Five key considerations to choose the perfect cloud-based call accounting solution
Helen Billingham, Senior Social Media and Public Relations Manager, Enghouse Interactive
Call accounting software is essential for any business that needs to capture, record and control the costs of telephone usage events. By enabling you to track what calls have been made, to what numbers and how much they have cost, it increases visibility over your network, enabling you to identify and prevent fraud, billing errors and telephone misuse. Analysing call records all ensures you are on the right tariffs with your telecoms provider – if you can see you are making lots of international calls, for example, you will be able to move to the most cost-effective tariff.
Why move call accounting to the cloud?
Thanks to the benefits they deliver in terms of greater collaboration and increased efficiency, more and more businesses are adopting cloud-based unified communications (UC) solutions (such as Microsoft Teams). When they switch from traditional on-premises PBX usage, they expect complementary solutions, such as call accounting, to also be available in the cloud.
What should you look for in a cloud-based call accounting solution?
1. A deep function set to meet your needs
Most UC solutions come with native call reporting functionality built-in. But this is normally fairly basic and technically focused. Limited reporting options can require you to manipulate the data yourself to be able to understand and maximise the value you get from it. You will need a high level of technical skill to do this, so instead choose a specialist solution that gives you richer, more sophisticated reporting, which is easy to set up and manage. Ideally pick a solution that enables automatic report generation and distribution to reduce your workload.
Logically, most unified communications solutions will only monitor calls on that platform. Therefore, if you use more than one solution (such as when migrating) you’ll need specialist call accounting software to give you a holistic picture.
2. Strong security to protect your confidential data
Wherever it is stored, it is vital that your call data is protected and kept confidential. Cloud providers are heavily focused on security, meaning they will ensure patches, updates and security measures are up to date. They should have a team of specialists dedicated to protecting against the latest threats and adhering to the strongest standards. Look for a provider that offers multiple levels of security, such as a specific data interface for each customer, and separate databases for each customer. This ensures data is kept isolated and secure.
3. A seamless experience, whether on-premises or in the cloud
Moving to the cloud shouldn’t be at the expense of functionality, require extensive retraining or force you to recreate reports from scratch. The solution you choose should operate consistently and appear the same to users, whether it’s on-premises or in the cloud. It should be easy to migrate your data, to ensure you are able to get up and running quickly, with a seamless experience.
In fact, the call accounting partner you pick ought to allow you to report on a mix of on-premises and cloud telephony at the same time. This flexibility will be particularly valuable if you are migrating and want to monitor and analyse calls across multiple systems. And as with a cloud-based system, your licences can be flexible, so you only pay for what you use.
4. Access to ongoing innovation, without manual upgrades
One key advantage of the cloud is that you can automatically access updates and new functionality from your provider. There’s no need to physically update your solution to the latest version as with on-premises. Therefore, make sure your chosen call accounting vendor has a clear, ongoing development roadmap and lets you benefit from new functionality as it is released.
5. Flexibility to meet your changing requirements
By moving from an opex to a capex model, the cloud will help lower the cost of ownership of your call accounting software. It can also reduce the workload on your IT team, so ensure that your chosen provider delivers a service that comes with specialist support, management and monitoring. Some organisations want to go further and take a fully managed service from their provider, making them responsible for creating and distributing management reports. Therefore, look for a partner that offers all these options to ensure you have the optimal solution for your needs.
The migration to cloud-based communications solutions is accelerating rapidly. Moving your other systems such as call accounting to the cloud helps ensure flexibility and efficiency across your infrastructure. Picking the right partner is vital to maximising the benefits of the cloud and delivering on your call accounting needs, now and in the future.
Enghouse Interactive’s Proteus call accounting software is now available in the cloud, as well as on-premises. Find out more about how it can benefit your business here.