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Understanding how a cloud based phone system works

Understanding how a cloud based phone system works

March 10, 2021

Thinking about switching over to a cloud based phone system? There’s no denying that cloud technology is accelerating today’s businesses. With more agile and affordable solutions coming online, now may be the right time to make your move.

Before you decide, it helps to know a little bit about how a cloud phone system

But firstly, what is a cloud phone system?

Cloud based phone systems run via your internet connection. It’s also known as a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) solution. Cloud systems can effectively streamline your business communications and adapt as your business grows.

Cloud telephony is a type of Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), which means it can collaborate with other office tools and processes all via one single access point. So aside from just making calls, you can also connect with others via video meetings and instant messaging and enable CRM integration and other eCommerce platforms.

Essentially, any cloud based programs can be integrated with your phone system. Many popular integrations already exist, but with a little development work using an open API, any tool can be configured.

How do cloud based phone systems work?

Cloud phone systems are delivered over the internet and managed completely offsite through a VoIP service provider. When you make a call, your service provider looks after the routing. It converts the analog voice signals into data packets and transmits them over your internet connection to enable incoming and outgoing calls.

In terms of phone extensions, rather than connecting to a landline, you plug your phone into your network. You can use a VoIP desk phone, softphone, an app installed on your computer, tablet or smart device.

Cloud based phone systems work very much like popular communication apps Skype, Google Voice or Apple FaceTime, but with the added bonus of being accessible via real phone numbers. The technology allows for a more flexible work environment than the traditional business office set up.

With your phone system operating in the cloud, everything is managed via an online dashboard. This is where you can control your phone numbers, call forwarding, enable remote working, easily scale up and add new users and apply more phone functionality, depending on your business communication needs.

What’s involved in setting up a cloud phone system?

Unlike traditional PBX telephone systems, cloud based phone systems remove the need for physical equipment and onsite infrastructure. You and your staff can communicate with customers and internally with each other using anything powered by the internet – be it Wi-Fi connected or via a 4G/ 5G internet connection.

Deployment and set up is quick and easy. Instead of the usual complex, expensive process to connect to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), all you need to get going is a VoIP service provider and a reliable broadband internet connection. You’ll instantly get virtual phone numbers and access to manage your entire phone service via a web interface.

This eliminates any IT overheads, as you don’t need a team to manage the technical setup of the Private Branch Exchange (PBX) equipment at your premises. Similarly, if something goes wrong or becomes outdated, it’s up to your service provider to fix it.

With cloud based phone systems, software updates are as easy as a simple download and application refresh, so there’s no need to buy new equipment or revamp your entire phone system when it’s time to update.

With cloud phone systems, you’ll benefit from low running costs

Every business wants to keep operational costs down as much as possible. A cloud based phone system is an affordable option, as it reduces the upfront investments on equipment and any ongoing hardware maintenance costs.

Essentially, with most cloud deployments, the only capital expense you’ll incur is the purchase of your IP phones, and if that’s a stretch on your budget, you can always opt for softphones.

Cloud based phone systems generally work on a per user subscription model. When your business is ready to grow, scaling up is as easy as purchasing new licenses when required, and staff can be set up in minutes. This pricing model enables better predictability of your phone system and control of your budget.

With traditional PBX, you have to factor in costs every time you want a new employee to have a phone line. Their desk phone also needs wiring, which can take a long time to set up.

In many cases, a cloud phone system have been found to reduce total spend when compare to traditional phone bills. You’re free from regular and unexpected maintenance costs, you’re not limited to your calling minutes, or restricted by local numbers, or have to pay more for separate business SMS services.

Increased mobility and flexibility

With a hosted cloud phone system, it doesn’t matter where you work, if you have multiple office locations, or on the road, you’re all connected as long as there is internet availability. This is great for businesses who are embracing and switching to remote working.

And it’s not just being able to answer phone calls on your same office extension. You can access your voicemail, set up or change call routing on the go, basically carry out all the same functions you could if you were at your physical office desk.

A reliable business phone system

No business can afford downtime. Power failures or technical issues can wreak havoc on your communications if you run a traditional on premise PBX, making you unavailable to customers and losing productivity as every minute goes by.

Most reputable cloud phone service providers ensure 99.99% uptime, so you can keep working unaffected, no matter what incidences occur. Cloud phone systems also have built-in redundancy, so if there ever are any issues that do arise, there is a backup in place to make sure your calls don’t drop out and you remain connected.

Ready to switch to a cloud based phone system? Speak to the business telephone experts at Business Telecom to get started.