Make sure you're choosing the right cloud phone system for your small business.Having a 1990s-era phone system installed at a business when there are advanced cloud-based systems available is something few managers would choose to do. Relying more on cloud-based infrastructure for a phone network centralizes information for easy access and gives business owners and supervisors the ability to do away with landlines.

What are the benefits of hosted communication services?

Fewer pieces of equipment – Instead of a wired telephone-only line, the newest cloud-based phone systems either utilize WiFi or the same ethernet ports used for computers and other pieces of hardware. This greatly reduces maintenance costs and eliminates the need for the hardware used in traditional systems.

Better customer service – Being able to transfer calls exactly where they need to go without worrying about dropped calls can give a small business the same type of customer service platform used by enterprise-level companies.

Expansion and adaptability – Voicemail, extensions, add-ons, etc. are all able to seamlessly integrate into an existing cloud-based setup. Perhaps one of the greatest advantages over old-style systems is the ability to login remotely to either check statistics or pull individual records.

What needs to be taken into consideration when deciding to make the switch to a cloud-based phone system?

Number of phones – This includes people who work at a desk, reception area phones, conference/meeting rooms, remote and mobile employees, and more.

Existing system integration – An email or shared hosting system already put in place can usually be tied in to a cloud-based phone network.

Traditional device platforms – Fax machines and copiers/scanners are two of the main types of devices that need to be included in a cloud environment that may require special attention.

Off-site backup and mobile redirects – Power outages and other communication interruptions will occur from time to time. For businesses that depend heavily on their calling capabilities to keep the gears turning, mobile redirects that rely on cell coverage and pulling information from a hosted backup can be very important.

What are the required features? 

File and workstation sharing – The original reason for the creation of a cloud platform, sharing files and even workstation screens helps employees use their time in an efficient manner.

Video capability and meetings – When meetings cannot take place face to face, the ability to show up remotely allows managers to make sure those away from the office are still included in important conferences. Taking this a step further, a hosted meeting space allows everyone to seamlessly take part in sharing files or chatting from anywhere with an internet connection.

SIP trunking – Instead of relying on the phone company for the number of lines that a business needs, a system that supports SIP trunking can take care of everything itself on a hosted PBX platform.

Robust administrative platform – By being able to manage everything from one easy-to-use panel, system operations become more flexible and changes and additions can be made relatively quickly.

Connectivity needs – Even a small cloud-based phone system needs a significant amount of bandwidth and wireless connectivity to operate properly. Most businesses would be best served by a direct connection protocol and a fiber internet connection.

Making the switch to a cloud-based phone platform should improve a small business’s communication infrastructure and allow employees collaborate with each other more easily. If your small business has already made this switch, contact the experts at thinQ today to maximize the benefit of multi-carrier least cost routing.