Cloud telephony which is known as hosted telephony is a technology that replaces the need for traditional phone system like PBX (Private branch exchange) with a third party VoIP (Voice over IP) service. It uses the Internet for the delivery of voice and multimedia communications.
Working of cloud telephony systems:
Cloud Telephony replaces traditional phone lines with SIP trunks leveraging IP data networks. The cloud communication providers deliver voice communication, media communications, applications and services with the help of multiple cloud servers that the service provider owns and maintains.
They allow access to the cloud servers to their consumers so they can utilize the features and services hosted by them.
Advantages of cloud telephony:
There are various advantages of cloud telephony mainly for SMEs, some of them are as follows:
1. Low Cost: This is the biggest advantage of using cloud telephony systems especially for SMEs as for them the biggest concern is overall operational cost and investment.
The conventional PBX system uses phone connectors which required a lot of time in initial setup and investment. While the cloud telephony systems need a minimum initial investment in the hardware and storage.
2. No maintenance overhead: Since the cloud telephony servers are third party product, they are maintained and updated by them. So the user of the cloud services does not need to worry about its maintenance and availability. This also helps them in reducing the overhead cost of maintaining servers which result in increased productivity.
3. Improved productivity: With features like data security and redundancy the companies can provide continuous support to their customers which help in increasing the overall productivity. Also as there is almost no cost for installation of cloud telephony for SMEs the ROI (Return on investment) of the company improve notably.
4. More secure and reliable: For any business, their client’s data is very critical and is of utmost importance. Before the use of cloud telephony systems, all the customer data was stored on the hardware storage devices.
Due to lack of space or in the case of an unpredictable situation like hardware failure the company can lose their customer’s data. But with cloud telephony, the companies can be confident about their data safety and security as the cloud system supports data redundancy and encryption.
Thus even in the case of data loss, the data is available on another server which helps in providing seamless service to their customers.
5. Readily available: The cloud telephony system requires only a small amount of initial investment for the storage and gaining access to cloud telephony services.
Since the services are cloud based, it cuts down on the time required by the SMEs for proper installation of hardware and service activation as these all are handled internally by the cloud service provider.
So the SMEs can gain quick access to the cloud telephony services without dealing with the tedious task of establishing the infrastructure first.
6. Scalable: To perform and deliver results, it is very essential to adapt to new trends and technology in the market. Previously, for SMEs, it was difficult to follow the trend due to change in infrastructure, applications and high investment.
But with the use of cloud telephony, it is now very easy even for SMEs to be updated with the latest trends as cloud systems provide easy scalability.
As cloud systems are maintained by the service provider it is certain that they will always have access to the most recent software and service.
Not only that it also allows the SMEs with an option to keep on adding more number of agents and resources on the virtual platform without any additional cost of increased infrastructure and telephone handsets in the office.
7. Allow customization: Every company has their own process and technique for satisfying their customer needs. So, it is important that the SMEs can make customized marketing strategies for increased efficiency and business opportunities.
Since cloud platform can support storing a lot of customer data which can be easily accessed by the companies at anytime from anywhere they can invest their time in making more productive and effective policies for enhanced customer experience.
8. Easy integration: To make the best use of could telephony system the companies can easily integrate it with their best call center software to have a more detailed insight on various business requirements like the number of a campaign by a specific customer, when the last action was performed on a campaign, owner of a campaign etc.
As most of the cloud service providers have APIs that enables SMEs to integrate their services with their call management systems for better management and monitoring , it can also be used for having access to real-time information and report generation.
9. Support multiple locations: Since the cloud telephony is based on virtual platform and does not require much space or any infrastructure to establish a business it is very useful in working from remote areas and working from home.
This reduces the operating cost of the business and at the same time increasing business and their customer base. Since the database which stores all the user information, it can be accessed from anywhere with the help of internet, the employees get an option to perform their assigned task from any location thus easing the operation and adding to employee satisfaction.
It also provides companies with an opportunity to serve their customers 24*7 which also can be useful in building a brand for their company and improving their customer satisfaction level.
Now, let’s see a real-life example to understand how the above features of cloud telephony helped a company in gaining more business.