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Discover the benefits of a Cloud Voice Solution

Discover the benefits of a Cloud Voice Solution

Why use a Cloud Voice Solution?

Much of our recent focus has been on how using the cloud for business services such as computing and data storage has numerous benefits including cost savings, increased security, flexibility and scaling, and more strategic management of thecompany’s IT resources. Many software companies focus tremendous effort on trying to create the next “killer app” hoping to change the way the world does business, and of course become wealthy in the process. There is one killer app that has existed from the beginning of civilized society, and that is voice!

For most of the 20th Century there we very few companies that could make “voice work” for business, Nortel and AT&T (now Lucent) were two of the most prominent business phone systems and they became enormouscompanies. Phone systems for business were incredibly expensive and so proprietary that you had to use their techniciansto work on the system, and getting a new feature added to your already expensive phone system cost a king’s ransom! In the late 1980’s and 90’s, as computers got faster and more sophisticated, we began to see a wave of new competitors offering cheaper and more feature rich business phone systems. The monopoly on dial tone (Ma Bell) was finally broken up in 1984.As a result,phone bills and long-distance calling rates began to dropand we began to see one of the biggest costs to business, phones and the lines to connect everyone, begin what has become a massive reduction in costs.

What used to work has long since passed, in fact 100-year-oldNortel is no more, broken into pieces and sold for pennies on the dollar. Lucent has been deconstructed, with the remaining piece now called Avaya. Avaya has been working hard to reposition itself as a cloud voice company, because the market for on premise systems has dropped to single digits in market share. The economics of buying, owning, and maintaining a business phone is almost prohibitive in today’s world when compared to the value offered by cloud voice services.

The bulk of the traditional expense of old phone systems was the hardware, proprietary and scary expensive. Today’s offerings are all about software. Companies like 3CX and Switchvox (Sangoma) offer private premise-based solutions but they use small cheap computers or live in a customers’ existing computing environment as a service. Add some business VoIP services (SIP Trunking) which usually include USA Anywhere calling and your phone system is up, running, and offers incredibly rich feature sets at very low costs compared to old technology. The wild card in owning your own system is still in supporting and maintaining the system or the exposure to unseen events like outages, software glitches, or natural disasters.

Cloud Voice wins in multiple areas when compared to on premise systems. 

  • Features: since most systems are software now, features are the differentiator most customer use to evaluate if a system is a fit for their needs. The cloud operators are leading the way in this area, essentially, they have the scale to build out platforms that offer flexible and cutting-edge solutions.
  • Cost: the “Cloud” in the data world offers value by removing CapX spending allowing pay as you go flexibility and choices around buying just the features/ services that you need. Voice cloud providers own the infrastructure and rent space by the user, this allows prices to range from about $5.00/month for a “plain Jane” extension (Kitchen phone with no voicemail or features) to an “all you can eat” Unified Communications extension (UCaaS) with mobility, voice and video conferencing, screen sharing, smart phone app, and tons of other features for around $49/month.
  • Call Center: In the early 2000’s I was working with a hospital system that needed a call center application added to their Nortel phone system for about 25 users. I was amazed to discover that the call center software for that need was $ 250,000 before it was even installed!! The flexibility to add a small call center specific to an application can now start as littleas $100/month and offers recording, coaching, reports, and wall board options unheard of just years before!
  • Support: economies of scale are why customers can get help desk, back end administration and programming, system maintenance, patches, backups, and a great experience included with a standard office extension at around $25/month per user! Those engineers are expensive to have on staff, and if you own and support your own system you are paying them directly, so this is another part of the cloud voice experience often overlooked in the buying process.
  • Flexibility: cloud providers have hundreds or thousands of call paths coming into their facilities from many different providers… what’s that mean? Your company with a premise-based phone system might have 5 to 23 call paths coming in, all from the same company. If the hardware breaks, the dial tone company has an outage, there is a natural disaster or a fire/ flood, or as in today’s latest challenge … a Pandemic, your phones will likely be pretty close to useless! The cloud voice provider is offsite, in multimillion-dollar data centers with redundant everything and built to survive everything listed in the previous sentence! Many companies have recently had to move workers to home to continue working. In the cloud voice world, you can have them take their phone (or use a software phone and headset) and laptop home, plug in, and they are now in your remote office! Calls are getting answered. Customers are taken care of!

The cloud voice service providers are increasingly competing for your business, and prices have been coming down as a result. If you still have a “repair by eBay” legacy phone system in your back room and you think you’re saving money you may want to revisit that. Most of these companies can move to a completely hosted cloud service for close to the same money they currently spend on the phone lines each month!

If you’re considering a switch from legacy service, or simply unhappy with the hosted provider you currently use, we at N2Net would love to talk. We can be reached at 216-619-2000 option 3 or visit us at www.n2net.com