Cloud-based phone systems gained much popularity in the past few years. They come with several benefits for businesses, including:
1) Ability to access their account from anywhere in the world.
2) No need to purchase and maintain physical hardware and software.
3) Only pay for what you use – no up-front fees or long term commitments.
4) Pay less than $20 a month per employee for service (i.e., Microsoft Office 365).
5) Flexibility to add/drop users without significant investments in infrastructure such as cabling, phones, and so on.
6) Integration of multiple applications such as faxes, ring groups, conferencing, call recording etc… into one simple solution.
These days, most companies use cloud phone systems as they provide a more efficient and cost-effective solution for communication. Cloud telephone systems can be an invaluable tool for small business owners and entrepreneurs that need to utilize the Internet and mobile phones to communicate with employees.
Here are the different kinds of solutions that Cloud Phone Systems can offer:
Using VoIP (VoIce over IP) technology, people can set up email addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org, which forward to company employees’ phone numbers or cell phones.
PC, MAC and smartphone (soft phone) solution:
Some cloud-based phone systems such as Microsoft Office 365 provides a soft phone solution for all your users. The softphone works with PC, Mac and smartphones running iOS or Android. Other services may provide only PC or Mac based solutions; but they are also transitioning to mobile device support through their web portals and 3rd party apps available on the Apple and Google stores. Once signed up, your user will receive an account number and access instructions by e-mail or text message. They can then install the application onto their PC/Mac smartphone (iOS/Android) and login using their unique credentials to start making calls within minutes of receiving this information! Please note that some services require a software to be installed on the phone so that it can be connected via USB.
Some cloud providers may offer an onsite version of their softphone which can work in conjunction with your existing PBX or SAL system. The installation and maintenance is then left to your team, but you will enjoy all the other features offered by other services.
Hardened Phone [Secure Phone] solution:
In addition to traditional PC/Mac client application hard phones are available from some service providers. These hard phones have been hardened for security purposes and come with a number of advanced feature such as wall boards, ring groups, off site calling, call recording etc… Some models also support TTY for telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) users.
Simple one-step QR code based provisioning solution:
Cloud phone systems offer an easy to use interface where you can add/drop users with a couple of steps and no call transfers or lengthy queues. The process is streamlined by using the system’s proprietary QR code provisioning technology that runs directly on your smartphones. Once installed, our service sends an e-mail to the user with their account number and access instructions along with the unique QR code for provisioning…To get started all they need to do is open the e-mail on their smartphone, launch the dedicated application, scan this qr code and enter the 6 digit PIN that will be provided in the e-mail… Voila! They are now ready to make calls!
Some services provide recording of all your conversations directly into your account. You may then access and play back the recordings whenever you want from any PC or mobile device. This is a great way to monitor your agents and/or see what customers are saying about your organization. Please note that some providers charge for this feature while others offer it at no extra cost… It depends on the service, so read the fine print before getting started.
Many cloud solutions such as Microsoft office 365 offers calling via PSTN lines when they are not connected to the internet (off-site) through their innovative off-site calling feature. Once setup, your users will need to login using their accounts to make calls as usual, but the difference is that the call will be processed by our servers and completed via a traditional PSTN connection wherever they are! The quality of the call will depend on your Internet connection, but it will be superior to cellular calls. In addition, the off-site service supports automated attendant, customizable greetings and announcements (music-on-hold), inbound/outbound IVR menus with DTMF support etc…
There are many companies that provide cloud phone systems for businesses of all sizes, so it is beneficial for today’s entrepreneurs to investigate the benefits of cloud telephone to their organization.