How to Find the Best Cloud-Based Phone System for Your Business

By 1 week ago

There are numerous cloud-based phone system options. Here’s how to find the best one for your company.

A cloud-based phone system is a phone service that allows you to make and receive calls over the internet while also storing data in the cloud.

These systems are inexpensive and dependable, but only if you have a fast internet connection.

Cloud telephony systems are popular, but they are not appropriate for all businesses.

Cloud-based phone systems are an increasingly popular option among the many types of phone systems available to small businesses, offering dependable service, low costs, and a plethora of business-friendly features, but they may not be the best solution for everyone.

Continue reading to learn more about cloud-based systems and how to determine if they are right for your company.

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What is a cloud-based phone system?

A cloud-based phone system is an internet-based phone service that allows you to make calls. Cloud calling is also known as a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system.

A cloud-based phone system differs from traditional analog phones in that it can store data in one or more offsite secure data centers, as opposed to traditional analog phones that use copper wires or optical fibers to connect two callers.

Many devices, including traditional phones with adaptors, smartphone apps (such as Google Voice), computer calling software, and VoIP-enabled phones, can be used with cloud-based phone systems.

A hosted PBX, or private branch exchange, is an example of a cloud-based phone system. The cloud stores and accesses all data, saving you time and money by allowing you to easily update and protect your data.

How do cloud-based phone systems work?

Cloud-based phone systems divide your calls into small digital audio packets, which are then transmitted as data over the internet to the recipient on the other end of the line.

When you call a regular phone number, for example, the signal is converted to a regular telephone signal before it reaches the recipient. The call is routed through SIP trunking using a cloud-based PBX.

Cloud-based phone systems can be accessed through a variety of methods, making them accessible to anyone with an internet connection. You can make cloud-based calls using the following methods:

A standard phone with a VoIP adaptor. You can use a regular landline phone to make internet calls with an adaptor. The adaptors plug into a wall phone socket or directly into your router.

See also: The Best Cloud based call center software In 2022

A computer (also known as a “softphone”). Many programs or applications are available that allow you to make voice calls over the internet, such as Skype, Google Voice, Apple Facetime, and others.

It’s a smartphone. You can make internet calls with your smartphone by downloading apps like Google Voice or Skype.

A specialized VoIP phone. These phones resemble traditional analog phones, but they connect to a computer network rather than a phone line.

Pros and cons of cloud-based phone systems

Cloud-based phone systems are becoming more popular as businesses become more comfortable with digital and internet-based services, but it is still important to evaluate all aspects of cloud-based phone systems before deciding if they are appropriate for your company.

Advantages of cloud-based phone systems

The main advantage of cloud-based phone systems, as with many other cloud services, is their low cost.

Because all of your calls are made over the internet, you are only responsible for the cost of your internet usage rather than your call minutes or phone service, as you would be with a traditional phone system, which charges extra for features such as voicemail or auto attendant.

Most cloud-based systems include major features with your phone service, allowing you to pay a single monthly fee for all of your communication needs.

Another major benefit of cloud-based phone systems is their dependability. Because most businesses rely on communication with customers and other third parties, having a dependable line is essential.

Because cloud-based phone systems are hosted in multiple locations, you and your data are safe even if a server fails. This is known as geographic redundancy, and it is extremely effective in assisting businesses in avoiding service issues and downtime.

Cloud-based phone systems offer nearly limitless flexibility, making them an appealing option for companies with remote workers or frequent travelers. If you have an internet connection, a cloud-based phone can route calls to your VoIP-enabled phone no matter where you are.

If your company is expanding, cloud-based phone systems provide scalability. A cloud management system enables you to easily add phone lines, extensions, and advanced features as needed, without the need for professional installation or additional equipment.

Updates and maintenance are also performed directly in the cloud, saving you time and money and reducing communication downtime.

How to Find the Best Cloud-Based Phone System for Your Business

The disadvantages of cloud-based phone systems

While cloud-based phone systems are popular, they have some disadvantages that may make them unsuitable for your company.

The main disadvantage of cloud-based phone systems is that they are susceptible to internet connectivity issues and outages because they are internet-based.

If your internet service is spotty or unreliable, with frequent drops or failures, a cloud-based system may not be for you. A strong, consistent internet signal is critical to the proper operation of a cloud-based phone system.

The fact that it is internet-based raises security concerns. Without proper precautions and safeguards, cloud-based systems can be vulnerable to malware and hacking.

Check to see if your internet connection is secure and if your cloud system provider has security measures in place to protect your data.

If you are concerned about emergency service access, keep in mind that some VoIP and cloud-based phone systems may not support 911 calls.

This is because cloud-based phone systems, unlike traditional phones, are not tied to a single geographic location, making it difficult to accurately trace a 911 call.

Thus, VoIP and cloud system providers must enable Enhanced 911, or E911, which requires customers to enter a physical address when dialing 911 on their IP phone.

However, not all cloud or VoIP providers provide this service because they must collaborate with traditional phone companies that control access to the public telephone system and 911 operators, which can be a difficult issue because cloud-based phone system providers and public telephone systems are direct competitors.

The best way to find out if a VoIP provider automatically provides 911 service, if it must be activated, or if it is not supported at all is to directly ask the provider.

Finally, if your company already has a lot of traditional phone equipment, it can be very expensive to buy adaptors to convert them to cloud-enabled phones or to buy all new IP phones.

Consider the equipment you already own and whether it makes more financial sense to pay to convert your existing system or to purchase an entirely new service.

Features to look for in a cloud-based phone system

A significant advantage of a cloud-based phone system is the abundance of features that are typically included in your package. Here are some key features to look for:

Voicemail. This feature is typically included with cloud system packages and allows you to receive missed call messages.

Messaging: This feature, also known as team collaboration, allows for a variety of collaboration methods such as screen sharing, file sharing, document editing, and conferencing.

Please do not disturb. Do not disturb directs all incoming calls to voicemail without ringing the phone.

Caller identification. You can see who is calling by using caller ID. Caller ID displays the caller’s phone number, whereas caller ID with name displays both the caller’s phone number and name. This can help you determine which calls are important and which are spam.

Ring formations Ring groups are a useful feature for teams that answer calls from the same customer base. Each team member will be notified whenever the phone rings for that team.

Telephone call forwarding Users can use this feature to make calls to another number.

Online administration. The majority of cloud-based phone systems are managed through an online portal or management system, where the administrator can add users, set numbers, create ring groups, and view call data. Users can access company directories, check voicemail, and configure call-forwarding routes.

Communications that are unified. Unified communications, also known as a single cloud solution or a complete cloud platform, allows for real-time collaboration and allows a company to combine all of its communications services, such as CRM, live chat, analytics, and more, into a single application.

Voicemail-to-text or email conversion. Voicemail-to-email, also known as voicemail-to-text, is a useful feature that converts audio voicemails into manageable email or text formats.

Attendant that is automated. An auto attendant automatically answers phone calls to your company and directs callers to the appropriate person.

How to decide if your business needs a cloud-based phone system

There are a lot of things to think about when deciding if a cloud-based phone system is right for you, whether you want to switch systems or start from scratch. Here are a few important first things to think about:

Equipment. Do you already have IP phones that can be easily added to a cloud system? Or do you only have old-fashioned phones that will need a desk phone adapter? Your current equipment can have a big effect on your costs, so give it some thought.

Costs. Aside from the equipment, you need to figure out what features you pay for with your current system, what features you don’t need, and what features you like about your new system. You will need to find out if these features come with your package or if you have to buy them separately.

Reliability. Cloud-based phone systems depend on the internet for everything. Do not choose a cloud-based phone system if you do not have a strong and secure internet connection. A regular landline might be a better choice.

Your concern. If you own a small or medium-sized business, a cloud-based phone system can be a good way to save money on installation and maintenance and give your communication system the flexibility to change as your business grows.

Control. If you like to have full control over your system and data or need to, a cloud system might not be the best choice for you, since calls go through a provider and are stored on a hosted server. Lack of security can also be a problem for businesses that deal with sensitive information.

How to find a cloud-based system provider

When you have decided that you want a cloud-based phone system, the next step is to find a provider. Each provider will have different packages and features with different prices, so you’ll need to figure out which one fits your needs the best.

Researching hard and thoroughly is the best way to find the right provider. Read reviews of the companies, see if any of them offer free trials, and talk to other small business owners in your industry to see if they have any suggestions.

Read about the best business phone systems in our reviews. Here are some of the most popular hosted VoIP and cloud-based services:

Conclusion

A Cloud Based Phone System for Business serves all locations and your entire workforce by consolidating all of your communication channels into a single cloud platform delivered over the internet.

As a result, all employees from all locations—including home offices and mobile workers—have access to the same robust features from a single unified business phone system.

Melissa Valentini

I am a journalist graduated from the University of New York. In addition, I write short stories and chronicles as a hobby. I currently write for the Techeneis.