Cloud telephony has revolutionised business communication in the last few years, allowing organisations of all sizes to establish complex phone networks for a fraction of the cost and effort that installing a traditional PBX-based phone network would take.
In a cloud telephony phone system, all phone traffic is carried over an organisation’s data network, rather than over a separate phone system. This technology is known as “Voice over IP”, or VoIP. To make external calls, the system sends voice traffic over the Internet in much the same way as normal browsing traffic would be treated. As such, all an organisation usually needs to get started with cloud telephone is an internet connection and some compatible phones. This contrasts sharply with regular phone networks, which require organisations to install large amounts of expensive phone routing equipment on-site.
Cloud telephony services offer significant scalability benefits over regular phone networks. Gradwell allow customers to adjust the number of lines they have to meet demand. If the customer’s organisation grows, they can simply add more phone lines to their cloud plan and Gradwell will take care of all the work for them. Likewise, if the customer needs to downsize, we can easily deactivate lines to reflect this change in demand.
With a standard phone network, on the other hand, the customer must go through the process of provisioning or removing any additional lines themselves, a process which usually requires time, money and a high level of technical knowledge.
One good example of how cloud telephony can help organisations to scale without breaking the bank can be seen at Arc Eden, a financial advisory firm. Arc Eden commissioned cloud us to run their phone services specifically so that the company could grow without increasing their phone system costs significantly. The ability to add on only the additional services they need has helped the company to keep a far closer eye on their telephone overheads than they might otherwise have been able to do.
With a cloud telephony service, all the physical equipment and software that the system runs on is located on a provider’s server. As such, the provider performs all installation and maintenance tasks that might need to take place on that equipment, usually without disrupting the client’s service. With a regular phone network, on the other hand, a business might need to employ a permanent phone technician to look after its on-site equipment, and would likely experience downtime in connectivity while maintenance was taking place on that equipment.
Cloud also offers far greater simplicity when it comes to upgrading. Ordinarily, the only way for a business to upgrade their phone equipment would be to purchase and install new hardware or software. With cloud telephony, on the other hand, much of the upgrade work is performed “behind the scenes” by the cloud provider, again with minimal disruption to the client’s service.
Cloud telephony also allows businesses to be flexible in the ways that they work and communicate with each other. With cloud telephony services, a user can access their phone system from virtually anywhere that they can get an Internet connection. As such, cloud telephony can be used to let employees work from home with no loss of productivity, or to route calls between two geographically distinct offices with minimal fuss.
Payment card company OnePay uses cloud telephony in this way, employing a flexible and responsive system that is able to respond to changing demands. For example, if the volume of calls coming in to OnePay’s facilities exceeds a certain level, their cloud telephony system can automatically bring overflow call centres online to handle the load. Although this would be possible through a standard phone network, it would require the company to invest in the installation and maintenance of expensive phone switching hardware.
Another example of this flexibility can be seen with Milan Solutions, an IT services company. Milan runs much of its operation from India, a fact which was causing it to run up high bills for phone and teleconferencing on its old system. Using flexible cloud routing from Gradwell, however, has enabled Milan to make calls from India through a local UK phone number, dramatically cutting their existing bills and allowing the organisation to work together as a cohesive whole.
For more information on how your business can benefit from Cloud telephony, contact Gradwell today.