If you are looking to upgrade to a cloud-based solution, you probably have a lot of questions yourself, as do your employees. Is it really worth moving to the cloud? Are there any downsides to upgrading to cloud communications? Read on to learn both some of the challenges and some benefits of upgrading to cloud communications.
While we firmly believe that the benefits of upgrading to a cloud communications system outweigh the challenges, we do not want to turn a blind eye to those concerns. Below are the two major challenges businesses face when upgrading to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
Training employees on the new system can be difficult. They’re used to doing things a certain way, and change can be hard. While the solution is designed to be as easy to use and intuitive as possible, there’s still an adjustment period. This is especially true for staff members that are not technologically inclined. However, providers like S-NET can offer helpful training and support to you and your employees. In fact, S-NET provides an assigned Client Technology Advisor to each customer, who is always available to address your challenges.
Because they run on the Internet, cloud communications solutions might require you to invest in more bandwidth. Estimating exactly how much bandwidth you will need, and whether you need to upgrade your connection, can be challenging. You would need to assess your team’s communication needs and how many employees you expect to have on the phone at the same time. In addition, you would also need to take stock of all the other applications and workflows that require an Internet connection, such as email, file sharing, applications housed in the cloud, and even social media sites or video streaming if it is allowed on your network. If this seems like a difficult task for you, that’s okay. A great VoIP vendor will help you determine your bandwidth needs. However, if you’d like some basic guidelines, check out the FCC’s broadband speed guide.
While these challenges may seem daunting, we would be amiss if we did not share just why so many companies use cloud communications – and for good reason. We think the benefits outweigh the challenges twofold. Below, we have listed three major benefits of upgrading to cloud communications. But remember, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the long list of why this switch is a great idea.
One of the most impressive features of cloud communications platforms is that they are easily accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection. That means that a cloud communications solution supports in-office, hybrid, and remote workers.
In order to be truly mobile, your workers need to be able to use their corporate phone line, contact list, caller ID and extension from any device. A hosted VoIP solution allows just that. With softphone technology, you can access your phone system whenever you are on the go.
Cloud communications are much more reliable than traditional phone lines. That’s because with a cloud-hosted solution, your phone system is not housed at your office location – it is safely kept in your service providers GEO-redundant data centers. This means that if something happens to your office, whether that’s a power outage or flooding, your phone system will continue to be functional and can be acessed remotely.
For example, let’s say that you work in an office building, and the building experiences a fire. Even if you are lucky and your phone system is not damaged in the fire, this event can still displace you and your employees for days, if not weeks. With traditional telephony, you wouldn’t be able to use your phone service and resume business until the building reopens.
However, if you used cloud communications, you and your team could work from home, a coffee shop, or any location with an Internet access. All your phone system settings, contacts and call data saved in your provider’s data center would be easily accessible remotely. Leading providers even invest in their own GEO-redundant infrastructure. This ensures that your phone system can run out of multiple, geographically well-separated data center locations. So, if a natural disaster or other unexpected event disrupts operations at one of their locations, your phone system can continue running out of the other.
Let’s face it. Your traditional phone doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, does it? You can make and take calls, get your voicemail, and not much more. Cloud communications solutions, however, have a lot of features and functions to offer.
For example, you can make and take calls, get voicemail through your mailbox, or have a transcription sent to your email, park calls, forward calls, set up call rules to funnel calls to certain devices. Whew, all that, and we’re just getting started!
Cloud communications also allow you to do drag-and-drop conferencing, audio, and video. This means you do not have to rely on any other platform to make video calls. Cloud communications even allows you to record training videos, file share, and receive important data instantaneously.
While all these features could be enough to sway you towards an upgrade, it’s important to note that a hosted VoIP solution also makes integrations with some of your current systems a snap. Integrations are very important for a seamless transition to a new cloud solution, as workers can continue to use the software and programs they have always used.
There is so much more to cloud communications that we haven’t covered in this blog. If you are interested in learning more or even ready to upgrade your system, we would love to help you! All the specialists here at S-NET are excited to help you on your journey to cloud communications. Just give us a call, and we can get you started!