Business Benefits of Cloud-Based Telephony (VoIP)
Despite the widespread proliferation of email in business environments, a telephony system is still the backbone of business operations. This is essentially because it’s easier to have a quick 30-second conversation over the phone, rather than waiting for the respondent to open, read, digest and reply to an email.
That’s why phones are still widely used in all aspects of business, from communication with clients and vendors to facilitating internal office communications. However, despite the importance of our phone systems, many companies continue to use analogue telephony systems, often relying on Australia’s legacy telephony systems that don’t provide the benefits of systems that integrate company networks, customer support, inter-company and customer conferencing, cost-effective calling rates and integration with mobile phones and workforces
However, with the rise of the NBN and availability of fast Internet across Australia, we are seeing a shift towards cloud-based telephony systems based on Voice over IP (VoIP) technologies that are not reliant on the aging infrastructure of traditional telephony systems.
So, what is a cloud-based (VoIP) telephony system?
Cloud-based telephony is commonly known as VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol. A VoIP system uses the internet to send and receive telephone calls rather than relying on analogue copper lines.
The cloud-based aspect of this system is a cloud-hosted server that facilitates all aspects of the telephony system, such as all internal routing and the transfer of calls to analogue phone lines so that anyone can contact you, regardless of how they make the call.
The use of a cloud-hosted server provides an upgrade path to ensure up-to-date systems that are scalable and also cost effective when compared to locally hosted hardware.
What are the benefits of a cloud-based VoIP system?
1 - Portability and mobility
A cloud-based VoIP system provides an advanced telephony solution to match your businesses’ needs. With the evolution of the remote workforce, business and their employees are able to take advantage of collaborative tools such as unified communications, that offer features such as:
Accessibility from the same contact numbers – Employees working remotely will no longer be required to provide contact numbers that are distinct from your main office, but rather everyone is accessible on a single number. This can even apply to mobile phones and international sites!
Unified outgoing numbers – In a similar manner to the above point, all employees can present the same outgoing number from any device!
Software-based calling – The use of a cloud-based VoIP system allows your business to forego the need for physical phones to communicate. With the ability to install apps on mobiles and computers, your workforce will always be easily contactable whether out on the road, interstate, or overseas.
2 - Cost reductions
VoIP results in a decreased cost per call compared to standard telephony systems while maintaining many of the advanced features you are used to (and more!), while you only pay for the features that are actually used. Also, upfront investment in infrastructure is significantly reduced, with no need to purchase outright or lease expensive PBX hardware. All that is required is a reliable internal network, internet access and your handsets.
3 - Scalability
Your workforce numbers may often fluctuate as you grow as a business. There might be periods where you scale up staff in one or more departments and other times when you scale down.
With a cloud-based VoIP system, the ability to scale up and down with numbers phones, both physical handsets in your office alongside extensions forwarded to mobiles and features are extremely straightforward and fast.
4 - Reliability
Almost every business we work with is heavily reliant on their phones to operate efficiently.
If your phone lines were to go down due to issues with weather, or technical issues with your Telco, what would be the cost to your business?
With a cloud-based VoIP system, your business will be provided with the tools to mitigate such risks, with failover technology in the event of an issue.
Internet dropped out in your area? Hotspot your softphone to your mobile phone and continue business as usual.
Ultimately, this will result in 24/7 uptime for your telephony system, ensuring that it's ready whenever you need it.
5 - Easy upgrade path to a complete Unified Communications solution
A cloud-hosted VoIP solution allows your business to integrate telephony with a wide range of other collaborative tools including:
Enabling instant and convenient messaging between all staff, regardless of location or time-zone
Enabling face-to-face communication from anywhere in the world with all employees
Allowing the ability for local, interstate and international employees to seamlessly collaborate on the same document all at the same time.
These features enable your staff, particularly those working remotely to collaborate and communicate more productively and efficiently. In addition, instant and convenient access to all documents and communication tools delivers a more connected and inclusive workplace.
6 - Enhanced customer service
One of my favourite benefits of VoIP telephony is the fact that you can seamlessly record all of your calls and build a mountain of data around your customer service. This information can be used to enhance the analytical decisions taken to improve this important area of your business.
Through a cloud-based telephony system, you can record statistics about how many calls were made, how long they were placed on hold for, how many rings before calls were answered, and much more.
The utilisation of this data will help you build a transparent and efficient customer service function that your customers believe in and rely on.
With the implementation of a cloud-based VoIP solution, your business will have all the tools required to increase productivity in an ever-changing work environment, especially given the ever-increasing numbers of remote workers. In addition, it will ensure that your telephony system, the backbone of any successful business, is working to the fullest extent and making a difference in all aspects of your operations.
Ultimately, a modern, cloud-based VoIP system is the only choice for your business, to ensure that you remain one step ahead of the competition.
Dimitri Margaritis – Solutions Consultant, PNORS Technology Group
Dimitri has held a number of Business Development and Relationship/Account Management roles, primarily within the financial services industry. Dimitri has extensive experience assisting private businesses through to global, ASX listed entities amassing a breadth of experience that Dimitri draws on daily to assist his client’s attain their efficiency aspirations.
Dimitri has an Executive MBA (Monash University) and is a sales professional with a passion for spending time with clients to understand their business needs and working collaboratively to uncover solutions that specifically address clients pain points.
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