services.
Cloud communications require less hardware and startup fees and offer more mobility and more savings.
As many businesses become less static and more mobile, using cloud communications allows a streamlined system for keeping in touch. No longer are the days of needing to check back into the office for missed calls and voice messages. With a cloud-based phone system, you have access to messages and communications within your business from your mobile, computer, or tablet – wherever an Internet connection exists.
QTS offers cloud telephony solutions for your business, no matter the size – whether your staff is made of 15 people or 1,000 people, a cloud-based phone system could be the next best move for your business.
Cloud-Based Phone System
Compared to traditional phone services, using a cloud-based phone system removes high setup fees, routine maintenance, and hardware investments from your budget.
Cloud telephony gives your business the capabilities of communicating better by offering telephone communications services to any communications device, removing the need for traditional phones and hardware. Have a tablet or laptop? You can be immediately connected to your business communications without stepping foot into the office.
When using a cloud-based phone system, you will be free from the need to regularly maintain and upgrade your physical telephone systems. This not only saves your business money but also allows for more fluidity when it comes to making changes (i.e. staffing growth).
Features and Functionality
By moving to a cloud-based phone system, you will have much more flexibility and control over your communications.
Chances are the internal organization of your business changes over time. Hopefully, your business is growing and if so, you are possibly adding more staff to your team. By switching to a cloud-based telephone system, you can very easily and quickly set your new team members up within your communication network with just a few clicks of the mouse by simply logging into your cloud communication service. Traditionally, adding new lines or extensions for a new team member requires more hardware purchases and new wiring routing through your office or building.
On the flip side, if you need to decrease the number of extensions or direct numbers for your business, it’s just as easily done and you are not tied to those numbers for life. Using a cloud-based phone system, you will pay for what you use and are not stuck with a long-term contract or plan by a local telephone service provider.
Adding new extensions or phone numbers can be done in minutes and you can connect employees within your physical office or those who work remotely. Cloud communication is a great method for connecting your employees based in other locations.
Using cloud-based phone systems is a great way to easily keep in touch with staff who work remotely – whether in the same state or in another country altogether.
As mentioned, moving your phone communications to the cloud will save your business money.
And what’s not to love about that?
Traditional phone communications services are more costly up front. You pay for installation and new hardware and will typically be faced with regular maintenance fees when things malfunction.
Switching to a cloud-based phone system means moving those costs from your capital expenditure (CAPEX) to operational expenditure (OPEX) budgets. A cloud-based phone system does not require the initial costs included in making purchases toward hardware, wiring, and storage. Instead, your initial purchase of hardware may only include the phones you wish to use.
A cloud telephony system then becomes an operational cost and does not demand regular hardware upgrades or investments. In fact, software updates are more available and therefore keep your communications services up to date better.
And by using cloud-based phone services, you are only paying for a monthly membership or service fee instead of a longer-term contract with a phone company.
For businesses of any size, saving money and increasing profitability is a recipe for success and survival.
Security and Recovery
Often, security and data recovery are crucial elements to considering what form of communications to invest in.
Most of the time, hosting with an off-site vendor increases your security. A cloud vendor focuses greatly on implementing the best technology for higher security for their clients. So for many businesses – and especially smaller ones – an outside vendor can much better manage your data than you could on site.
Equally important is recovery after a disaster. Imagine your business is affected by a natural disaster – flooding, wind damage, etc. It is likely that all that hardware, wiring, servers, and storage that you invested in upfront is ruined and any messages or communications data is completely lost.
By using a cloud-based phone system, your data is stored in offsite servers and therefore unaffected by a disaster at your office. You are able to access your business communications and data regardless of the state of your physical business. Your communication will continue to work even if your building is under water.
Unified Communications and the Cloud
Unified Communications, or UC, is the combination of tools you use to communicate with. Unifying your communications in the cloud beyond just a cloud-based phone system lends an even faster, more flexible way to stay connected to your coworkers and your customers.
Examples of some communications tools you may use are cloud telephony, SMS or text messaging, video messaging, and group chats.
Using Unified Communications, your communications become even more seamless. For example, let’s say you’re on a call with a single co-worker and need to include employees in other teams. These employees all work remotely and live in different states. During your call, you can add callers to create a conference call experience. You may even want to feel more connected with your coworkers by switching the call to a video conference.
You can also use UC to communicate with customers by offering instant messaging or chat capabilities through your website, giving your customers the opportunity to directly connect with your employees in real time regardless of their physical location.
Whatever the methods you use, moving to cloud communications lends you more possibilities to communicate within your business and also with your customers.