Cloud Business Phone System: Beginner’s Guide

When Alexander Graham Bell received his famous patent in 1876, he couldn’t have known how big the telephone would become. The first phones were, after all, directly connected with one another. Thanks to mobility, we’re no longer tied to a landline to talk with someone across the street – or even somebody on the other side of the planet! The latest innovation in the business world is Internet telephony, quickly gaining ground against traditional networks. Business VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is becoming the new norm in telephony, and things such as a cloud business phone system is where more phone calls are originating. This article explains more about these systems and why they are supplanting landline-based technologies as the way of the future.

What are Cloud Phone Systems?

Cloud phone system is a relatively new term in the communications world. Today, phone services are delivered via Internet connections. If you use Skype on your personal cell phone, you’re using a cloud phone system. A cloud business phone system and business VoIP sit out in the cloud, and your company subscribes to it for a monthly fee.

Cloud business phone systems use applications that require hardware and software installed at the company site. Usually, it’s an IP phone or computer server that connects the phone at each employee’s desk to the network of the host provider. The desktop telephone serves as the middleman in this exchange. Business VoIPs have become more prevalent as the middleman is being cut out. Desktop phones are being replaced by headsets with built-in microphones that make and take calls through software installed on an employee’s computer.

Why Use a Cloud Business Phone System?

As with everything having to do with business, the bottom line informs every decision executives make. In this case, the cost savings of installing a cloud business phone system outweigh any short-term heartache of learning a new technology.

A cloud phone system doesn’t rely on traditional on-site hardware, such as switchboards and desktop sets, nor does it require maintenance of this equipment. With business VoIP, you also don’t need a receptionist to pick up the initial call and transfer it to the correct extension. The software updates instantly as the code changes. Adding users takes only a few mouse clicks, making upgrading a snap. Finally, business VoIP makes conversations between employees easier, whether across the office or even the world. Just post your status, and co-workers know whether you’re available to talk! Better still, all of these benefits add up to cost savings of 40’“80% on monthly phone bills.

Cloud Business Phone System Special Features

Indeed, all the features of your traditional landline-based exchanges exist within cloud business phone systems. The key is having a reliable Internet connection. Your cloud phone system routes inbound calls to the correct department or employee inside your company. Think of it like a virtual operator who accepts voice or touch-tone prompts. You also need virtual voicemail and call recording services.

Additionally, if your company relies on faxing, business VoIP has that covered as well. Switching to paperless faxes will save money on paper and ink supplies. Combining your new business VoIP system with the addition of VPN (virtual private network), you’ll breathe easier knowing your VPN creates a secure bridge between your private network and the public at large. Best of all, your IT department won’t have to worry about servicing older phones. It’s all subsequently handled by your business VoIP service provider.

Cloud Business Phone Systems Providers

More and more Internet service providers are adding cloud phone services to their portfolio and creating packages geared toward them. VoIP providers include cloud business phone system pioneer Virtual PBX, as well as newcomers RingCentral, Vonage Business, Grasshopper, and eVoice. Additionally, even cable giants like Xfinity and Verizon are getting into the cloud phone system game, knowing they need to join the VoIP business revolution. With all this in mind, as you consider converting your landlines to a cloud phone system, just make sure to find the provider whose options and services best fit your business needs.

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