Recently we were meeting with a client and discussing the pros and cons of a cloud based VoIP service. “Tell me why I should consider this and is it right for our needs?”
Is it the right solution for everyone? I’d have to say the answer to that is no.
Should you at least look into it as a viable solution for your company? I’d have to say the answer to that question is yes.
Staying connected as a business is critical. Many employees want to stay connected from anywhere, at any time, on any device, and on their terms. Being mobile and on the go, but still being able to receive an incoming call, answer an email, listen to a voicemail from a client, or have a simple chat with an employee about an ongoing project…that is the power of what VoIP can bring, both from a traditional VoIP enabled PBX or a Cloud Based service provider.
So what are some of the pros and cons of a Cloud Based VoIP service?
- Cost Savings – often times there is a lower capital expense for the equipment needed and depending on the carrier you choose, you could have a low risk of obsolescence by purchasing commodity phone equipment. Generally with a good internet connection and IP phones, you can be up and running in no time.
- Ability to move around geographically. Whether you are connecting multiple sites or implementing teleworkers, you have the freedom to move and shift people around relatively easily as long as they have an internet connection. And, with the addition of soft phone and smart phone aps, you can literally stay connected from any device, anywhere.
- Reliability and disaster recovery. Most components of a cloud based system are not all housed in the same location, which will result in less service downtime and fewer disruptions. Their components are often duplicated in redundant geographic areas so that if one server were to have an issue, the other would keep people up and running.
- Business communication flow improvements. With cloud Based VoIP, you have the ability to use presence, where you can see who is on the phone or in a meeting from your device. You have the ability to send a quick chat to a co-worker to get an instant answer to a caller’s question. And, with enhanced call center or call recording features, you have the ability to capture calls in either a supervisory role or from a project management role.
- Possibility of infrastructure upgrades needed. If your current network is not set up to support an IP phone environment, you may have some cabling needs, switch or router upgrades that are needed before you can implement.
- VoIP is only as good as the internet connection it uses. If you have an ISP that drops in and out, or perhaps your current bandwidth isn’t enough, you may have to consider an upgrade or redundant internet connection. However, most cloud based VoIP providers will allow you to redirect a caller to a pre-programmed number in the event the phone can not be reached (often times this will reroute to a person’s cell phone).
- Overkill for your office needs. Let’s face it, VoIP may not be right for the small retail store that only wants to take calls during the hours of operations and all their employees come in to the brick and mortar store and do not take calls outside those walls. Investing in a smaller PBX with a couple analog lines may be the perfect solution for them.
As we are coming to an end in 2016, and you are analyzing your budgets for next year, now may be a perfect time to review your current phone services. Could a cloud based VoIP service be right for you? We would love the opportunity to help you find out!
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