Cloud-based phone systems are becoming more popular with businesses. Is your business ready to move?
A reliable and effective communication system is essential for any business to succeed. Although cloud-based phone systems are also known as internet calling, or Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), they have gained a lot of popularity due to the availability of cloud storage in all areas of business. However, not everyone will like them. You can read on to find out if it is right for you.
What is a Cloud Phone?
A cloud-based phone system or cloud telephone allows you to make phone calls over the internet instead of using traditional analog phones that use copper wires or optical fibers to establish a connection. One or more cloud phones are hosted in secure data centers offsite.
These phones can be used with many devices including smartphones, adapters, software, and VoIP-enabled phone. Instead of maintaining software on a server like a private Branch Exchange (PBX), all information and data can be stored in the cloud. You can easily update everything in the cloud, which saves you money on maintenance.
Also read: Top 7 Automated Calling Service providers
A cloud phone system vs. traditional phone systems
Traditional telephones are connected to the public network by using. These networks are either ISDN or PSTN. Modern setups allow traditional phones to work with VoIP. This allows the phone lines to be connected via the internet.
Cloud phone systems extend the concept. The phones do not use traditional networks. Instead, voice communication is routed via a hosted internet service. Although traditional phone technology is still possible, it’s not necessary. Cloud calling can be used by any device that has a computer. Cloud-based voice can often be cheaper than traditional telephone lines or VoIP, as it can be combined with other cloud services. Providers can use cloud calling as a cheap resource.
How does a cloud-based phone system work?
Cloud-based phone systems break down your voice into digital packets which are then sent over the internet as data to the recipient. To route calls, a cloud-based PBX will be used.
Cloud-based phone systems can be accessed in a variety of ways, so they are available to anyone who has an internet connection. Cloud-based calls can be made via a variety of methods.
- An adapter for VoIP is a traditional phone. The adapters plug directly into your router or into a wall outlet.
- A computer, also known as a “softphone”, is a computer. Many programs and applications allow you to make voice calls via the internet. These include Skype, Google Voice, Apple FaceTime, and Apple Voice.
- Smartphone. You can use your smartphone to download apps like Skype or Google Voice for internet calls.
- A dedicated VoIP phone. These phones look similar to traditional analog phones, but they connect directly to a computer network instead of a phone line.
Features of cloud phone
Cloud-based phone systems offer many benefits. An analog phone’s features can be limited, but cloud-based phones allow you to update and add new features as they become available. These are just a few of the many features.
- Unified Communications: A unified communication solution consolidates your phone system and voicemail. It can also include instant messaging, chat, and video conferencing. You can also integrate with email and web apps and other tools such as a CRM.
- Video Conferencing: As remote work becomes more common, businesses require reliable and accessible video conferencing solutions. Many cloud-based phone system packages include video conferencing, so it’s not an extra cost.
- International calling: Because cloud phones are internet-based you don’t have to pay long-distance fees when making or receiving international calls. Most cloud phone plans include long-distance calling and international calling as free features.
- Ring anywhere: Also known as “never miss another call” or “find, follow me”, this feature allows users to make and receive calls from multiple devices using the same number. This feature allows users to choose which number they want to answer when their work number rings. For example, the phone will ring from both the user’s smartphone and desk. You can also transfer calls from one device to another.
- Artificial intelligence: AI has permeated almost every aspect of modern life. Cloud phones are no exception. Cloud service providers use AI to provide customer support and perform functions such as speech-to-text, sentiment analysis, and other AI-related tasks.
- Instant message: Insta messaging is text-based communication. Instant messaging allows you to communicate in real-time from any device, such as smartphones or desktop computers. Instant messaging is a new layer of communication. It’s responsive and leaves information in writing so that it can be referred to later.
- Cloud communication: This bundle includes all communication services. It includes instant messaging, telephony, and all other forms of communication.
- Call forwarding: Call forwarding receives calls from one number and redirects them towards another line. Cloud-based call forwarding works in the same way as traditional call forwarding. This service allows users to consolidate calls on a single line even if it is important or necessary to direct calls through particular phone numbers.
- Automatic attendant: An automatic voice menu is a feature that you use often in business calls. The automated directories help direct calls and decrease the communication load of employees. After the calls have been properly directed, people can make calls, or use further automation services to resolve issues (e.g. voicemail).
Collaboration: Collaboration tools are file sharing, audio/video conferencing, real-time project contributions, and other tools that allow people to work together in a different country or room.
- Voicemail to email: voicemail-to-email transcribes a voicemail, and then sends it to an email address as an audio file. This allows the recipient to access their voicemail from anywhere without having to use a voice mailbox. The recipient can access the emailed file from a wider range of devices. It is usually not limited by data limits and will not clog. This allows them to return to the voicemail as often as they need.
- Integrations: Cloud integrations enable large amounts of resources to be combined in one cloud package or suite. A service provider that can handle large-scale data storage, analytics, and voice calls can also provide services. Using integrated platforms to consolidate services, powerful tools can be made easily accessible. Integration is an important component of almost every cloud service.
Also read: What is Voice Messaging Service
Cloud-based phone systems: pros and cons
As the internet becomes more accessible and more digitalized, cloud-based phone systems are increasingly popular. While cloud phones have many advantages, including reliability and cost, there are important things to remember before you decide if they are right for your company.
Pros of cloud phones
Cloud-based phone systems are very affordable. Cloud-based phone systems allow calls to be made entirely over the internet. This means that you only pay for internet usage, not for additional phone service or call minutes. Traditional phone systems can be costly with many lines and add-ons like voicemail or call transfer. Cloud systems typically offer the phone service with all major features included in the package. This means that you only pay one monthly fee for all your communication needs.
Cloud phones are very reliable. Cloud phones are extremely reliable because they can be hosted at multiple locations. This means that even if one server has issues, another server can still keep your communications going smoothly. This is known as geographic redundancy and is an effective way to avoid service downtime and service problems.
Cloud-based phone systems offer flexibility. Cloud-based phone systems are becoming more popular as workers expect to be available at all times. Anywhere, and a cloud-enabled telephone allows you to route calls to your VoIP-enabled phone from any location. as long as you have an internet connection.
A cloud-based phone system is a great choice for scaling up your business if you are experiencing or expecting major growth. Cloud management systems allow you to easily add new phone lines, extensions, and other advanced features without having to hire a professional or pay more for equipment. You can also save time and money by updating your cloud management system.
Cons of cloud phones
Cloud-based phone systems have their drawbacks, which should be considered carefully.
Cloud-based systems are dependent entirely on your internet connection. A cloud-based phone system might not be the best choice for you if you have poor or inconsistent service. You need a strong and consistent connection.
It may not be economically feasible to buy all the adapters and new IP phones if your company already has many phones. Look at the equipment that you already have and decide if it is worth converting it to a cloud-based solution.
Cloud phones are completely dependent on the internet and can be vulnerable to security threats like malware and hacking. It is essential that your internet connection is secure. Talk to the provider that you are considering and ask them about the security measures they take to protect your data.
Cloud-based and VoIP systems may not be able to provide 911 call support. The cloud-based phone system is not tied to one geographic area like traditional phones, making it more difficult to trace 911 calls. Enhanced 911 (or E911) is an option. Customers can set up a physical address to show up on their cloud phone when they dial 911.
This service is not available from all cloud providers or VoIP providers. They must work with traditional phone companies (direct rivals) that have limited access to the 911 network. Ask your VoIP provider if they offer 911 service automatically. If so, do you need to activate it?