Why Hosted VoIP Telephony?
Technology evolves at a lightning pace, but one aspect that’s here to stay is the cloud. From storage to infrastructure, this online-first approach is changing the way we work in a number of ways – and one area where this is making the biggest difference is telephony. So, what can this unique type of phone system do for the modern business? And why is it a technology to invest in?
What is Hosted VoIP Cloud Telephony?
While traditional telephone systems are manually housed somewhere within the office,cloud-based telephony takes everything offsite and into the cloud. This means that your phone lines and call routes are securely stored on a server that can be accessed via the internet, and the phone calls made using this system are hosted over the internet too. This is done most often with technology called VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol.
Why is Hosted VoIP telephony on the rise?
A more cost-effective, manageable and flexible solution than the traditional phone system, cloud telephony delivers a myriad of benefits that mean its adoption is firmly on the increase.
Companies across the globe are taking a huge step forward in leaving the physical behind, allowing them to communicate in a way that best fits the modern business landscape.
Gavin Patterson the CEO of BT announced at an investor meeting that BT has set a date of 2025 to switch off ISDN services from its Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Starting with a cease in supply in 2020 and moving to a full migration by 2025.
Telephony is still the preferred contact method
In a world dominated by social media, email, chatbots and a host of other channels of communication, businesses may ask whether an investment in their humble telephone system is one that’s worthwhile. Yet consumers are adamant in their commitment to this method of contact.
This preference is driven by a number of factors, including the ease of contact by mobile. As consumers search for the products and services they need using smartphones, a call to that business is only a touch away – which is why mobile search accounts for 48% of total call volume.
On top of this, phone contact remains essential insealing a deal, with it being widely reported that 80%of sales transactions require at least five follow-up calls to boost the chances of conversion.
With the telephone enduring in its popularity, companies must perfect their call handling practices to deliver the best possible service – and it’s the unique features and benefits of a cloud-based system that best allow companies to do this.
The capabilities of cloud telephony systems present a host of benefits to businesses in all the ‘ilities’: mobility, accessibility, flexibility,manageability, and of course, cost. On top of this, they also represent a powerful way to future-proof a communications strategy forthe exciting technological developments to come – making it a valuable investment for the long-term.
What are the benefits of Hosted VoIP Cloud Telephony?
When we consider a cloud-based platform in contrast to its physical counterpart, the key benefits can be summed up as follows:
Breaking down the benefits of cloud-based telephones yet further, it’s clear to see why many companies are making the switch.
Unlike the physical, cloud-based systems allow users to receive inbound calls from any location – at a desk phone, or simultaneously to a mobile or soft phone. Wherever there’s an internetconnection, there’s an answer – no matter where in the world an employee happens to be.
Robust Telephony Solution
This cloud-based approach doesn’t just help with accessibility – it also decreases the risk of issues. These systems typically have 99.9% uptime and offer a geo-resilient service perfect for global users.
Cost Effective Calls
Moving your telephone system to the cloud removes the need for any hardware – which significantly reduces the upfront costs associated with investing in a system. And when it comes to day-to-day use, charges are made over the internet rather than by individual phone user, significantly lowering the costs of local, national and international calls.
No matter how large a business – or how much they grow or downsize – a cloud system can adapt. From start-ups of five staff to multi-national enterprises with thousands of employees, deskhandsets will work for any number of people, anywhere there’s an internet connection.
Cloud capabilities don’t just prepare you for the potential of growth – they prepare you for what the future of tech has in store too. As communication evolves, features like artificial intelligence, voice and keyword analysis and interactive voice response are likely to become commonplace – and a cloud system stands companies in good stead for making future use of these exciting developments.
Wholly managed through a web-based portal, cloud systems easily allow for changes toconfigurations or call flows – such as:
• Upgrade or removal of staff access: multiple user levels
• Programming of settings or inbound calling routes
• Addition of users or purchase numbers
• Changes to user settings
A host of benefits come from removing the need for hardware – the costs of installation and maintenance, the burden of storage, and the limitations of expansion or adaption.
Employees reap the benefits of cloud telephony just as much as business owners. The belowfigures were gathered in a 2018 IATA survey, illustrating how this platform helps staff in theirday-to-day work:
Enhancing the caller experience
When a customer picks up the phone to contact a business, they begin their caller experience – and this leaves a lasting impression on their perception of the company. Another benefit of a cloud-based system is it allows for real enhancement of this experience through the introductionof custom audio content.
The custom aspect is vital here. Many cloud phone systems come with messages similar to this built in, but these tend to be generic, robotic and highly impersonal. Exclusivity in this area allows for greater scope in creating content that:
Can be adapted to varying caller audiences dependent on the path they choose
Comprises creative elements like music, voice artistry and scriptwriting that strengthen the identity of the brand
Supports the company and the customer in their overall goals: callers are kept engaged and informed about useful resources, products or services; calls themselves are dealt with efficiently as possible; and sales enquiries are encouraged through promotion
Comprises creative elements that strengthen the identity of the brand
This potential comes hand-in-hand with the ease of system management. Call routing analysis highlights areas to introduce valuable audio touchpoints, and the web portal makes it simple to upload these productions at key moments in the journey.
Considerations when moving to a hosted VoIP cloud telephony solution
Choosing the right provider:
This doesn’t need to be the same as your internet provider, and there are many options out there. Do your research and explore what packages can be offered – some may better suit businesses of particular sizes, and there are additional aspects to take into account such as contract length, licencing costs and prices per user. Silvertel can provide custom requirements to fit your business requirements.
Ensuring your connection can handle it:
A high-quality, reliable internet connection is essential, and fibre-optic is recommended for the best call quality. Silvertel will advise on broadband requirements to meet any specific requirement.
Porting your numbers:
Transfer of existing phone numbers will be required, and the provider you choose should work closely with you to port these as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Silvertel will handle this seamlessly for you.
Allowing for on-site hardware:
If you wish to use on-site desk phones, they’ll need to be IP compatible with the new system – but they can usually be purchased through the chosen provider. Silvertel works with hardware manufacturers to bring you the latest VoIP desk and conferencing devices.
Having network infrastructure:
This must be present in your office to make a cloud phone system work. If you already have computers at your location, this current network can be used to connect the new handsets. If not, Silvertel will provide a free survey and install everything you need to get up and running.
Understanding your requirements:
Upgrading your system allows you to start from scratch and design it to work as you wish. In preparation, you should fully investigate the needs of your business as a whole, and the departments, team and individuals. Ideally, you’ll work with an independent, impartial consultant to understand these requirements and develop the most effective call flows – which can be done once the system is in place. Silvertel provides these consultancy services for you and as almost all features included as part of the service, Silvertel will set up the service the way you want it completely free of charge.
Making the most of the system:
Some cloud providers will offer some level of support to establish the system. Beyond this, some providers require you seek external, specialist consultants to help you to make use of full functionality. Silvertel does not work this way and provides free advise, training and will develop a free online knowledge base for your staff to gain the most from the system and all its features.
Preparing for the future:
A key consideration in switching to the cloud is how adaptable your business is to future changes. Technology, growth, downsizing – and even global pandemics – can all affect how you operate, and a physical system can hold you back from being able to move with the times. Cloud telephony allows staff to work remotely from anywhere in the world, meaning they’re able to take their numbers with them set them up on their mobiles or laptops and be available to support your customers in all manner of circumstances. Silvertel provides everything required for remote working free of charge.
If you’re debating whether to make the switch, ask yourself the following questions:
• Do you want to save money?
• Do you want to deliver the best service to your customers?
• Do you want to be adaptable?
• Do you want to do business intelligently?
• Do you want your system to be secure and reliable?
• Do you want to enhance the caller experience with branded audio content?
When you put it like this, the answer becomes clear. Contact us today to discuss your requirements