You’ve probably heard the news that more and more businesses are moving to unified communications using cloud-based systems.
Cloud adoption is growing at breakneck speed. Even companies that rely on face-to-face physical interaction as their primary contact with customers are recognising the benefits of migrating their communications to the cloud, especially telephony.
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated cloud adoption, with a recent survey revealing that 82% of businesses had increased cloud usage as a direct consequence of the crisis. Remote working has become the “new normal”, with 60% stating that the application of off-premises systems and technology has grown throughout 2020.
Communicating Through the Cloud
When it comes to remote working through the cloud, one of the most important things to get right is communication.
The new normal means that teams and departments are no longer located in the same office. Cloud communications can help bridge the gap between people and encourage collaborative working. Also, traditional call centres or contact centres are no longer viable, which means that handling telephone calls over the internet is becoming more common.
Sometimes referred to as unified communications, the best approach is to make sure that all communication methods, from emails or quick text messages to voice calls and video conferencing, are all done through the cloud.
For most businesses, this includes transferring their traditional telephone plans to the cloud. In fact, a Statista forecast indicates that the global cloud telephony market is set to rise from 8.9% to 17.8% in 2021.
Read on to understand how transferring your telephone systems to the cloud can benefit everybody involved.
Cloud Telephony – A Win-Win-Win Communication Solution
As mentioned above, cloud telephone systems have many advantages for businesses, employees and customers.
1. Easy installation – Transferring your telephone systems (PBX) to the cloud couldn’t be simpler. If you use a hosted cloud phone system, there is no physical on-site hardware involved, which means it can be set up remotely and quickly. This also frees up physical space and eliminates the hassle of on-site asset management and maintenance.
2. Reduced costs – Cloud hosted services are often subscription-based, or offer flexible pricing based on what services and features you actually use. This means you can find a pricing package that suits you. For example, the initial setup costs are likely to be much lower than a self-hosted system, with small monthly fees that apply only for registered users. You might also get all inbound calls for free, and pay discounted rates for dialing destinations that you frequently call. In other words, the costs of making and receiving calls are minimised. The elimination of on-site maintenance will save on the usual overhead associated with the upkeep of a traditional PBX system.
3. Fully scalable – The subscription model is flexible and allows you to scale up or down, depending on the user capacity you need at any given time. The ability to provision new virtual numbers almost instantly allows businesses to provide a “local” service, without the need to actually be present in the locality.
4. Improved management – Using VoIP calls makes it easier to connect with remote workers. Cloud telephone systems are easy to track and integrate with existing business intelligence tools, allowing managers to monitor employee status, call reports, etc. and gain valuable business insights. The potential for remote management is further strengthened by the ability to change call queues, adapt IVR menus, and manage upgrades. This means that management tasks that were once complicated, can now be done from almost anywhere in the world, without any on-site installation or disruption.
5. Streamlined remote working – With more and more people working remotely, employees need to be able to connect to anyone, anytime and from any location. Cloud-based phones systems make this easy. In fact, today’s world of remote working is a necessity, rather than a luxury, for both employees and employers due to the requirement that people need to be connected via all communication channels.
6. Improved collaboration – Collaborative working is super-important for productivity. With cloud-based telephony integrated with business tools such as CRMs, employees can quickly make phone calls without having to dial and the improved reliability means that team communications are never compromised.
7. Efficient working practices – Cloud phone systems often make it easy to sync contacts across devices, connecting contacts with the touch of a button. Therefore, average call time will be reduced, as number dialling is no longer needed. Also, cloud phone systems allow you to easily set up call forwarding to any number, which means that you don’t need to worry about following up on voicemails. Voice messages can also be automatically transcribed to SMS or email. There are also numerous long-term efficiency benefits such as optimised allocation of resources and job satisfaction which lead to higher levels of productivity and improved staff retention.
8. Improved service – Providing a positive customer experience is a paramount objective for most businesses. Cloud phone systems not only help provide more reliable service than standard VoIP or traditional PBX, they also provide the means to improve customer experience. Features like call forwarding enable customers to speak to people instead of voicemail, while dynamic call flows help route customers to the right people in your organisation more quickly, saving everyone time. Channel switching — where a customer might move from one mode of communication to another, as in the case of starting a website chat session and then continuing the interaction in a phone call — is easier and less prone to errors and disconnects, when all these channels are connected to your cloud telephone system. .
9. Rigorous security – Modern cloud phone systems are highly secure, which is important to customers in the current climate of phishing scams and data breaches. Providers such as Toku specialise in secure systems with frequent security patches, updates, and service monitoring and risk management.
For a more detailed insight into the advantages of applying a cloud-based telephone system, check out our in-depth guide here.
How To Select The Best Connectivity Partner
Now is the time to take advantage of all the benefits listed above.
But first, you need to decide which service provider or connectivity partner to use. To help, we’ve listed some important factors to consider when choosing a connectivity partner.
Flexibility – You should look for a partner that offers flexible packages to meet your needs, not just an “all-in-one” plan. There’s no point in paying for more features or scope than you need. For instance, Toku allows you to pick and choose the countries that you include in your plan, so you don’t have to pay for them all.
Expertise in legacy systems and cloud migration – To make sure your transition to a cloud phone system is as seamless as possible, your connectivity partner should be knowledgeable about older systems and networks and how to transfer them rapidly to the cloud. Toku is platform agnostic, which means we can transfer any legacy system without disruption to your daily business.
Network depth and breadth – Look for connectivity partners that own their infrastructure and have a high coverage reach. This allows them to control and manage connectivity and routes. They will also be able to bridge traditional phone systems and digital telephony infrastructure, enabling companies to offer high-quality calls to their end-users.
Security provision – As mentioned previously, security is a big concern for both businesses and customers. To ensure you’re able to provide the most secure service possible, look for a partner that provides regular system monitoring, updates, patches and support.
Discover How Toku Can Make Your Cloud Journey Painless
At Toku, all our communication systems are designed to make your life as easy as possible.
We have a team of cloud telephony experts on hand to transfer your communications to the cloud quickly, easily, and without disruption.
To find out how you can take advantage of cloud-based telephony, learn more about Toku Connect