Many organizations are using the cloud for some of their communications and collaboration tools. The cloud reduces or eliminates capital costs for on-premises hardware, offers more flexibility, shifts management and maintenance responsibilities to the cloud service provider, and allows you to pay as you go for what you need.
Organizations are also moving their phone systems to the cloud. With a cloud-based phone system, phone service is delivered through the Internet. In addition to placing and receiving calls, features such as voicemail, call routing and call forwarding can be accessed through the cloud provider.
Although adoption of cloud-based phone systems, such as 8×8, is on the rise, many organizations have reservations, which are largely based on misconceptions about how a cloud-based system works. A common misconception is that when you move your phone system to the cloud, control of the phone system goes with it. However, a cloud-based phone system actually gives you more control and makes it easier to manage. The system is easier to deploy, and settings that apply to an individual user or the entire organization can be changed remotely via a web-based interface. Services and users can be added and removed as needed without complex implementations and reconfigurations.
Call quality is another longstanding concern about cloud-based phone systems. For many years, this concern was justified due to interference issues and a lack of bandwidth. The near-ubiquitous availability of Internet bandwidth and better technology have overcome these challenges, and organizations are able to monitor their cloud-based phone systems for call quality. Also, a cloud-based system can be integrated with an on-premises system so you don’t have to move the cloud in one fell swoop.
Cloud-based phone systems deliver real business benefits that go far beyond cost savings. You can pick and choose advanced features and applications that you might not be able to afford in an on-premises system. You can integrate communications systems with business applications, processes and workflows, which improves productivity and efficiency. Also, the cloud is built for the mobile workforce, allowing anytime, anywhere communication. Built-in redundancy and disaster recovery allow your employees to stay connected to colleagues and customers, regardless of weather, a power outage or other disruptive events.
There are certain features to look for in a cloud-based phone system. It should be easy to manage and make changes as needed without IT involvement. It should offer both mobile and desktop applications instead of trying to make one version work for both. Look for high-definition audio to ensure high call clarity, as well as applications for instant messaging, video and audio conferencing, and presence. Security must be a top priority. Look for a system that uses advanced data encryption to prevent unauthorized interception of business calls.
Although a cloud-based phone system is easier to deploy than an on-premises system, careful planning is required to ensure a smooth implementation.
Eastern DataComm can design your system around your business processes and goals, configure your system to do what you need it to do, and help train your employees. Let us help you choose and implement a cloud-based system that boosts productivity, efficiency and the bottom line.