Reaping the benefits of cloud-based telephony
Cloud telephony offers a single system that connects many locations with multiple employees, but can be accessed online by anyone, says Richard Vester, MD at EOH Cloud Services.
A surge in the uptake of cloud services has made it one of the fastest growing and most popular technology sectors today. The cloud brings a host of benefits, and no more so than in the way it has allowed us to revolutionise business communications.
Richard Vester, Managing Director at EOH Cloud Services, says cloud communication technologies offer a combination of voice, text, video and even document control technologies to guarantee quick and easy access to information. He says with cloud-based telephone systems, employees can even hold virtual meetings with remote teams and partners, eliminating the need for costly physical travel.
"There has never been a better time for businesses to start looking at cloud communications and IP telephony, as there are a vast number of service and equipment options," Vester says.
"Businesses of all types and sizes are under constant pressure to lower costs, eliminate multiple vendors, as well as communication providers. They also need to embrace the mobile office, and enable their staff to connect with customer and each other, irrespective of where they are located, or on the type of device they choose. Doing this frees up employees to focus on the organisation's core business."
He says this is why many businesses are choosing to move away from an on-premises PBX and go with a service provider and adopt a cloud-based solution. "Having an on-premises solution means that all equipment must be physically installed and maintained by the business itself, and external voice lines or SIP trunks have to be provisioned. Cloud-based PBX systems are different, as the applications and management of the system stay with the service provider, and voice connectivity runs over a dedicated or shared IP connection to one or several different locations."
According to Vester, cloud-based telephony, popular for some time in smaller businesses or ones with a remote office, are now being installed in bigger and bigger corporations, as they are waking up to the fact that cloud is the best way to centralise all the different elements of voice communication with one provider.
"Remember that cloud PBXes offer built-in business continuity. Should a branch of an organisation be down due to natural causes such as inclement weather, or major power failure, the phones can be relocated with a minimum of fuss, and no major hardware installation. Similarly, should the wide area network connectivity be lost, and communications to an office totally cut off, these systems enable users to reroute phone calls, and so on, to their mobile devices."
In terms of benefits to productivity, he says cloud telephony allows IT staff that would have had to spend vast amounts of time maintaining and managing legacy telephony systems to simply use a simple online management portal to make any necessary changes. This allows them to free up time to work on other important technology projects, lowering operational costs, and improving productivity.
Organisations that have multiple offices across disparate locations can benefit from cloud telephony, as it offers a single system that connects many locations with multiple employees, but can be accessed online, by anyone, from anywhere. "Because these systems are so simple to use, and offer such great flexibility, it is also really easy to add or reduce the number of users, as well as set up staff preferences through the online portal," he adds.
"There is no doubt that organisations who are adopting cloud-based telephony are reaping many benefits and seeing advantages over on-premises solutions. From reduced operating costs, to easier implementation, and everything in between, automatic updates as well as built-in disaster recovery, and a scalable model that allows companies to grow as they need to - all these elements offer flexibility for companies of all sizes."