12 December 2018

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The 7 Amazing Benefits of Hosted Telephony

Business Phone Service by Tom Collins

An unreliable business phone system can be a very costly expense. Your employees and customers rely on voice calling technology to communicate and collaborate. If your phones go down, it will have an immediate impact on productivity, customer satisfaction, and brand reputation.

Research shows that making the switch to hosted telephony can deliver significant cost savings compared to premises-based PBX phone systems. However, the cost isn't the only factor to consider when evaluating if cloud Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions are right for your needs.

Understanding the full scope of benefits made possible with modern phone systems can help you future-proof business communications.

Cloud phone systems no longer represent a high-risk investment for businesses. By the end of 2019, 90% of companies will be using cloud apps and services, and analysts predict nearly 100% of firms will adopt cloud tools by 2021. In this blog, you’ll learn seven remarkable ways that hosted telephony could transform the way your organization communicates.

7 Benefits of Hosted Telephony That Will Tip the Scales

  1. Pay-as-You-Go
  2. Simpler Maintenance
  3. Lower Cost Per Call
  4. Mobility
  5. Enhanced Features
  6. Reliability
  7. Scalability

Cloud-based business phones are a flexible, low-maintenance alternative to analog phone lines or premises-based phone systems. Businesses who switch to hosted telephony can enjoy a wide array of research-backed benefits which range from cost efficiency to superior scalability.

By partnering with a VoIP vendor to switch to a hosted solution, organizations can achieve simpler management and enhanced features. Cloud phone service can improve business agility with features that support employee productivity and performance.

Find more insight in the Atlantech blog: Is PBX Hosting Right For Your Business?

Benefit #1: Pay-as-You-Go

Hosted phone service is based on simple, transparent pricing models which are billed on a monthly basis. The initial costs of switching are minimal since the provider owns and maintains the majority of the hardware and infrastructure needed to support cloud communications. Your organization's monthly bill is based on the number of phone lines and enhanced features your company actually uses.

This flexible, pay-as-you-go approach to pricing can offer significant benefits for many organizations compared to the methods of traditional phone service providers. With conventional analog phone lines or PRI phone systems, your business may be locked into contracts with the phone company or stuck paying for unneeded infrastructure. The pay-as-you-go model associated with hosted telephony can unlock significant cost efficiencies compared to alternatives:

  • No software maintenance or upgrade costs
  • Minimal hardware costs and upgrade requirements
  • No contract lock-in for unneeded phone lines

Paying monthly for phone service as an operational expenditure may also offer strategic benefits to some companies. By saving money upfront on your switch to a new phone system, you can direct funds to marketing, sales, research or other growth-fueling priorities.

Learn more in 10 Factors that Impact UCaaS System Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Benefit #2: Simpler Maintenance

Hosted phone service reduces your organization’s reliance on employees or service technicians to perform upgrades and maintenance on the phone system.

Making changes to telephony infrastructure with traditional telecommunications providers often requires costly “truck rolls,” or on-site visits from service techs which may cost hundreds of dollars. There can also be significant delays in service availability with many providers, leading to weeks of delay before you can add a single phone line.

By partnering with a cloud phone system provider, you’re able to outsource the majority of the upkeep for your phone system. The vendor should manage maintenance, updates, and repairs to their infrastructure. Your organization can save on IT staffing and 3rd-party tech costs by relying on a cloud communications provider to keep your phones running optimally.

Hosted telephony systems should offer simple management portals which are easy-to-use without assistance from IT staff or vendors. The best hosted PBX providers provide a simple web-based portal for your team to add lines, manage features, and control configurations.

Benefit #3: Lower Cost Per Call

Research shows that organizations typically save 50 to 70% by switching to hosted telephony. Organizations who use hosted contact center features or who perform a lot of long distance or international calling are likely to achieve the most significant savings per call. Hosted voice can lower the average cost per call at organizations of all sizes by offering:

  • Transparent, low monthly rates per phone line
  • Unlimited local and long distance calls
  • Cost-effective international call options
  • The ability to consolidate multiple business sites into a single system
  • Eliminate dedicated circuits for telephony
  • Reduce amount of equipment required to make/receive phone calls

Organizations can rely on hosted phone systems to further manage communications costs by adopting interactive voice recognition (IVR) for effective call routing and flexible options to route incoming call traffic by employee skill. Add-on features for call recording could further enhance efficiency with analytics and data to improve employee training.

Learn more in How Much Does Cloud Phone Service Cost?

Benefit #4: Mobility

Built-in mobility is among the key advantages of hosted VoIP. Mobile applications are a standard feature of the leading hosted voice solutions. Secure mobile apps allow employees to communicate through their business phone number on a smartphone. Employees can set their phone system to automatically transfer calls to mobile or ring at both the desk and mobile device simultaneously.

Mobility features can immediately save costs compared to alternative phone systems by eliminating the need for employees to have distinct desk and mobile phone numbers. As long as employees have access to the cloud, they can use a laptop, tablet, or mobile device to communicate with customers or colleagues.

Mobility features make business communications fully available to employees, regardless of whether they’re working in the office, in a conference room, traveling, or working remotely.

Benefit #5: Enhanced Features

Sophisticated cloud-based communication tools are among the most powerful hosted PBX benefits. With hosted PBX, you gain immediate access to the cloud tools your company needs to collaborate more effectively. Some enhanced features for mobility and productivity are included as a standard part of a hosted phone system. Other features are offered as affordable add-on services:

  • SMS (text) messaging
  • Visual voicemail transcription
  • Presence
  • Chat messaging
  • Integration with Microsoft, Salesforce, Google and other vendor services
  • Auto-attendant
  • Fax service
  • Call log reports
  • Call recording
  • Team collaboration tools

Cloud-based communications tools also provide organizations with the flexibility to explore and test enhanced features before committing to a purchase. Your organization can cost-effectively run trial deployments of Unified Communications tools among a sample group of users to determine viability.

By partnering with a vendor who offers a comprehensive range of business communications tools, your access to advanced features is nearly unlimited. Hosted voice can be used as a path to adopting Unified Communications at a pace that makes sense for your business.

Benefit #6: Reliability

The vast majority of organizations that have made the switch to hosted voice are satisfied with their decision. However, research shows the single most common reason businesses delay switching is reliability concerns. Generally, these fears are unfounded. The right platform and provider is likely to offer superior reliability and business continuity benefits compared to the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

Traditional PSTN phone service uses copper cabling to transfer voice calls. The traditional telecommunications infrastructure is nearing end-of-life. Traditional copper cable lines are vulnerable to a surprising number of failures, including natural disaster, vandalism, hardware failures, electrical outages, and software issues.

If the cable connecting your business to your telecommunications company is cut due to a phone tech’s error or an act of vandalism, your business will lose all phone service and could suffer an extended outage.

VoIP technology has matured and evolved significantly into a highly reliable source of business voice communications. While VoIP depends on an Internet connection, these risks can be managed by adopting fiber-optic Internet connectivity and securing sufficient bandwidth. Hosted voice systems can even offer reliability advantages with automatic failover to mobile phones.

To find a hosted PBX vendor who can exceed your expectations for reliable service, inquire about redundancy. The best cloud communications providers have invested in a highly redundant infrastructure to protect against natural disasters or failures in data center power, connectivity, or cooling equipment. Other signs of a reliable provider can include:

  • Guaranteed quality of service (QoS)
  • A record of strong service uptime
  • Positive customer references and reviews
  • Service level agreements (SLAs)
  • Guaranteed 24/7/365 customer support availability

Cloud communications tools can also offer a significant reliability edge over premises-based phone systems. Learn more in Hosted PBX vs. Traditional PBX: Which is Best?

Benefit #7: Scalability

Traditional phone systems offer very limited scalability. Every time your organization needs to add a phone line or make changes to the system, you pay for a service call. Analog phone systems cannot scale to accommodate multimedia communications, such as chat messaging or texts, or integrate with business software applications. It can take weeks to make changes to cabling infrastructure.

With hosted voice, your business can make changes on-demand to your system. Adding a phone line simply requires easy changes within your administration portal, and plugging in a VoIP-compatible handset. Cloud phone systems can easily be scaled to new business locations or remote workers.

Agility is an advantage in modern business. Research by Deloitte indicates that the “need for agility, scalability, and speed [will] grow more pressing each month” in the business technology space. Regardless of your business goals, flexible communication tools are a necessity to collaborate and compete. Hosted PBX is easy to deploy and can be scaled up or down on demand. By outsourcing your updates to a service provider, you can unlock future-proof voice communications.

Why Wouldn't You Choose Hosted Telephony

Your business needs a reliable, cost-effective phone system which can deliver both clear sound and clear value. For many organizations, hosted voice is the right choice compared to analog phone systems or on-premises VoIP solutions. Switching to cloud-based telephony is likely to deliver significant cost and productivity advantages.

While hosted telephony is the right choice for the majority of businesses, it’s not the right solution for everyone. To understand how your organization could benefit, evaluate whether you fit some of the most common use cases for switching to cloud PBX. Hosted phones may be right for your business if:

  • You need a solution which is low-cost to implement
  • Your organization wants to use advanced communications features
  • You want to save costs on long distance and international calls
  • You need to add or remove phone lines quickly
  • Your business lacks extensive IT staff to manage a phone system
  • You want to configure and customize your communication tools

Partnering with the right cloud communications vendor is vital to fully unlocking the benefits of hosted telephony. The right provider should be highly responsive, invested in your businesses' success and, offer the flexibility to meet your specific requirements.

Before you invest in a hosted voice solution, finding the right system and partner for cloud communications is critical. To ask the right questions when you’re researching options, download the free eBook: 10 Questions to Ask Before You Buy Phone Service for Your Business.





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About the author:

Tom Collins (Twitter, LinkedIn) - is the Director of Enterprise Sales & Marketing for Atlantech Online. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the Internet Service Provider industry and is known for translating technology into positive results for business. A native of Washington, DC, a graduate from University of Maryland (degrees in Government & Politics and Secondary Education), Tom is also a five-time Ironman finisher.