Up in the clouds: how hosted phone systems work for business

If your company’s phone system is awaiting an upgrade, an array of questions could quickly pass through your heard. For example, you might wonder whether your staff need digital dialling or physical handsets, as well as whether your personnel need to work hitch-free on the go.

However, as digitisation continues engulfing the business world, UC Today cites “perhaps the biggest question” as whether that next phone system will be cloud-hosted or sited on your own premises. How does the cloud change the way in which a corporate phone system works?

What would change in the switch to cloud telephony?

Your business might currently use a “traditional” phone system, whereby hardware is installed on-site and connects all of your company’s phone extensions. Through what are known as ISDN or PSTN lines, those extensions could be linked to a public phone network.

All the same, you might have already somewhat digitised your telephony by linking your phone system to VoIP services and so saving money on international calls, which you could find prohibitively expensive when they are made over a PSTN line. You would be going a step further with a cloud-based business phone solution otherwise simply known as a “hosted” phone system. That system would use the internet to connect your network’s extensions, leaving you to fund just softphones or endpoints, any necessary training and a monthly rental fee.

It’s about time that you saved time with a cloud solution

The online component of hosted solutions brings many benefits for businesses. SMEs can more easily connect offices across multiple locations to the same phone system, Real Business explains, as the cloud offering would not need on-site hardware in the same way as an older PBX system.

Meanwhile, given a cloud-based system’s accessibility from anywhere that is broadband-connected, both co-workers and customers can more easily get in touch with staff of your business.

Especially conveniently for time-strapped businesses, upgrades can be remotely sent to your phone system as they become available. You wouldn’t need to arrange for engineers to visit your premises and so potentially take time away from your probably already hard-pressed corporate schedule.

An impressive variety of features

Still, it would be misleading to suggest that cloud-hosted phone systems are always standard in the features they include. For this reason, when shopping for such a system, you should pay close attention to the feature list to verify that it would meet your own firm’s requirements.

The bytestart.co.uk website details various features which tend to be offered as standard by providers. Ring groups, for example, would see calls redirected to multiple team members when you are unable to answer the calls yourself.

Meanwhile, an auto-attendant can funnel calls to team members especially capable of handling them effectively. Auto-attendants – which will each respond to callers by presenting them with a list of options – are, for example, standard with Gamma’s cloud-based phone service Horizon.

With a cloud-hosted solution, you can also hand each team member their own extension enabling them to receive and make calls from anywhere.




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