In an increasingly digital world, staying ahead in the communication game can provide a critical edge. Improving your firm’s business communications could be just a click away. This article walks you through the benefits of cloud phone systems and how they can revolutionize your business communications.
Understanding Cloud-Based Phone Systems
Before we examine the advantages of cloud phone systems, let’s briefly review what they are and how they operate within business settings.
What Are Cloud Phone Systems and How They Work
Cloud phone systems are business communication systems hosted in the cloud instead of on-premises hardware. They utilize Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system technology to route calls over the internet rather than traditional phone lines.
With cloud systems, the service provider handles all the call routing intelligence in the cloud. Users simply need an internet connection and IP phones or softphones to make and receive calls. This eliminates the need for complex on-site PBX hardware.
Some key benefits of cloud phone systems include:
Enhancing Business Communications With Cloud Phone Systems
Now, let’s look at some of the most attractive advantages cloud phone systems offer businesses.
Increasing Communication Efficiency With Cloud Phone Systems
Cloud phone systems can significantly improve communication efficiency for businesses. Features like auto attendants, video calling, intelligent call routing, and visual voicemail allow calls to be handled more seamlessly.
Auto attendants provide professional greetings and dial-by-name directories to route calls appropriately. This eliminates the need for a live receptionist. Intelligent call routing ensures calls reach the right people anywhere they are working. Visual voicemail lets users manage voicemails like emails.
These features streamline communication processes, reduce wait times, and ensure no important business calls are missed.
Promoting Seamless Team Collaboration Using Cloud Phone Systems
Cloud phone systems make it easy for distributed teams to collaborate seamlessly. Built-in conferencing bridges allow for multi-party calls. Team messaging apps facilitate internal chats.
Presence indicators show who is available to take a call. Call flip quickly patches in relevant team members. Shared contacts/extensions ensure the entire organization is accessible through the cloud system.
With these collaboration tools, teams can communicate in real-time from any location, just as they would in a physical office.
Greater Flexibility in Communication
Cloud phone systems provide greater flexibility in business communications. Users aren’t tied to a desk phone and can make/receive calls from PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, or other mobile devices.
Call forwarding and simultaneous ring features enable calls to ring on multiple devices. This gives users the freedom to communicate from wherever they are most productive. Built-in mobility is ideal for the evolving workplace where more employees work from home or travel.
Ease of Scalability as Needs Change
Unlike traditional phone systems, cloud phone systems make it easy to scale communications capabilities up or down as business needs evolve. Adding or removing extensions can be done through a simple online portal.
This level of scalability and flexibility is difficult and expensive to achieve with on-premises PBX systems, which require additional hardware investments. The scalability of cloud systems perfectly suits the needs of modern agile businesses aiming to optimize operations.
Driving Down Operating Costs
Cloud phone systems typically cost less compared to legacy on-premises PBX systems. The provider handles all hardware maintenance and upgrades, so no capital expenditures are required.
Many providers also offer unlimited calling plans to reduce monthly operating expenses. And free phone numbers/extensions help minimize costs even further. With more effortless scalability and no significant hardware costs, cloud phone systems make it easier for businesses to optimize communications spending.
Ensuring Business Continuity Through Cloud-Based Communications
Cloud systems inherently provide more excellent business continuity protection compared to on-premises PBX. Since the system is hosted remotely, communications can continue uninterrupted even if the local office is inaccessible. Call forwarding to cell phones ensures no calls are missed. Employees can work from home and maintain complete communications access with the power of virtual phone systems.
The always-connected nature of cloud phone systems results in greater resilience for the modern digital business.
NIC offers expert cloud phone system services to help businesses seamlessly connect. Find out more about how we can help you simplify your business communications.
Implementing a Cloud Phone System in Your Business
Now that you better understand cloud phone systems and their benefits, let’s focus on implementing them.
Evaluating Your Business Communication Needs
As a business owner, you likely rely on your phone system daily to communicate with customers, partners, and team members. When evaluating your current setup, consider what’s working and what pain points you want to solve. Do you need more flexibility for remote employees? Are you looking for advanced features like call recording or queues? Is your current system reliable? Are you happy with the cost and service from your provider? Taking stock of your needs and pain points will help shape your requirements for a new cloud phone system.
Specifically, look at how you route calls, conferencing abilities, voicemail features, mobile integration, analytics, and disaster recovery. You’ll also want to evaluate the total cost of ownership over three to five years, not just upfront costs. A cheap unified communications system that constantly needs upgrades or lacks vital features will cost you more in the long run. Define your must-haves, nice-to-haves, and optional features to compare providers apples-to-apples.
Choosing the Right Cloud Phone System Provider
With your requirements defined, you can start researching providers. Look for reliable vendors with a proven track record of satisfied customers. Check third-party review sites and ask for references to speak with real users. Make sure the provider has experience with businesses like yours and can easily handle your user count if you scale up.
Pay attention to implementation timelines, training resources, and ongoing support options. The right provider will have a flexible platform that can adapt as your needs change, with no long-term contracts. They should be able to port your existing numbers seamlessly, so there’s no business disruption. Talk to reps about security, compliance, and service level uptime guarantees to ensure reliability.
Cost is a factor but shouldn’t be the only consideration. Look for transparent, scalable pricing with no hidden fees. Most providers charge per user, phone line, and features used. See if they offer any bundles or discounts relevant to your business needs.
Implementing and Training Your Team on the New System
Once you’ve selected a provider, it’s time to implement the new phone system. Your vendor should guide the equipment needed, network readiness, timelines, and training. Give yourself one to two months from purchase to full rollout for a smooth transition. Inform staff of the timeline and what to expect at each stage.
Gradual onboarding by the department prevents productivity disruptions. Start with admin users to work out any kinks before broader deployment. Your provider can assist with porting numbers, configuring call flows, and assigning features per user or group.
Ongoing training ensures staff utilize their full capabilities. Schedule virtual or on-site sessions to review features and address questions. Make quick reference guides available and have IT provide extra assistance post-launch. Monitor usage data to see what tools are moving the needle for your teams.
The right cloud phone system removes business communication frustrations and delivers powerful capabilities not feasible with outdated on-premise systems. Following best practices for evaluating, selecting, and implementing a new platform sets you up for long-term success and keeps your business connected.
Make the Most Out of Your Transition to a Cloud Phone System With NIC
With 21+ years of expertise, NIC ensures a seamless transition to cloud phone systems. Our consultants tailor solutions to boost productivity and customer satisfaction, providing exceptional service from design to post-implementation support. Contact us today to enhance your phone system for a more agile, cost-effective business with up-to-date communications technology. Your satisfaction is our goal.