Have you noticed how frequently the term ‘disruptive’ is used about technology these days? I often think that it’s a little off-putting for many businesses: after all, the last thing that any of us want in our business lives is more disruption. Of course, every company wants to do things smarter, quicker, cheaper: but they want it to be easy, without hassle, and certainly without disruption.
Cloud telephony services are often described as being disruptive. But is this really the case? For business users, it isn’t at all – in fact, cloud telephony is a lot less disruptive in use than old stand-alone PBX systems, or even more modern IP PBXs.
However, for traditional telecoms service providers and carriers, cloud telephony is extremely disruptive – because it offers features that traditional comms technology cannot provide, and it does this at costs that cannot be matched.
Let’s take a closer look at how non-disruptive cloud telephony services can be for your business, compared with a traditional premises-based telephony solution – and the advantages that you can gain.
Cloud telephony offers significant cost savings over traditional digital lines or even VoIP telephone systems. Moving your phone system to the cloud can eliminate much of the infrastructure and maintenance costs of an on-premise system. The service can be deployed as an adjunct to existing phone systems or as a complete replacement; either way, enabling cost-effective expansion of calling capacity, as and when you need it.
What’s more, you save on line rentals, and get lower call costs too – as low as 0.75p per minute for landlines, or 2p per minute for mobiles, which are below typical wholesale telecoms rates. In addition, you’re not tied into lengthy contracts, and get the flexibility of a per-user, per-month pricing plan, from as little as £10 per head – making costs predictable, and helping you match them to your requirements without incurring extra, unnecessary expense.
Scalable and Flexible Infrastructure
Your business is fluid, so shouldn’t your comms infrastructure be flexible to accommodate this? As touched on earlier, cloud telephony’s scalable and flexible infrastructure is ideal for growing businesses, because you don’t have to buy more services than you need at any given time.
Cloud-based systems work in businesses of all sizes, from a single small-office up to an international 100+ seat call centre. They can be integrated into your current telephone system to improve or update aspects of your current telephony capabilities, or can easily replace and transform your telephone system, using IP handsets.
Because the service is delivered over the web, cloud telephony makes it easy to bring branch offices and remote workers onto your phone system. You can scale up and down more easily and economically without the headaches of changing or merging lines.
Furthermore, your employees’ mobile phone usage can be integrated with the cloud telephony system, enabling the business-related calls they make to be logged and even recorded in the cloud. Employees can be given a business phone number which routes to and from their mobile, meaning business-related calls are made using that company phone number, not a personal mobile number.
This allows your staff to bring their own device, but they no longer need to reveal personal numbers, or run up unnecessary call charges making business calls. This helps to control mobile call costs – which can be a significant percentage of a company’s comms bill – and helps to better manage employee mobiles, whether those are company-issued or employees’ own devices.
Enable, Don’t Disrupt
Cloud telephony features such as instant call recording, integration with email and business apps such as your email client (such as Outlook or Gmail), CRM or sales software, and click-to-dial from those apps are all business enablers, and are available on demand.
These sophisticated services were once the preserve of the largest corporates, which were the only organisations able to afford to purchase and set them up. However, with cloud telephony, they require no additional software, installation or maintenance: they’re part of the service, and can be up and running in a day.
In contrast, traditional on-premise phone systems are far more disruptive because they’re stand-alone, and only integrate with difficulty, if at all. With a cloud telephony solution, you can add new features as and when you choose.
Call recordings are stored in the cloud, and are easily accessed and replayed almost instantly, whenever you need them. Recordings can also be appended to customer records in your email client or business software, enabling them to be retrieved, searched and managed as easily as an email or a document.
Reporting for Business
An additional benefit of cloud telephony is its comprehensive reporting capabilities. Together with call recording, this offers sales managers a powerful set of tools to help with managing and motivating their teams. Call reports and call records can be integrated into a range of sales automation and CRM suites, enriching the customer database and giving greater insight into a team’s overall sales processes, from enquiry to completion.
So with its flexibility, lower costs, and rich business-enhancing features, cloud telephony’s benefits are particularly compelling in the current climate. Since when has good business sense been disruptive?