Cloud Phone Systems: an easy guide

When it comes to business, being able to communicate efficiently is imperative. With a traditional phone system, you are limited to your desk phone and possibly an additional extension for your home or office. These systems can be expensive to set up and maintain, but with the cloud, you get so much more at a fraction of the cost.

Cloud phone systems are breaking new ground by providing internal and external communications, while also delivering all the features your business needs to operate smoothly and efficiently. The market is growing quickly as more and more businesses take advantage of its capabilities, with the global market expected to reach $20.8 billion by 2023.

With the right information and guidance, you can make an informed decision that will positively impact your business for years to come.

What is a cloud phone system?

There are two main types of cloud phone systems: hosted and on-premises. Hosted systems are accessed via a web browser and typically require an Internet connection. On-premises systems are installed on a server at the business location, and usually require installation or maintenance by IT staff.

A cloud phone system essentially provides all the necessary hardware and software for a business to operate as if it were a virtual Private Branch Exchange (PBX). You can install the system on your server or use a hosted virtual PBX service already in the cloud.

Whichever option you choose, you'll get access to phone numbers, extensions, voicemail, mobility features, and much more.

How do cloud-based phone systems work?

Most cloud phone systems are hosted in data centres, making them an online service or software. They are accessible from anywhere, on any device including smartphones, tablets, and computers. This allows for functionality such as call forwarding, call recording, and other features that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to have when working with a traditional phone system.

Are cloud phones VoIP?

Cloud phone systems are run on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) networks, which use the internet to make and receive calls. This means you’ll have the same features as you would with traditional phone systems, but without the high price tag.

Cloud phone features

There are a number of features that are standard on most cloud phone systems. Many cloud phone systems offer all of these features, but some may not include every one. Here are some of the most important features to keep in mind when shopping for a cloud phone system.

Unified communications: This allows people to communicate with each other on any device or platform.

Call forwarding: You want to be able to route calls to wherever you or your team members are. This can be to extensions, voicemail, or to mobile phones, depending on the situation.

Voicemail to email: This is a must-have feature for any business owner. You can route voicemails directly to your inbox, allowing you to respond to callers right away, even if you aren’t in the office.

Number portability: Portability is key when it comes to business communications, especially if you plan on hiring remote workers. You want to make sure you can forward calls to their mobile numbers, and that you can also easily switch phone numbers if you need to in the future.

Call recording: You can’t always be present for important calls. In some cases, you may not even be aware of them. With call recording, you can access the recordings at a later time if necessary. This can be invaluable for training and reviewing past conversations.

Mobility options: You want to be able to access your phone system from anywhere. This means being able to access your system through a mobile device, regardless of the platform.

The benefits of using a cloud-based phone system

Increased productivity: Cloud phone systems allow you to make and receive calls from your desktop computer, mobile phone, or any other device from any location, which means you can multitask while on the call.

Greater accessibility: You also have access to voicemail from wherever you are. This means that you can respond to calls and voicemails as soon as they come in, rather than waiting for the next business day.

Lower upfront costs: A cloud phone system comes with all the necessary hardware and software, eliminating the installation and ongoing maintenance costs of a traditional phone system.

Scalability: You want your business to continue to grow and flourish. A cloud phone system can grow with you, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing a new system if your business exceeds the capacity of the one you have now.

Cloud phone with Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform which allows teams to communicate, share files and video conference with ease. With Teams, users can chat privately or in the presence of one another, share documents and collaborate on projects.

To improve collaboration between remote employees, businesses can deploy a telephony solution that provides video conferencing, call routing, call recording, and other business communications tools as part of Teams’ unified communications platform. In addition to improving employee productivity, this approach enables teams to work together even when they are separated by great distances.

Find the right cloud phone system with expert assistance

Cloud phone systems are a great way to save money while getting the same functionalities you would get with a traditional phone system. They also provide you with a range of new features that might otherwise be unavailable to you, such as mobility options, unified communications, and call recording.

The cloud phone specialists at Essential Tech can help you implement the right cloud phone system for your business, train your team, and manage the system for best performance.

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