If you’re a business owner looking to set up a phone system or update your existing one, then cloud telephony is a great choice. It scores over traditional telephony systems in multiple areas. Businesses globally have started to harness the many advantages it offers, including advanced customizations and seamless connectivity. 74% of companies have stated that cloud telephone systems are their most urgent investment priorities.
The traditional telephony system, on the other hand, is nothing but your conventional desk landline setup that you find in most business houses. It doesn’t offer any great benefits apart from facilitating communication between employees and clients.
Before diving into the benefits of cloud telephony, let us try to understand what cloud telephony is and how it works.
What is Cloud Telephony?
Cloud telephony, also known as cloud calling, is a Unified Communication as a Service(UCaaS). A typical cloud telephony platform offers voice communication services along with a host of other features. UCaaS has started to replace most of the conventional enterprise phone systems such as a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) due to its drawbacks, including scalability issues and high maintenance.
Cloud telephony eliminates these drawbacks as it doesn’t employ any hardware. Also, since the calls are made through the internet, there are minimal signal fluctuations and downtime as compared to the traditional phone systems.
Working of Cloud Telephony
To understand the working of cloud telephony, you must know what VoIP is. The VoIP(Voice over internet protocol) is a sophisticated technology that allows you to make voice calls through the internet instead of traditional (analog) phone lines. When you dial the number you want to call, your service provider intercepts the signal and converts the analog voice signals into data packets, and then transmits them via your internet connection. That is exactly how a person receives your call via cloud telephony.
Cloud telephony systems have a concept called published number. This is the virtual number (given to the outside world) through which your customers can connect with your organization. It forwards incoming calls to one of the PRI lines in your cloud data center. The PRI(Primary Rate Interface) line or circuit is an end-to-end digital telecommunication connection that allows over 23 concurrent transmissions of data, voice, or video communication between the network and the user.
Here is the working of cloud telephony servers with multiple PRI lines
- PRI lines on reliable cloud-based servers intercept the incoming calls.
- These cloud-based servers are capable of call recording, IVR, reporting and offer a bunch of other functionalities. They are also housed in reliable data centers with uninterrupted connectivity.
- The call distribution is done based on certain rules or based on the caller’s input in IVR.
- There can be another way of distributing calls which is CRM lookups. For example, if you have separate teams for handling new and regular customers, the telephony server checks your CRM once the call is received. It will identify whether the caller is a new or regular customer and route the call accordingly to the respective teams.
Here is the typical flow of incoming and outgoing calls
- The caller calls on your published telephony number.
- PRI lines in the cloud data center forward the call.
- The servers then play the Interactive Voice Response (if configured) and redirect the call to an employee based on the call distribution logic.
- Finally, the caller connects with the employee.
- During this whole process, your call gets recorded, telephony API communicates with your CRM (if configured), and after the call, everyone receives an SMS notification.
How does a Cloud Telephony System differ from a traditional PBX system?
As you already know by now, cloud telephony systems eliminate the need for any physical equipment that is usually found in the PBX system. Your employees can communicate with each other or any customer via an internet-connected device.
Adopting cloud telephony is much simpler as all you need is a VoIP service provider and a reliable broadband connection. On the other hand, the traditional PBX system presents a steeper challenge in terms of initial setup. There are also high upfront costs in it. In a typical PBX setup, a telephone provider first visits your location and installs stationary equipment. You have to pay both for the labor and for the equipment installed. Also, in the long run, if something breaks or overheats or does not function properly, repairing them is not only costly but also can take a toll on your productivity.
Traditional PBX systems make long-distance calls quite expensive, and adopting advanced features like HD audio or call analytics can empty your coffers.
Also, if your company is growing, then your phone system has to scale too. Scaling a PBX system means adding more equipment, which can add up to upfront costs considerably. But while using a cloud telephony system, you can scale up at a fraction of the cost because there’s no hardware involved.
Why adopt Cloud Telephony?
Simpler to use
Cloud technology totally eliminates the necessity to purchase expensive hardware because all the services and functionalities are present online. This gives you the flexibility to manage the system remotely. There is no need to be present physically in the office. One can effortlessly manage cloud telephone servers online, that too, in a simple and fast way. It removes the complexities posed by a typical PBX system and also allows you to connect seamlessly.
Every investment has to deliver a certain ROI. When you adopt a cloud telephony system, your employees are more accessible to clients, and the calls are more personalized. This means that you not only get access to a huge customer base but also engage them to drive upsells. On top of this, reduced hardware costs can improve your margins. The best part is you can scale cloud telephony systems without additional investments. All these make it an excellent investment for your business.
Unlike traditional PBX systems, cloud telephony systems offer you the flexibility to carry your phone system anywhere. You can easily recruit remote staff who are present anywhere around the world. It gives total freedom to do business the way you want.
Traditional PBX systems often interfere with an employee’s productivity; it can take days to set up the hardware in multiple locations across your organization. Also, in case a system fails, it can affect your services, which can negatively impact your relationship with the customers. Since the cloud telephony servers are managed offsite, there is minimal downtime. So employees can always stay connected with the clients.
There is a common misconception that anything ‘cloud’ is prone to cyber-attacks. However, this is far from the truth. Almost all the cloud telephony providers offer military-grade security along with strong encryption to safeguard conversations between your organization and customers.
Cloud technology has become an important part of most organizations’ digital transformation process. These systems are also making employees’ and customers’ lives easier, which enables businesses to scale out with minimal investments. But it is extremely important to choose the right cloud telephony system as the wrong choice can turn counter-productive to your needs.
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