If you are held back from opportunities because your existing systems aren’t flexible enough or cost too much to expand, or you feel locked in to outdated technology that’s cumbersome to manage – then your business will suffer. The good news in one area, telecommunications, is that there are many more choices for small businesses today than even 5 years ago. A cloud phone system is where you use the power and benefits of the cloud for telecommunications.
With a cloud-based business phone system, there’s typically little hardware involved (other than the phones themselves). A cloud phone system gives you a Web-based management console to configure features and users. For small and midsize businesses, you’re able to get the kind of features that large enterprise phone systems take for granted, but without the enterprise cost. And while you could piece together such features from a variety of providers, there’s less complexity when you get them through a single provider, management them with a single interface, and get a single consolidated billing.
Back in my corporate days I remember meetings where we talked about nothing but our high telephone costs. One of the knocks against VOIP systems or a system like Skype, is that some don’t offer emergency calling. Unified communications is often an extra feature, and for organizations that do heavy phone work, it can lend considerable efficiency. Bottom line is this: consider these kinds of benefits when reviewing your phone system needs.
Anita Campbell is the Founder and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. Stability and growth, Future Proof Open Standards are also some of the major advantages of cloud telephony system.
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If your company has multiple employees, you need a PBX (Private Branch Exchange) system to route incoming calls — especially if you want to maintain a professional image. Rather than using a circuit switch network, VoIP PBX systems rely on software and the Internet to connect calls.
Cloud PBX systems offer all the features of a regular phone system without the initial capital expense. If you’re a small company, growth can be something that is hard to anticipate and plan for. Legacy cloud phone systems were a good solution when everyone worked out of the same office. Many cloud PBX vendors offer solutions that tie into leading CRM, ERP, and even applicant tracking systems.


Another benefit of cloud PBX systems is they offer all the same features of traditional systems, usually at a lower overall cost. Sponsored posts are content that has been produced by a company that is either paying for the post or has a business relationship with VentureBeat, and they’re always clearly marked. Before the virtual storage area network, there were Fibre Channel storage area networks and iSCSI. If you think you know which features only come with the vSphere Distributed Switch, challenge your knowledge with this quiz.
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The key to positive customer experience is using data insight to better understand customer behavior. So you don’t need to worry about buying, maintaining and upgrading equipment or even the software, such as for a PBX switchboard. Look for a system whose dashboard is easy to understand and use — by a non-telecommunications professional.
For example, a dedicated VOIP system on your premises may require multiple visits by an installation crew, and training sessions to learn a complex system. You can easily get features such as call logs, conference calling, and auto attendants to direct incoming calls. Those costs were mainly driven by expensive hardware we had on site, such a bulky PBX switchboard box, and complex added charges and complicated discount formulas. A system built on a flat monthly rate, with any add-on charges clearly identified, saves a lot of management time. Unified communications means that you can seamlessly use other devices such as computers for placing and taking calls, getting voicemails sent to email, and other integrated features. While there were many reasons I switched to a cloud phone system (in fact more recently switched to Comcast) the predictable billing cycle was one of the greatest initially overlooked benefits. Some hotels still continue to use the legacy systems but are not able to see the bookings in real-time and often need remote access to control their operations, when not in hotel.
But for small companies, the initial price tag of traditional communication systems can be daunting. Cloud-based or hosted means another company takes on the responsibility for owning, configuring and managing the service for you. You don’t need to purchase upfront hardware, and you don’t have to keep IT resources on staff to operate the system.
If you land a round of funding or acquire a big customer, you may need to add a dozen employees overnight.
By matching callers to contact records in your CRM system, you immediately know when a big customer is calling. Even basic levels of service generally come with a variety of customizable features, including auto-attendant, conferencing, call queues, and more.


A good vendor will step you through the process of moving to the cloud, upgrades, and maintenance and be there when you have questions on how things work or services available. The content of news stories produced by our editorial team is never influenced by advertisers or sponsors in any way. This year, we focused on people we expect will have the most influence in shaping the direction cloud computing takes in large IT shops. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. On more than one occasion we hired a consultant to come in and audit our phone bills, and help us to reduce them.
It also helps control costs because it’s more predictable and you can budget more accurately.
Better cloud systems today recognize that businesses need emergency (as well as 411 directory assistance) capabilities, and offer them as standard features. Saving me time and money on monthly billings as well as giving me the peace of mind with one less variable to worry about. Legacy systems have their own advantages and disadvantages but given the current world scenario, since most people are tech savvy and want results faster, it is advisable to make the switch to cloud PMS which is a one-stop-solution to all the needs. That’s why many are turning to cloud VoIP PBX as a scalable, flexible, cost-effective alternative. Because of this, cloud phone systems offer several advantages that make them attractive to small businesses. With a cloud PBX, adding new phone numbers and voice mail is as easy as making updates via a Web portal. You can see what products a customer has and access notes from previous meetings, allowing you to provide better customer support.
The list includes some well-known CEOs, CIOs, CTOs and cloud architects from established companies, as well as some well-known executives now heading promising startups. For instance, if you’re working on your computer and need to make a call, you can do so right then and there from your computer. And while traditional phone systems include long distance billing and other hidden costs, choosing cloud PBX means you know exactly what your operational expenditures are each month. And unlike traditional phone systems, you don’t have to worry about capacity limits — you can add as many lines as your company needs.
You can also automate the process of entering call records, resulting in better reports and analysis. What’s more, if you are relocating to a new office space, all that is required is a simple phone call to your vendor.
You can be in a hotel room, coffee shop or at home, and just as easily dial an extension or jump in on a conference call.
And in the event of a natural disaster or other calamity, you can use your cloud PBX to reroute calls to other locations.



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