What are the Pros and Cons of a Cloud-Based Phone System?
Our in-depth breakdown of the pros and cons of a cloud-based phone system should help you make the right decision for your business.
Workplaces are evolving, and businesses that don’t keep pace run the risk of significant impacts on productivity and profitability. Nowadays, end-users expect to be able to meet, call, conference, collaborate and message from a single application. Businesses desire increased productivity despite the new complexities introduced by hybrid working conditions.
As businesses change and grow, the requirement to be able to adapt and scale systems and processes to suit their needs becomes a necessity. Traditional on-premise phone systems are more difficult to scale due to higher setup and maintenance costs and the need for hardware on-site and heavy reliance on IT support. A cloud-based phone system on the other hand enables businesses to manage communication services in a less costly, more streamlined, and agile manner. When communications services are in the cloud, you can collaborate with ease, manage costs and simplify what it takes to keep your business communicating and collaborating.
Cloud-based phone systems use VoIP Technology that connects phone calls. Since there is no central hardware in a cloud-based phone system, your phones can be connected at any location and unified into a business-wide phone solution such as Teams Calling. Therefore legacy technology such as on-premise hardware is not required, all you need is a high-speed internet connection.
Adopting a cloud-based phone system has many advantages like lowering monthly business phone costs and improved mobility for remote workforces.
To understand more about Cloud-Based Phone systems refer to our blog on how cloud-based phone systems work.
Pros and Cons of Cloud Phone Systems
Cloud-based systems have become more popular with businesses becoming more digitized with internet services. However, it’s important to consider both pros and cons of cloud phones before determining whether they are best suited to your business or not.
Lower Costs: Cloud-based phone systems are much cheaper than traditional, on-premise phone systems. If you are looking to streamline your communications expenses then moving to cloud communications is something that should be considered. Traditional phone lines involve expenses such as investment into PBX, recurring maintenance costs, and additional features such as auto attendants, voicemail transcription, call queueing, and more.
A modern VoIP solution can actually lower your phone bill by up to 60% because of free local numbers, toll-free numbers, and inexpensive international calls.
Reliability: Cloud-based phone systems will help you keep your business up and running even when a disaster hits such as a cyber attack or natural disaster. A cloud-based phone system hosted in the cloud is more secure and reliable should something go wrong. An on-premise PBX system relies on a single location and data centers that use redundancy creating risks around downtime and service issues.
Faster Implementation: Scaling traditional phone systems can be expensive. Provisioning new phone numbers for new employees requires phone lines and ports which can take weeks. Cloud-Based phone systems enable you to add users and scale within an easy-to-use portal. Business tools that operate in the cloud are easy to deploy.
Productivity: Companies integrating communications with everyday applications increases efficiencies according to Gartner. Moreover, because employees are working from one tool, (Microsoft Teams in the case of our solution Teams Calling) they are not wasting time switching between applications for meetings, document sharing, and collaboration. Therefore enabling employees to stay connected whether they are in the office or working remotely. Cloud-based phone and collaboration systems provide a consistent business presence and help increase productivity with seamless access to email, instant messaging, voice and conferencing.
No ongoing Maintenance: Traditional PBXs aren’t just expensive to set up, they require a lot of effort and investment to maintain. Legacy phone systems require at least one dedicated resource to maintain and manage it, at times this means hiring outside contractors. With cloud-based phone solutions, this is managed by your Teams Calling supplier and they will manage all IT support queries and handle any issues that arise. A good-quality cloud-based phone provider will stand behind their solution by providing exceptional customer service.
You can read more about what our customers think of Kaine Mathrick Techs service.
Robust Call Features in your control: A cloud-operated phone system puts you in control of what features you need with the access to turn them on or off easily. Features are accessible from anywhere and from any device so your team has access to critical business software.
Traditional phone systems charge for many additional features. However, a cloud-based phone system allows you to take advantage of the following features at no additional cost:
- Auto Attendant
- Hunt Groups
- Music on Hold
- Call Queuing
- Voicemail to Email
- Conference Calls
- Video Conferencing
- Call Recording
- Fax to Email or Efax
- Hot Desking
- Busy Lamp Field
A great service provider will add features without hardware updates. You can tailor your cloud-based phone system to suit your business needs.
Improved Customer Experience: Customers are increasingly demanding customer experience over price. A cloud-based phone system with efficient call routing, high uptime, and mobility options for remote work limits technology shortcomings.
Supports the ‘modern workplace’: The new ‘hybrid’ workplace is our new normal. Since the world is mostly working on remote operations with employees expected to be available at all times, cloud phones enable you to route calls to VoIP based phones anytime anywhere, as long as you have a reliable internet connection.
Read our blog to understand the features of our cloud-based phone system Teams Calling.
Unified Collaboration & Communication tools: The solution commonly referred to as UCaaS – Unified Communications as a Service includes video conferencing, instant messaging, conference calls, and file sharing. UCaaS improves productivity and collaboration between onsite and remote teams. Meaning all staff have access to the relevant communication tools they need to operate effectively.
If your small business is expected to grow in the near future, investing in a cloud-based phone system can be very cost-efficient. You can easily add more advanced features, phone lines, and extensions without getting services from professionals or paying extra for equipment. A cloud-based phone system makes employee onboarding faster and meetings more efficient. It removes barriers that came with old communication systems putting you back in control.
It is hard to deny the many advantages of a cloud-based phone system, but there are also some drawbacks that should be considered when evaluating the solution that’s right for your business.
Stable Internet Connection: Because a cloud-based system relies completely on the internet, your phone system will fail if your internet connection fails. The great news is that reliable internet connection is the only system requirement that applies and over the past 5 years Australian internet speeds have increased as have its reliability. Furthermore, cloud-based phone systems don’t use much bandwidth.
If you are not sure how fast your internet is, check your speed on our fav tool fast.com.
Faster networking equipment required: If you have not upgraded your networking equipment recently such as your routers or switches, there may be some investment required to get your infrastructure up to standard. The job of the router is to segment networks, assign IP addresses, and shape network bandwidth. Older routers may not be compatible with large-scale VoIP implementations.
You may also need to look out for WIFI dead spots and conduct a wireless internet site audit to see how strong your internet is in different parts of your office. If you have a large office, consider adding a mesh WIFI network for maximum speed and coverage.
Latency issues: Rarely, but sometimes Jitter and latency may affect call quality, it is natural for wireless networks. To solve this problem you can:
- Check internet connection and test bandwidth
- Use ethernet connection for your phones and computers where possible
Replacement of old hardware: If you already have a large network of traditional phones, you will need to purchase or buy new IP phones or adapters. The good news is, not everyone will require a desk phone, headsets and mobiles are also an option.
See what equipment is available for our Teams Calling cloud-based phone solution.
So what’s next?
You have reviewed your options and like us understand that the Pros far outweigh the Cons. Hence moving your office phone system to the cloud is a no-brainer!
We have prepared some tips to help make your transition to the cloud run smoothly.
Tips to move your phone service to the cloud
- Plan ahead: It pays to forecast your business growth and understand your future network requirements, bandwidth, and workflow.
- Leverage the many VoIP features: Get your teams together and workshop what features will make them more productive and take advantage of the many features a cloud-based phone system offers.
- Talk to an expert: not all cloud-phone service providers are alike, so make sure that you are happy with the level of service they offer. Remember cheapest is not always the best.
The flexibility a cloud-based phone system offers means it can adapt to the growth of your business. All you need is the right technology partner to help you on that journey.
For more business phone and technology content, refer to our Information Centre.
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