Business revolves around your power to communicate fast, effectively, and efficiently. For you to be able to do this and ultimately have a phone solution for your business, a cloud PBX (private branch exchange) system is what you need.
Cloud PBX is growing into one of the most popular telephony systems on the market and any business that really wants to stay competitive must go cloud-PBX.
Based on the Rightscale's 2018 State of the Cloud Survey, it was discovered that 81 % of enterprises already have a multi-cloud strategy in place, this stemmed from the fact that clouding computing went mainstream in 2018. The survey also discovered that 96 % of organizations use it in one way or another.
Also, the Statista reports that In 2018, approximately 3.6 billion internet users were projected to access cloud computing services, up from 2.4 billion users in 2013. Since cloud PBX is based on cloud computing technology, this colossal migration by enterprises to cloud-based technology is a clear call-to-action you must heed to and a pointer to you that it makes a lot of business sense.
The expression "cloud" probably correlates to the representations of clouds used by its program developers to express the concept of the Internet. The symbol was used to signify the division between the liabilities of the service provider company and the responsibilities of the client.
Cloud technology means that your business can access the data and services of the cloud from any of your devices connected to the Internet. Hence, if you have a cloud PBX provider, you will be able to use all the standard PBX features without having to resort to an actual PBX in your home or office.
The essence of setting up your business should be all about satisfying your customer or client and making a return on your investment. In order to achieve this, you must factor in and prioritize all the processes and efficiencies that are necessary to make things run smoothly and reach the endgame.
This becomes more relevant as technology keeps on advancing and new innovations are flooding the marketing landscape on a regular basis. Any attempt to stick to your old and probably antiquated ideas can be harmful to your business and may even cost you your fair share of the market.
The most potent means of communication within and outside any business setup is the telephone. It's quick, fast, prompt, effective, efficient and in real time.
The question, however, is what type of telephone system are you using for your business? Is it a cloud PBX? If it's not, you must switch to cloud PBX.
Why cloud PBX?
A private branch exchange (cloud PBX) which is also known as an Internet phone system is based on a provider who has the responsibility of housing the IP-PBX as well as managing the technology needed to make sure that the services to the phone system are made available. Usually, you plug the desk sets into a router and this ensures that your calls, signaling, and devices are handled by an IP-PBX server at the provider's location.
The two basic ways of charging by the provider of cloud PBX could be on a monthly basis that includes a minute package and possibly certain specialties or a per-minute calling cost. Whichever of the two options you want to go for depends on the rates.
Inasmuch as you are able to determine the minutes you spend on the phone in a month, you can easily make comparisons to determine which package is best for your organization. If you want extended features, that means you have to pay more.
On-premises, on the other hand, is also known as an IP-PBX phone system. It is not much different from the traditional PBX system that resides at a location, such as a computer equipment room or phone closet.
What you may consider the difference between them is the technological advancement that is involved in IP routing. You will have to send signals through an IP phone to the IP-PBX server using a LAN.
Calls may have to go through a traditional phone company as well as voice over the Internet (VoIP) using SIP trunking. You make use of gateway cards to connect the system to the traditional phone company provider.
The cumbersomeness of on-premise is definitely the reason why a study revealed that 50% of IT leaders have stopped using on-premise communications tools in 2018, however, this is expected to increase to 90% by 2021.
How cloud PBX works
All cloud technologies are reliant on the Internet. For your cloud PBX to work, it must be connected to your IP, or internet phone, for its internet connection.
It is, therefore, necessary that you have a VoIP or other IP system in place in your office in order to use a cloud PBX. There are a lot of VoIP service providers who will gladly include their PBX options at little or no extra charge.
Your cloud PBX can be accessed with a personalized account from any equipment that can run the cloud PBX's interface software. This implies that you will be able to access your cloud PBX from even remote areas inasmuch as it has internet or device that you have accredited for use with your system.
What you simply need to do is to log in with a password, means of authentication, or answer a security question from that device. The multiple devices are able to communicate with each other through middleware, a software that allows your cloud to have various means of access.
When you use your office phone and cloud PBX, you have greater mobility and freedom. Even when you are out of the office, you don't have to miss your calls since you can stay connected through your cloud PBX.
Your cloud PBX service provider stores and manages all the data that you want your cloud PBX to hold. This ensures that your calls are routed to their recipients over the Internet by the service provider.
Your service provider is also able to back up all the useful information that you want it to store in case of a loss of data especially when your computer packs up. The ability to replicate data in this form is known as "redundancy."
5 benefits of cloud PBX to your business
You will not want to sink in resources into a venture that will eventually not yield dividends for your organization, it's, therefore, necessary you consider these five benefits of cloud PBX before switching from either the traditional phoning system or on-premise PBX.
Ability to scale, improve customer service and save cost
Probably, the most important benefit you will derive from a cloud PBX system is its low cost. A cloud PBX comes as a service, therefore, you don't need to spend any extra cash to purchase any new form of physical equipment.
If you, however, deem it necessary, you can purchase VoIP-enabled desktop phones, alternatively, you can have your system go through mobile phones. Cloud PBX systems can offer even more value by providing near-infinite scalability and lower costs, breaking free of the constraints of on-premises which means that at all times, you have precisely the capacity you need.
If your business experiences a sudden growth, you can quickly provision PBX services for each new employee. Along the same line, you can de-commission them when people leave.
If you have an unexpected upsurge in inbound calls, probably as a result of a successful marketing campaign, you don't need to fret about it, the cloud can take care of it. And everything's far more manageable.
You can set up and scale down services for employees instantly, via user-friendly web interfaces. You pay only for what you use – as a simple, monthly, per-user subscription – and can see your billing info at any time.
This also enhances your customer service since you won't have to source for funds to buy and install any new equipment when you experience an upsurge in your business, all you need is for the employees you must have onboarded to just carry on from what you have on the ground.
Finally, as well as no bulky hardware or infrastructure block sums, your overall costs will be lower since you won't be paying for installation and maintenance. Cloud PBX providers are able to keep prices down because they buy resources in bulk, at relatively low rates, and also run their platforms more cost-efficiently.
There are ample benefits derivable from cloud-based PBX systems due to its outstanding characteristics. The global trend is to shift from a traditional working environment and focus more on the ability to be flexible.
It has, therefore, become germane for large businesses to prioritize the ability to communicate in real-time. The availability of the internet has made it possible for you to conduct your business through your computer or even smartphone with cloud PBX systems.
All the employees on your payroll can also go ahead to personalize their phone settings to whatever is suitable and comfortable for them. They will have the ability to channel all their calls to their phones, computer, and even their mobile phones as the case may be.
All the essential ingredients you require to effectively run your modern-day business such as texting, voicemail with transcription, call recording, and integration with vendor services, abound on cloud PBX. There is no particular order in which a cloud PBX must come with features, it's your responsibility as the user to know what you want and then ask your vendor for it.
Sometimes, you may even have to purchase extra add-ons to make up for what your system lacks.
Improved collaboration and productivity
Business just got better. You can do a lot much more with a cloud PBX than with an on-premises PBX. There is a great opportunity to improve internal collaboration and productivity.
As everybody will be on the same page with cloud PBX, there is ample opportunity for understanding and harmony which will eventually translate to greater yields and greater ROI.
Powerful communication tools
Before venturing into cloud technology, modern PBXs had a lot of communications tools, like voicemail, call groups, and conference calling among others. Cloud PBXs have, however, taken all these to an entirely different dimension, they now have features such as:
- Presence, so you always know when colleagues are available
- Audio and video calling and conferencing, enhancing in-depth communications
- Real-time messaging and chat, prompt responsiveness
- Unified messaging, so you can see all your e-mail, text- and voice-messages together
- Means of easily accessing the global corporate phone directories, eliminating inconveniences, and saving time
- Globally availability of single extension dialing
Undoubtedly, you need phone communication to efficiently carry out your day-to-day business transactions, it's, therefore, compulsory that you must have a dependable means of communication. This is where cloud PBX systems are heads and shoulders above the traditional public switched telephone network lines, which are not hosted on the internet and also don't have backup methods in place to fall on. [Read related story: Best Business Phone Systems]
Businesses are moving away from the cumbersome copper cabling of the traditional phone. They are shifting focus away from vulnerabilities to natural disasters and the cost of replacement occasioned by acts of vandalism and so, should you.
Why must you be bogged down by unnecessary wears and tears that will eventually lead to unwarranted downtimes? With cloud PBX, all of your information will be in the cloud and you may only have to suffer little to no stoppage or time out if an issue develops.
Since the usage of cloud PBX is expected to hit 90% by 2021, it definitely means that businesses are yielding returns on revenue from it and you should follow suit. However, you must note that most technological advancements have one or two shortcomings and that may also be the case for cloud PBX.
Two areas that you must focus seriously on before subscribing to any service provider are security and the availability of the internet. Where you suffer from poor internet connections or you are not able to properly secure your connection, cloud PBX may be frustrating.
You need strong connections to function properly and as it is based on the internet, cybercriminals may capitalize on that to wreak havoc on your business. Any vendor you want to enter into any form of cloud-PBX based agreement with must show you the proof of having both physical and network security, session initiation protocol endpoint security, toll fraud tracking and identification, and a customized monitoring system that gives you a signal as to any questionable conduct.
If you are able to ascertain these, you don't have any reason not to switch to cloud PBX inasmuch as you have the mindset of enhancing competitive advantage for your business.