Cloud based phone system for small business, in a variety of options. Here’s how to choose the best one for your company.
A cloud based phone system allows you to make and receive calls over the internet while also storing data in the cloud.
These systems are both cost-effective and dependable, but only provided you have a fast internet connection.
Although cloud telephony systems are popular, they are not appropriate for all businesses.
- Cloud-based phone systems are becoming more popular among small businesses,
- Delivering dependable service,
- Affordable pricing, and a plethora of business-friendly features,
- But they may not be the best choice for everyone.
Continue reading to find out more about cloud-based systems and how to determine if they’re ideal for your company.
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What is a cloud based phone system?
A Cloud Based Phone System for Small Business is an internet-based phone service that allows you to make calls. Cloud calling or a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system are other terms for it.
A cloud-based phone system differs from regular analog phones in that it can store data in one or more offsite secure data centers, as opposed to classic analog phones that employ copper wires or optical fibers to connect two callers.
Traditional phones with adaptors, smartphone apps (such as Google Voice), computer calling software, or VoIP-enabled phones can all be used with cloud-based phone services.
Hosted PBX, or private branch exchange, is an example of a cloud based phone system for small business. The cloud stores and accesses all data, saving you time and money by allowing you to easily update and protect your data.
How do cloud-based phone systems work?
Cloud based phone systems divide your calls into little digital audio packets that are transferred as data over the internet to the call recipient.
If you call a conventional phone number, for example, the signal is transformed to a regular phone signal before reaching the recipient. The call is routed through SIP trunking using a cloud-based PBX.
Cloud-based phone systems are accessible to anyone with an internet connection and can be used in a variety of ways. You can make cloud-based calls using the following methods:
- A standard phone with a VoIP adapter. You can use a standard landline phone to make internet calls with an adaptor. The adaptors can be plugged into a wall phone socket or directly into your router.
- A computer (sometimes known as a “softphone”). Many tools and services, such as Skype, Google Voice, Apple Facetime, and others, allow you to make voice calls over the internet.
- A smartphone, to be precise. To make internet calls, you can use programs like Google Voice or Skype on your smartphone.
- A VoIP phone with a dedicated number. These phones resemble typical analog phones, but instead of using a phone line, they link to a computer network.
Pros and cons of cloud based phone system
As businesses get more comfortable with digital and internet-based services, cloud-based phone systems are becoming more popular.
However, it is still necessary to evaluate all elements of cloud-based phone systems before choosing if they are good for your company.
The advantages of cloud based phone system
The fundamental advantage of cloud based phone system, like many other cloud services, is their low cost.
Because all of your calls are made over the internet, you are only charged for your internet usage rather than your call minutes or phone service, as you would be with a traditional phone system that charges extra for things such as voicemail or auto attendant.
Major services are usually bundled with your phone service with cloud based systems, so you simply have to pay a single monthly fee for all of your communication needs.
The dependability of cloud-based phone systems is another major benefit. Because most businesses rely on communication with clients and other third parties, having a dependable line is essential.
Because cloud-based phone system for small business are hosted in various locations, you and your data are safe even if a server goes down.
This is known as geographic redundancy, and it is quite successful in preventing service difficulties and downtime for enterprises.
Cloud-based phone systems offer nearly limitless flexibility, making them a popular choice for companies with remote workers or frequent travelers.
If you have an internet connection, a cloud based phone can route calls to your VoIP-enabled phone no matter where you are.
Cloud based phone system allow you to scale your business as it grows. You can quickly add phone lines, extensions, and sophisticated features as needed with a cloud management system, without having to pay for professional installation or purchasing new equipment.
Updates and maintenance are also done in the cloud, saving you time and money while also preventing communication outages.
The disadvantages of cloud based phone system
While cloud based phone system are increasingly popular, they have significant disadvantages that may make them unsuitable for your company.
The main disadvantage of cloud-based phone systems is that they are prone to internet connectivity issues and outages because they are internet-based.
A cloud-based solution may not be ideal for you if your internet access is inconsistent or unstable, with frequent dropouts or failures. A cloud-based phone system cannot function without a strong, constant internet signal.
The fact that it is internet-based also creates security concerns. Without sufficient measures and safeguards, cloud-based systems might be vulnerable to virus and hackers.
Check to see if your internet connection is secure, and if your cloud system provider has security procedures in place to keep your data safe.
If you’re worried about emergency service availability, keep in mind that some VoIP and cloud based phone system may not enable 911 calls.
This is because cloud-based phone systems, unlike traditional phones, are not tethered to a specific geographic place, making it impossible to correctly track a 911 call.
As a result, VoIP and cloud system providers must enable Enhanced 911, or E911, which requires clients to enter a physical address that appears when dialing 911 on an IP phone.
However, not all cloud or VoIP providers provide this service because doing so requires them to work with traditional phone companies that control access to the public telephone system and 911 operators, which can be a difficult issue because cloud based phone system providers and public telephone systems are direct competitors.
Asking a VoIP provider directly if 911 service is offered automatically, if it must be activated, or if it is not supported at all is the easiest method to find out.
Finally, if your company already has a lot of traditional phone equipment, buying adaptors to convert them to cloud-enabled phones or buying entirely new IP phones might be very expensive.
Consider your current equipment and whether it is more cost effective to pay to convert your old system or to get a completely new service.
Features to look for in a cloud-based phone systems
One of the biggest benefits of a cloud-based phone system is the number of functions that are usually included in your subscription. The following are the main characteristics to look for:
Voicemail: This function is usually included in cloud system packages and allows you to get missed call messages.
Messaging: This feature, also known as team collaboration, provides for a variety of collaboration methods including screen sharing, file sharing, document editing, and conferencing.
Please do not disturb: All incoming calls are routed to voicemail without the phone ringing under Do not Disturb mode.
Caller ID is a feature that allows you to see who is calling You can see who is calling you thanks to caller ID.
Caller ID reveals the caller’s phone number, whereas caller ID with name gives both the phone number and the caller’s name. This can aid in determining which calls are important and which are spam.
Ring formations. For teams that answer calls from the same group of consumers, ring groups are a handy tool. Each team member will be notified whenever the phone calls for that team.
Call forwarding is a service that allows you to redirect calls to another Users can utilize this service to transfer calls to another phone number.
Management via the internet. The majority of cloud-based phone systems are administered using an online portal or management system, which allows administrators to add users, assign phone numbers, create ring groups, and view call data.
Users can access company directories, check voicemail, and create call-forwarding routes.
Communication that is unified. Unified communications, also known as a single cloud solution or a full cloud platform, provides for real-time collaboration and allows a company to consolidate all of its communications services, such as CRM, live chat, analytics, and more, into a single application.
Voicemail-to-text or email are two options. Voicemail-to-email, also known as voicemail-to-text, is a valuable function that converts audio voicemails into email or text formats that are easier to manage.
Automated receptionist. An auto attendant automatically answers incoming phone calls and connects callers to the person they’re trying to reach.
How to decide if your business needs a cloud based phone system
When deciding whether a cloud based phone system is ideal for you, whether you’re switching systems or beginning from scratch, there are several aspects to consider. Here are a few crucial first considerations:
Equipment. Do you have IP phones that could be readily integrated into a cloud system? Or do you have a mix of phones that will require a desk phone adaptor? Existing equipment can have a significant impact on prices, so think about it carefully.
Costs. Aside from the equipment, you’ll need to figure out what features you pay for in your existing system, whether there are any features you don’t need, and which features you want in your new system.
You’ll need to see if these features are included in your plan or if you’ll have to pay extra for them.
Reliability. The internet is completely reliant on cloud-based phone systems. Choose a cloud-based phone system only if you have a stable and secure internet connection. It’s possible that a regular landline is the better alternative.
It’s your company. If you own a small or medium-sized business, a cloud based phone system for small business can save you money on installation and maintenance while also giving you the freedom to adapt your communication system as your organization changes.
Control. Because calls are routed through a provider and kept on a hosted server, a cloud solution may not be the ideal option if you prefer or demand complete control over your system and data.
Insufficient security may be an issue for businesses that deal with sensitive data.
How to find a Cloud Based Phone System for Small Business provider
Once you’ve decided that a cloud based phone system for small business is what you want, the following step is to choose a provider.
Each service will provide different features and packages at different pricing points, so you’ll have to figure out which one best fits your requirements.
The most effective strategy to identify the proper service is to conduct thorough and attentive research.
Read customer reviews, discover if any companies offer free trials, and ask other small business owners in your field for advice.
Take a look at our best business phone system reviews. Some of the most popular cloud-based services and hosted VoIP providers are listed below:
A cloud based phone system is a business communications solution that is hosted and maintained in the provider’s data centers, rather than in your office, and supplied over the internet.