Why Should You Choose Cloud-Based VoIP/Hosted PBX for Your Business?
Especially in recent years, business has become more and more global. Gone are the days of doing business solely in your own backyard. Even the smallest startup can have an international impact and scale their business quickly without high overhead costs by relying on the cloud. Practically every tool an employee would need is available online and in the cloud. From email, to website hosting, to a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform, data is stored in massive centers across the country rather than in a closet at your office’s location.
While all the recent expansions to the cloud have had immeasurable impacts on how businesses operate, none has been more impactful than cloud-based phone solutions, more commonly known as hosted PBX, or VoIP.
With so many alternatives to VoIP available, such as analog phones, and operating your business through cell phones, it can be hard to justify the potentially higher cost, longer set-up period, and seemingly complicated terminology that comes along with a cloud-based phone solution. Never fear! Here are 10 reasons why you should choose the cloud for your business.
1. VoIP Empowers the End User
With older systems, employees don’t have a lot of control when it comes to changing voicemail settings, or other productivity features a phone system can offer. With a VoIP system, however, end users are empowered to make their own choices to best suit their personal needs. An online management portal for office managers and general end users alike allows employees to change their voicemail settings, have calls automatically transfer to their cell phone during certain hours if they know they’ll be away from their desk, and more. Most features are intuitive enough that calling technical support is not required, however the providers we partner with are all known for their top-notch support teams.
2. Less Heavy Hardware
The younger generations might not remember a time without internet or uber-portable cell phones, but there was a time when a company’s entire phone system back-end was kept in a closet on-site rather than in the cloud. This hardware was very expensive up-front, and would need replacing every few years as the servers got outdated and stopped functioning correctly. Not even mentioning the cost of the phones themselves, but phone systems used to be ridiculously expensive! With a VoIP solution, the only capital expenditure required is of the phones themselves, the cost of which is usually waived in exchange for a contract of a couple years. Since cloud-based VoIP routes all calls through the internet, there’s no more need for a phone box in a closet, saving both physical and mental space. Now, the only wires are an ethernet cable to each phone, and potentially an AC adapter, if your location requires it.
3. Automatic Updates
Purchasing a premise-based system is sort of like purchasing a car you can’t pay to upgrade. You’re locked into the features and functionality of the system for however long the contract is. Especially now with so many advancements in the SaaS (Software as a Service) industry, it doesn’t make sense to have such a stagnant piece of technology! A cloud-based system like VoIP allows for your provider to automatically update your phone system remotely, giving you the latest and greatest features as they’re coming out, not years from now.
4. Not Location-Specific
One of the best parts of having all of your business’s technologies hosted in the cloud is that your employees are no longer tied to a single location. Whether than means having everyone working completely remotely, or only Jim from Customer Success working from home while his daughter is recovering from surgery, your phone system isn’t tied to a single location. The use cases for this capability are endless, from a travelling sales team, to employees working from home, a VoIP solution can do it all.
Way back when, and still somewhat today, the telecom industry relied on lines and channels. Instead of purchasing extensions, or “seats”, you purchased lines, the number of which didn’t necessarily correlate to how many physical phones you had in the office. If you only purchased 10 lines and they were all being used, the 11th person would essentially have to wait until someone ended their call before they’d be able to place a call. With a VoIP solution, you pay for the number of extensions, and the lines are supplied to you automatically as you need them. It’s like ride sharing, but for phones.
With that in mind, oftentimes with an analog system your business would be capped at a certain number of lines, either physically or technologically. A VoIP system, however, is limitless. Adding additional extensions to your account is as easy as contacting your provider, and the hardware arrives at your office location within a matter of days.
6. One Company to Call
With a traditional system, you could have multiple companies to contact and multiple contracts to manage for service, maintenance, and support, depending on when you started each service. With a VoIP solution everything is managed by the same company, meaning one phone number to call in for support, one contract to manage, and way less paperwork and headaches.
7. All-Inclusive Plans and Pricing
Most cloud-based phone system providers offer all-inclusive plans and pricing, offering a bulk number of minutes each month rather than charging you for each minute. This may seem like a given, but this system of pricing allows for better budgeting for your business. Unless you have an abnormal month, your phone bill will be very similar if not identical month after month. Additional “à la carte” options such as fax, vanity phone numbers, call recording storage, and other services may be included at an extra charge, but for the most part your phone bill will be just one number.
8. Technical Reliability
Cloud-based VoIP providers, and cloud-based tools in general, are made to be resistant to fault with multiple levels of disaster recovery built into the system. With a VoIP phone service, your business is not only benefitting from the economies of scale that come with choosing an established provider, but the system can be plugged into wherever there is an internet connection. On both sides of the service, reliability is integrated into the system.
9. Experts in VoIP
Your employees should focus on what they do best, not worry about having to learn the back-end of a phone system. Your IT team will thank you! By choosing a VoIP provider to host your phone service rather than hosting it yourself in-house, you’re trusting your phone solution to a company that is an expert in VoIP, not an IT team that would probably rather not have to worry about adding Mary’s extension to a call queue.
10. System Flexibility
Easily move extensions around, add new extensions, and change information with a VoIP system. Especially with a top-tier VoIP provider, any moves, adds, or changes (MACs) can be completed remotely and quickly. Since you won’t need a technician to physically visit your office location, these MACs are available at no charge (other than the cost of the additional services you’re requesting). On the end user side, the possibilities for call routing, voicemail options, auto attendants, and more are limitless, and can be customized based on your business’s unique needs.