When snow storms such as Nemo cause dangerous driving (and even walking) conditions, businesses working in the cloud are able to conduct business as usual while allowing their employees to work safely from home.
Cloud-based technologies – from storage to infrastructure to telephony such as a hosted PBX (News - Alert) system – provide a myriad of benefits, such as allowing employees to work remotely while still being connected to the same office telephone system. The technology also allows for video conferencing, which helps enable more effective remote collaboration.
And because the entire telephone system is “in the cloud,” it is operated and maintained by the service provider, eliminating the need for companies to manage equipment.
In an interview with TMCnet, Adam Simpson, CEO at Easy Office Phone (News - Alert), explained the benefits of a hosted PBX solution and how a small business owner can tap into its potential.
“One of the most immediately apparent benefits of a hosted PBX to a business owner is the greatly reduced initial capital outlay. With a cloud PBX, there is no physical PBX ‘box’ to purchase as the service is in the cloud,” Simpson said. “For comparison, the purchase and installation of a traditional on-site PBX can easily run into the thousands of dollars.”
Other benefits of a hosted PBX system include the following:
- Reduced ongoing costs: clients can easily self-manage a cloud PBX via a user-friendly web interface, so unlike a traditional PBX there is no need to hire an onsite installer or technician to configure the service.
- Long-distance savings: with North American long distance calling included, companies can further reduce their monthly telecom costs.
- Scalability: you can easily add capacity to a cloud-based PBX at any time as your company grows, without over-paying for capacity you do not immediately need.
- Deployment time: thanks to its virtual nature, a cloud PBX can be up and running in as little as 24 hours. Downtime is nonexistent with a proper deployment, meaning further savings for a business.
In terms of implementation, to get the maximum value out of a move to a hosted PBX, business owners need to select a service provider that can deliver the features and voice quality you need, and be there for you when you need to grow, Simpson explained.
On top of the cost and scalability benefits, a cloud PBX system also enables a remote workforce because the service is hosted in the cloud, so employees can connect to it and make or receive calls from virtually any location.
“There is no longer any need to be physically present at a central company office just to use the company’s phone service. So long as each employee has a high-speed Internet connection, they can work from wherever they like,” Simpson said. “The advent of cloud PBX apps allows employees to integrate directly into their company’s phone service using their favorite smartphone, further enhancing workforce mobility. Staff can make and receive calls: from home offices; while on the road using a smartphone; or even while on vacation, using a laptop.”
Cloud PBX also seamlessly ties the staff into the company’s phone service, allowing them to remain connected and provide customer service from anywhere.
In looking at current cloud trends, Simpson said the growing awareness of and interest in cloud technology in general has been a boon to the industry.
“In the past, phone service with this level of power and flexibility would have been feasible only for larger enterprise customers. Thanks to cloud technology, small and medium businesses now have access to an extremely sophisticated phone service that fits any budget – one that in most cases can actually reduce telecom expenses,” he said.
As businesses move other mission-critical services to the cloud – such as data backup, monitoring, etc. – cloud-based telephone service is a natural fit, Simpson added.
“More and more business decision makers are coming to realize this, and as a result are moving away from traditional telecom solutions,” he said. “We think our industry has a very bright future.”
Edited by Braden Becker