Cloud telephony, also known as cloud calling, is a type of unified communications as a service (UCaaS) that offers voice communication services through a third-party host. UCaaS replaces the need for conventional enterprise telephone systems, such as private branch exchange (PBX). Cloud telephony services can be web- or applications-based. Cloud communications providers build, operate and maintain standardized telephony platform offerings on their servers, with customers gaining remote access -- via the internet -- on a subscription or as-needed basis. This model lets organizations ditch their conventional, on-premises telephone systems -- such as PBX -- which tend to be relatively expensive and time-consuming to provision and maintain. Cloud telephony services enable users to place calls directly from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection and free businesses from the burden of buying and storing stand-alone hardware, like PBX boxes and handsets. While somewhat fluid, the term cloud telephony typically denotes a multi-tenant access model, with subscribers paying to use a provider's pool of commoditized shared resources. In contrast, hosted telephony usually refers to a dedicated, segregated environment -- essentially, an off-site PBX -- that a major carrier builds, houses and maintains in its cloud for a single organization.
Benefits and risks of cloud calling Compared with traditional, on-premises options, proponents of cloud telephony say it is more:
Cost-efficient - By offloading hosting and management responsibilities to a cloud communications provider -- with subscription and pay-per-use models that enable resource pooling -- organizations can reduce their infrastructure overhead costs.
Flexible. An employee with a cloud-based telephone number can take and make inbound and outbound calls anywhere with an internet connection, enabling more seamless mobile work.
Resilient. While a natural disaster, fire, or another emergency event can take down an on-site PBX system, cloud calling services tend to offer more resilient service and more reliable business continuity (BC). Most cloud telephony services have built-in failover modes that make sure a backup is available if a problem occurs with a connection.
Scalable. Organizations can typically add or change employee telephone numbers on demand, via a self-service portal -- enabling efficient employee onboarding and offboarding for both on-site and remote workers.
Streamlined. With cloud calls, organizations don't have to bear the burden of implementing, maintaining, troubleshooting and updating on-site systems. Instead, third-party providers handle infrastructural upkeep and upgrades.
Transparent. Many UCaaS platforms provide rich data analytics, offering information about user behavior and insight into optimizing employee efficiency.
Cloud-based voice technology also sets the stage for adding complementary UCaaS features, such as voice and keyword analysis, call center capabilities,
interactive voice response (IVR) and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled customer support. On the other hand, UCaaS analysts say organizations can yet customize cloud calling offerings to the extent that is possible with on-premises systems, leading many large enterprises to delay adoption.
Before diving into the nitty-gritty of cloud telephony, let me tell you why is it important for you to know about cloud telephony and implement it for your business at the earliest.
Let’s begin with a question. What do you do to overpower or beat your business competitors?
You build a strategy or a USP that your competitors can’t imitate.
Now, the next step. How do you make your strategy feasible, efficient, and cost-effective? Though I’d really like to know your answer, but I’ll share an unveiled secret.
Automation is the key.
Despite I won’t go deep into automation, I’d like to share few indispensable benefits that businesses can’t afford to ignore.
It helps keep the team on same page, makes processes more transparent, and reduces time and effort required for any task, saves the cost of manual labor, brings in more profits by minimizing lost leads, and enhances the productivity of employees.
Managing business calls is one such business operation that requires undivided human attention and a dedicated workforce.
Cloud telephony serves as a tool for the automation of business phone systems. It eliminates the need for a receptionist or manual handling of business calls.
The sooner you automate, the greater the advantage you have over your competitors and the greater the benefits you reap. Same is the case with cloud telephony.