The telecommunications industry was hit by a shockwave of advanced communication solutions in the late 1990s with the introduction of voice-over-IP (VoIP) services. Nowadays these are normally referred to as ‘Hosted Telephone Systems” or ‘Cloud Telephone Systems’. Generally speaking, cloud-based telephone systems offer phone technology using broadband internet connections, and has opened the door to a number of exciting features, including call waiting, conference calling, video calling, voicemail services and more.
In celebration of National Telephone Day (25th April) we shed some light on the benefits of cloud-based telephone systems.
Compared to a traditional phone system, the initial setup and ongoing costs associated with a cloud-based telephone system is generally less. As it operates over your Internet connection, deployment of a traditional phone line is no longer required, which makes it cheaper. And most contracts come with inclusive call packages, making VOIP systems very cost-effective to operate.
Whether you’re making a call to a colleague internally or phoning your head office on the other side of the world, it makes no difference with a cloud-based phone system. As long as both parties have an Internet connection, communication is possible. Workers based predominantly on the road who wish to stay connected can do so at minimal or possibly zero cost.
With traditional phone systems like PBX (Private Box Exchange), you’re restricted on how many phones can be added to the system by the number of lines available within the system. With a cloud-based telephone system, you’re only limited by bandwidth; which in theory allows for thousands of connections, making it an incredibly flexible telecoms solution.
As with most things, flashy features come at a price, but not with a cloud-based phone system. Premium add-ons that would usually come at an additional cost with traditional phone systems are usually free, like call forwarding, call waiting, voicemail and caller ID. Even video conversations with staff and clients are possible, which is particularly useful when liaising with companies across the globe.
- Call recording
Most cloud-based telephone systems have a call recording feature which automatically saves all of your incoming and outgoing telephone conversations – even calls between internal extensions. You can download the call as a .wav file and attach it to customer records, emails and so on. This can be a great boost to accuracy and efficiency
- Efficient and professional call management
A good cloud-based system can add to the efficiency and professionalism of your business by adding auto-attendant call direction, which directs incoming calls to the right people. “Thank you for calling X Ltd”, “For customer service dial 1, for accounts dial 2, for engineering support dial 3, or for anything else please dial 4.”and so on.
A common worry for many businesses is the scenario of if the Internet stops, so does the ability to make calls. Most cloud-based telephone systems offer the ability to fall over to a different broadband line or even fall over to mobiles, should power outages and weather-related events cause your telephone system to drop. Even if the office phone can’t be answered, your mobile can be.