The constant advancements and innovations in technology has fundamentally changed the business environment and landscape. Particularly, changes in communication technology has changed how businesses and organizations operate today. However, while the new sophisticated communication and phone systems have made connectivity more efficient and made the lives of you and your employees easier than ever, one cannot discount the fact that (because of the continued modification to business phone systems) business owners find themselves in a perpetual predicament when trying to choose the phone system that best suits their businesses. After all, the relentless and persistent innovations to business communication technology means that there will most likely be a new modern phone system every year, if not every month. Because of this trend one must question whether investing in a new phone system is worth the trouble and money.
To answer your question, (though we cannot explicitly infer whether earlier business communication technologies were worth the trouble), we can safely say that the latest business communication tool, the cloud-based phone systems promise to be a leading communication technology today and for the years to come.
This article explains why cloud phone systems are deemed the future of business communication technology by most of the analysts. But first things first, we will briefly discuss what business owners generally take into account (or should) before deciding upon the best communication system suited for their businesses because this will help you understand why indeed cloud phone system has taken the industry by storm.
Factors to Consider When Selecting a Phone System for Your Business
Despite the general perception, choosing a phone system suitable for your business is not that hard or complicated of a task. On the contrary, it is immensely easy and uncomplicated. Below are some factors that you should consider when trying to choose a business phone system that is tailored for your needs. They will make it simple and straightforward to come to your final decision.
Does It Fall Under Your Budget?
Budget is undoubtedly the first thing business owners consider before finalizing their choice for phone system. Not everyone can afford obscenely expensive phone systems, particularly small businesses who already have a limited budget.
However, most people only consider the start-up cost of a system and hardware when calculating their budget and tend to overlook many other potential costs like installation and maintenance. Though it is an easy oversight, it should be avoided at all costs. You need to budget for the installation as well as any unexpected maintenance cost likely to occur in future before choosing. Furthermore, you need to budget for any potential upgrading needed to the phone system, should you find that your business is growing and would require an upgraded phone system.
All these costs should be taken into account as a precautionary measure and to avoid any panic due to the unexpected costs that may arise related to the phone system you chose.
Is It Suited For Your Business Needs?
Taking into account your business type and its needs is perhaps really pivotal for selecting a phone system that is appropriate for your business. Is your business large or small? Do you communicate often? Is communication essential for effective operation? These questions and many others need to be answered so that you understand what type of a communication tool is best for you.
Will the System Require Employee Training?
As with any other technology, business communication technology also requires an understanding of the system before you start using it. However, like most technologies this problem is usually solved with the help of manuals that come with the hardware. But still, sometimes these phone systems can be extremely complex to use. As such, you and your employees might require training to familiarize yourselves with the system and its intricacies before you can operate it. Thus, it is important that you ask the provider whether training is required, and if it is, will it be included in the package or will you need to pay extra bucks to get it.
Does It Have the Capability to Be Upgraded?
This point directly relates to the topic at hand partially. Can your phone system be upgraded? If the answer is a firm yes, then I believe that the particular system isn’t likely to vanish or turn obsolete in the near future.
Here’s what you need to ask your provider:
- Does it have the flexibility to include features that may become necessary in the future?
- Does it have the ability to manage a higher load (incoming and outgoing calls) should the business grow in the future?
Why am I putting so much importance in your chosen phone system’s ability to upgrade? Because you wouldn’t want to invest in an expensive phone system only for it to be rendered useless should the industry dynamics change or your business grows. For instance a Key System Unit (KSU) (the most basic form of business phone) or a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system (slightly more advanced version of KSU) might have seemed perfect for small businesses ages ago, it is not the case anymore. This is because advanced phone systems like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Cloud Phone Systems have taken over as they introduce new features like Internet and connections to multiple devices to their phone systems. Also, you need to account for any growth your business may achieve in the future and whether the system you chose can handle higher volume of calls.
You may find that all of the factors to consider when selecting a phone system mentioned above are supported by Cloud Phone Systems. More on this can be found in the following section.
Cloud Phone Systems: Why Should Businesses Embrace Them?
Today’s business landscape is vastly different from that of a few years ago. Thanks to the availability and easy access of fast speed Internet almost everywhere today, it has dramatically changed how businesses work and how employee and customer expectation has been redefined in the sense that they take flexibility and efficiency for granted. Because of this, it was about time that vendors came up with a business phone system that catered to these expectations to thrive within this new environment. Cloud phone systems is the most recent breakthrough in the business communication technology, which not only grants flexibility to its users but does so in an extremely cost-effective manner.
Here are a few reasons why it is best that every business switches to a cloud-based telephone system.
We are living in an age of economic turmoil where businesses are always looking for ways to cut down on costs and where only those companies who survive can operate on the mantra of accomplishing more with less. Cloud-based systems seem to be on the right path of success as it is an extremely cost-effective communication tool for businesses.
How are they cost-effective, you ask? Let’s take a look:
-You save on hardware costs as they only require phone devices. Also, there is no installation cost as this type of a system does not depend upon any hardware (apart from the telephone set) and cable connections.
-Since this type of a system requires minimal IT support, you get to save on space, which again indirectly reduces the cost.
-You can choose a cloud-based solution according to your budget as it comes in varying packages. Thus, no matter how limited your budget is, you can find a cloud-based solution that falls within your needs.
-Further, because it is able to update easily, you don’t need to worry about costs incurred because you had to replace the system to keep up-to-date with new features.
Thus, it offers businesses an extremely cost-effective way to communicate, which lowers their operating costs and benefits them.
Options to Upgrade Should the Need Arise – It Expands With You
Because there are rapid enhancements and modifications taking place in the technological world, it is only smart that your system has the ability to update the new features regularly. With cloud-based systems, you don’t need to worry about that as manufacturers are testing to install IP networks and replace the existing copper-based infrastructure so that users can make upgrades without having to replace the entire system.
Furthermore, in case your business booms unexpectedly, you wouldn’t need to worry about capacity limits with this system to facilitate large volume of calls, contacts etc. Thus, it is really good for small businesses, especially as they don’t need to budget for added costs.
Extremely Easy to Configure, Administer and Manage Calls
Compared to traditional business phone systems, cloud-based system is easy to configure and manage.
Most of the cloud phone systems come bearing customized settings for your devices that facilitates easy and optimal call management. Features, like call forwarding, automatic call recording, call screening, sharing lines, message alerts, misses-all notifications and much more allows businesses to offer their customers a pleasant and productive experience.
Thus, it is a simple and straightforward tool that does not require any training for you or your employees.
Facilitates Mobility with Easy Integration of Multiple Applications
Businesses today increasingly expect applications that can be easily integrated with other applications and devices like desktop, laptop, smart phones, tablets etc. Integration of apps and devices is fundamental for cloud-based systems.
Cloud phone system allows you and your employees to access and manage the business phone from your desktop computer or smart devices irrespective of whether you are within the parameters of your office building or not. Because cloud-based phone system is integrated with the devices and apps you rely upon, it has introduced a new paradigm to the communication system with mobile connectivity. This ensures that the business runs smoothly whether or not you or your employees are physically present at the office. You or your employees no longer need to be tied to your desks as your cloud-based phone system travels with you at all times. Thus, giving you complete control over mobility.
Promotes Collaboration through Features like Conferencing and Online Meetings
Everyone’s collaboration matters when ensuring the continued success of businesses and organizations. They may be employees working on the lower level of the business spectrum or executives at the top end, every one of them is valuable.
Cloud phone systems allow effective and apt collaboration from everyone. How, you ask? Well, because the cloud-based phone system has made it possible for the users to share important files as well as have a remote discussion on ongoing projects through features like audio and video conferencing and online meetings, I don’t believe it is rocket science to understand how this modern business communication method has allowed for convenient team collaboration.
Cloud phone system has fundamentally changed the classic business communication model taking it to new heights. Not only is it important for communication within the business organization but it has also allowed you to facilitate direct and efficient communication outside the office with suppliers, investors and most importantly customers.
Suffice to say, we have come a long way from the traditional business phone system. With continued innovations and advancements, cloud-based communication services promises to be a leading communication system this year and beyond. Our sincere advice to you is that you switch to this system now, if you haven’t already. With features like unified communications, web link interface, and reports which allows you to analyze the performance of the phone system, it is indeed the case that cloud phone systems is the way of the future for business communication technology.