Business Technology

Is it time to move to a cloud phone system?

6 min read

03 July 2018

Many SMEs are cautious about investing in new technology and adopting new ways of working. A shortage of time, money and technical knowledge creates a fear of change and perpetuates a "why fix it if it isn’t broken" attitude, which is understandable on many levels.

However, while the mitigation of business risk should be high on the agenda for any company, there comes a point on the opportunity/threat scale where the benefits of introducing a new process or approach are compelling. Ultimately, a failure to take action actually damages the business.

Cloud phone systems are a good example of how the latest business communications technology can deliver real competitive advantage. While today’s leading solutions offer a massive range of smart collaboration and productivity enhancing features for the office and the contact centre, it’s the robust business case for moving to the cloud that’s the main driver for most SMEs.

A sound business case

Most of the companies that Foehn deals with find that moving to a cloud-based system helps them achieve benefits in three key areas – improving customer loyalty and retention, increasing productivity and collaboration, and reducing operational costs. What’s more, the flexibility, scalability and business continuity benefits of cloud phone systems mean that these businesses no longer ask why they should move to the cloud – they ask why they should not.

With Foehn’s Voxivo system, for example, companies benefit from a simple, intuitive interface that’s easy to use, and easy to manage using an app that enables users to configure basic features. It’s straightforward to control an organisation’s entire communications across multiple sites and geographies through the administrator’s portal, which largely removes the need for third party technicians. In addition, cloud systems like Foehn’s run on an opex financial model, so there’s a negligable requirement for spend on hardware, software or maintenance.

Greater efficiency, faster ROI

How does that work out in practice? As an example, switching to the cloud has allowed Boston Borough Council in Lincolnshire to reduce its annual fixed phone communications costs by more than 40%, while also providing users with all the benefits of IP telephony. In addition, it’s now much easier for them to apportion costs, with each extension, and call costs associated with that extension, invoiced monthly and directly to the relevant cost centre.

The installation of a cloud phone system by a good service provider is fast and hassle-free. In the past, many SMEs have been frustrated with the long implementation periods for traditional PBX telephone systems. But with smooth installation processes, quick setup, low maintenance and ease of scaling, ROI on business comms can improve significantly. For example, digital consultancy Inviqa, who commissioned the installation of a 40 seat multi-site system, were up and running in just six weeks and able to rapidly capitalise on a big uplift in timesaving efficiencies and employee productivity.

Plug and play simplicity

Unlike old-fashioned PBX systems, cloud phone systems don’t require on-site hardware components, which can help SMEs set up offices at multiple locations, and support mobile workers and employees working remotely. The system can be accessed from any location that has a broadband connection, so colleagues and customers can connect and collaborate more easily, wherever they are. This is well illustrated by remote workers at financial services firm Accumulus Consulting. The company’s decision to install a cloud system made a rapid transformation to working practices, enabling employees to simply plug in headsets to their laptops and work as if they were in the office.

In the early days of cloud-hosted systems, robustness and security were areas of concern for some businesses, such as law firms, where confidentiality and business continuity are paramount. Since then, cloud systems have evolved and businesses understand that their cloud services have built-in resilience that maximises uptime. Today, the best performing cloud service providers are able to offer SLAs that include a 99.999% uptime guarantee.

The ideal business continuity solution

Companies also need to know what plans are in place for failover and business continuity. Cloud systems are an ideal solution for ensuring that vital communications remain operational and that unexpected events such as floods, fires or terrorist attacks don’t disrupt business workflow. Cloud phone systems such as Voxivo come with built-in business continuity features that enable SMEs to continue making and taking voice calls with the confidence that the business is using the most reliable telephone system available and that transactions can carry on uninterrupted.

Cloud communications technology helps businesses to compete more effectively and reduce operating costs at the same time. It’s no longer a huge decision to make the move. Companies like recruitment firm MarketingMoves are already reaping the rewards of a cutting-edge cloud phone system. It’s helping them to deliver first class services to their customers without the need for expensive on-site hardware. They’ve been able to upgrade without deploying additional capital, and their team can enjoy all the latest new services without any investment risk.

Isn’t it time you moved too? See our Buyer’s Guide to Cloud Phone Systems 2018 to find out what’s involved and how your business will see rapid improvements in cost and productivity.