A cloud phone system is a telephone service which uses the internet to make calls, rather than the optical fibres and copper wires used by analogue phones. They are growing in popularity as more businesses switch to online software and storage solutions.
A cloud-based phone system works by routing a telephone call through your internet connection, with voice data running between each end of the call in real time. Sound is translated into small packets of digital data which are sent via private branch exchanges, designed to route the call to the correct receiver.
By using the online service, it is possible to approve multiple call access points, which means multiple authorised devices can be used to make and receive calls. They are managed by providers which store, route, and manage data, voice calls and any specific settings.
You can use a variety of devices – smartphones, VoIP enabled phones, adapted traditional phones and even computer software and apps. Any company with a broadband connection will be able to use the service. Companies can even benefit from VoIP telephone packages which offer a variety of additional competitively priced solutions.
The ideal telephone solution for you will depend on your individual business requirements, however if you are looking to save both time and money, it is very likely that a cloud phone system will be right for your business needs.
In many situations, businesses choose to switch services because their current equipment has reached the end of its life or no longer provides the features the company requires. Traditional systems can be costly to repair, replace and maintain, whereas, online services offer a low-cost solution with minimal hardware changes required.
Technology is advancing rapidly, so businesses looking for improved integration, advanced telephony features and scalability often find that a cloud-based telephony is a better choice than traditional copper wires and. However, as with all types of technology there are some downsides associated with using a service that is completely reliant on the internet.
You can call and communicate with co-workers without the extra costs.
You can integrate your system with voicemails, instant messaging software, emails, social media and CRM tools.
You can call internationally much cheaper than regular business landline services.
You can use instant messaging and communicate with your teammates in real time.
You can use various levels of smart AI to convert text to speech and other amazing features and automation.
These systems can reduce the workload by automatically routing calls to the appropriate person or team.
Low cost – There is no cost for each call you make, which means no more expensive international or mobile calls. In addition, if your company relies on multiple telephone lines and pays for additional features, an online telephone service is likely to offer the features you need at no extra cost. If you need to add additional lines or enable new features, these can often be added via a simple management dashboard, rather than paying for expensive engineer visits.
Reliability – Providers host their servers in multiple locations, so if a single server experiences issues there is always a back-up server available at another location.
Flexibility – The use of these servers allows calls to be routed from any VoIP enabled phone, regardless of the caller’s location. This is ideal for businesses with multiple locations or those which need to scale quickly.
Internet connection – as other VoIP services, a cloud solution will need an internet connection to work, so if your connection drops you will not be able to make or receive calls. To ensure you are able to make reliable calls, your business will need a stable internet connection with high-performance networking equipment. However, it doesn’t require huge amounts of bandwidth, with each line needing roughly 100kbps of upload speed.
Location information – Although this will not be an issue for every business, there are some providers which are not able to provide accurate location information when a call is made to the emergency services.
Let’s take a look at the most frequently asked questions and see whether this technology could be the right fit for your company:
Yes, it will be cheaper than a landline because it uses your businesses existing internet connection. Instead of being charged for each minute of a call, the costs are simply covered via your internet package.
There are several great telephone solutions which are suitable for small businesses, such as BT One Phone, Berry Technologies, 4Com HiHi, 8x8 X Series and RingCentral Office.
There is very little difference, so you will find that the terms are often used interchangeably. Both offer the same functionality.
Yes, you can convert your existing business landline using an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA). Traditional landlines cannot be connected to your internet router as they are not equipped to transmit data to the internet. However, an adapter will convert your voice signals into data packets which can be interpreted.
Yes, a cloud telephone system is a good fit for small businesses, thanks to its low investment costs, ongoing affordability, and the ability to scale quickly as the company grows and expands. Depending on the provider, there may be a variety of features available which are beneficial to small businesses such as mobility, collaboration, centralised communications and teleconferencing, which will all support company growth.
Here at BusinessComparison we have teamed up with a range of UK telephone providers, so you can access the service it needs at a great price. We can help you compare deals from providers such as BT, Virgin Media, Gamma, Cisco, Polycom and Focus Group. To find out more about the benefits of VoIP phones and to compare your options today, please contact our team.