It’s been more than a hundred years since the telephone was first invented by Alexander Graham Bell. We’ve come a long way, and in today’s digital world, cloud communications technology is setting the tone for how we connect with each other. In the workplace, Unified Communications (UC) has already brought together different cloud collaboration and communication tools for a holistic and smarter way of working.
At the heart of more and more UC strategies sits cloud telephony, also known as cloud voice. Cloud telephony involves hosting voice communications services on the cloud, rather than physical hardware like that used for traditional PBX (private branch exchange) systems. That means cloud telephony – like any other cloud-based service –not only can integrate with other applications or platforms, but also can allow for far greater accessibility and scalability than rigid PBX infrastructure. Here are five ways in which cloud telephony can – and should – boost collaboration and communication in your business:
- Lowering your TCO
Cloud telephony is easy to set up and requires minimal to no upfront capital expenditure. Being hosted on the cloud means no hardware installation is required (except for a good pair of headphones): all it takes to access voice communications is a web browser and internet connection. For fast-growing businesses, a simple monthly subscription can offer access to enterprise-class call centre features that ensure better efficiency, a superior customer experience, and far smoother operation.
- Increasing solutions flexibility
Unlike conventional telephone systems for business, cloud telephony provides immediate voice and messaging service for inbound calls, outbound calls, call forwarding, call transfers or call conference at the touch of a button. Most importantly, it allows businesses to switch between solutions and plans as and when they need to. Arkadin’s Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams or WebEx Calling, for instance, allows the end user to mix and match calling plan options to meet their global voice requirements, from Arkadin’s calling plan to Microsoft’s native options or a “Bring Your Own Carrier” (BYOC) alternative of their choosing.
- Integrating seamlessly with existing platforms
The software-based nature of cloud telephony means it can be added to any computer application, integrating easily with existing call centre of customer relationship management (CRM) platforms. Calling, therefore, becomes a native feature of the software already in use, rather than being a separate system altogether. This makes it much easier for separate teams to work together and coordinate how they manage customers or projects – be it through voice calls, instant messaging, sharing files or scheduling meetings under the wider UC framework.
- Scaling faster for growth
Because of its low infrastructure footprint, cloud telephony can scale far more easily to match business growth. Small businesses can begin with one or two users, before deciding to add more users or locations when the time is right. For growing organisations, it’s important to stagger out the costs, pace out growth accordingly and strike the right balance between expansion and efficient use of existing resources.
- Enhancing mobility and responsiveness
With remote working and the liquid workforce now on the rise, cloud telephony offers a more efficient platform to keep everyone connected and working off the same page regardless of time zones or locations. This is especially important for sales teams and other “road warriors”: a global direct routing infrastructure with low latency and strong connectivity allows teams to take calls and handle leads no matter where they might be at any given time. While basic VoIP solutions may also provide that sort of always-on access, cloud telephony brings to the table a quality of service that ensures teams don’t miss critical information because of lag or connectivity issues – a critical factor when dealing with urgent issues across multiple locations.
Cloud telephony can transform businesses in more ways than one. As the technology continues to develop, it should also pave the way for more advanced capabilities in communications infrastructure – Artificial Intelligence-based automation, analytics, reporting, monitoring, training and in-built global compliance features. Even as voice calls have started to move away from traditional switchboards to internet phones, a seamless global voice communication experience run on the cloud will soon come to be expected as an everyday norm.