All businesses value scalability, but for seasonal and growing businesses, the need for scalability is paramount. And that’s why these types of businesses value the Cloud. By transferring communications to the Cloud, businesses can scale quickly while driving greater operational efficiency.
Scalability is an important need for some businesses because of the way their industry is set up or positioned in the marketplace. Seasonal businesses, such as florists, lawn care services, and tax preparation services, will have periods throughout the year where they need varying degrees of phone system support. After all, why would you want to pay for a service you only use part of the year? The flexibility of a cloud phone system helps solve this problem by allowing more lines to be easily added during peak season, and easily reduced during the off season. Seasonal scalability such as this facilitates the ability of businesses to better control their expenses, and ultimately improve their profit margin.
Growth and Decline of Business:
A phone system that is scalable may be essential to seasonal businesses, but any organization can benefit from the flexible nature of cloud phone systems. Whether dealing with growth or a decline in revenues, both can be equally unexpected and require an immediate response. Scalability allows a business to quickly adjust to fluctuating market conditions.
If you deploy a hosted phone system and you have 100 employees who need phones, then you pay for 100 users. Should your employee count drop to 75, you only pay for 75. When your business needs to scale up, it’s simple to add users and change your billing accordingly.
Plus, growing businesses value the fact that hosted phone systems represent an operational expense rather than a capital expense, meaning that hosted systems are deployed as a service with little upfront cost and no maintenance obligations. Using a cloud-based solution means you have flexibility and can free up your working capital through the immediate cost savings of a hosted PBX.
The need for flexibility when your business expands doesn’t just apply to the number of employees (or users) that you may be adding. Cloud-based phone systems also help minimize the headaches that can come with expansion or when adding multiple locations. Whether you have multiple buildings across a campus setting that fall under one internal calling network, or you have several office locations across a certain geographic area, a hosted PBX can provide an economical answer to your communications needs. Not only do you save money by not having multiple phone systems at each physical location, you also have the added convenience of allowing those offices in different locations to call desk-to-desk, as if they were in the same building.
Choosing a cloud-based solution doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the features and flexibility of a full-scale UC solution. And because award-winning platforms like Switchvox Cloud use the same source code as the on-premise alternative, you don’t have to sacrifice features when opting for the flexibility and cost savings of a hosted phone system.
The post Why Seasonal and Growing Businesses Value the Cloud appeared first on Sangoma.
What comes after a Unified Communications system? More unification of course! We are entering another phase in the evolution of the business phone system, where it is becoming an overall business communications system. And we’ll continue to see computing advances have a huge impact.
Let’s explore this a bit. From an architecture perspective, it’s not a big leap to continue an evolution towards adding more communications to the business communications system. Other outside networks, such as may be required for IoT interaction can be added to the mix. Other devices, that may have nothing to do with voice, such as building access control, cameras and sensors can be added. And the rules system and message broker brains also can get updated so that “voice” becomes just another type of communication method, not the method it was originally designed for years ago. As such, the Business Communications System is born.
And with all of this data coming from all of the business interactions, patterns and learning can be had and put to use in a positive way. The advances in compute power and the ability to analyze huge amounts of data swiftly and efficiently have given rise to elements of Artificial Intelligence entering the business phone system. In other words, the “rules.” And thus the Message Broker can get smarter. So the advent of Artificial Intelligence functionality with the PBX/UC platform has already started to occur.
The last mile to this Business Communications System will also likely be augmented. With 5G comes the ability to “network slice” or carve a portion of the network to be dedicated to an enterprise. In other words, a 5G wireless trunk.
The PBX has already undergone incredible evolution in the past 25 years. With much more to come. The office environment has also evolved from a single brick and morter facility to be a virtual, accessible at all times, and from anywhere environment. The PBX/UC platform branching out to become a more complete business communications system for the Evolved Office is a natural evolution for the PBX, and Sangoma is leading the way.
The post The Emergence of the Business Communications System appeared first on Sangoma.
Few things are more important to a SMB (small-medium business) than its reputation. Building rapport with your customers doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a relationship that builds over many years of dedicated service or quality products. One place where some businesses fall short is maintaining a basic, open communication channel with their customers. When customers call to see what your weekend hours are or if you have a certain item in stock, it should not turn into a long hold or a busy signal. A hosted phone system can ensure a “lack of communication” is never an issue. Here’s why:
RCF (remote call forwarding) is a business revenue saver and ensures that your customers always reach someone. If you set up notifications and call forwarding rules the call will cascade to the device of your choice, making that dreaded voicemail box less visited. You can leave to run to the post office or go grab lunch and calls can be forwarded to your mobile phone. The customers will have no idea you aren’t in the office, keeping them happy and content while you answer their questions. Need to take a break? Simply change your status to “away” and you can set up a call rule that will forward those calls to another co-worker or even a call queue, so you can take a much needed break.
Your business phone number is the face of your company. Think of all the commercials where people have made up jingles centering around their main phone number. Moving to a new hosted phone system doesn’t mean you should lose something that helps to identify your business. Keep your identity and port your number. Make sure to set up a number port with your current vendor before you cancel services and set up a paper trail with emails. Working hand-in-hand with your new provider will help ensure a smooth transition.
The Cloud is the way of the future, there is no denying that. Gartner predicts that by 2021, 90% of IT leaders will not purchase any new premise based UC infrastructure. Not only can hardware take up valuable space around the office or in server closets, but for many small businesses, having your IT person focusing on your phone system as well as day-to-day operations can be overwhelming and perhaps lead to burn-out. Not having a physical phone system in the office is ideal for businesses in areas where tornadoes, hurricanes, or other natural disasters are a threat. Everything is in the cloud, so less equipment to be damaged and replaced. With less equipment to worry about and maintain, you can focus on running your business and keeping your customers happy. Leave the phone system maintenance to your hosted phone service provider.
Switchvox Cloud is here for the long haul. We have all features included at one, low monthly rate. That’s your phone system and phone service rolled up into one bill. All you need is an internet connection, set up a few call rules, and you are ready to go. You can add extensions as needed, making Switchvox Cloud a flexible solution that is perfect for businesses that have busy and slow seasons. Updates come automatically, there is no bulky hardware in the server closet or around the office, and 24/7 support is there for you when you need it most. Contact our sales team today and see how Switchvox Cloud can help your business bring in more revenue, scale to your intended growth, and secure your business’s reputation.
The post Building the Reputation of your Business with Cloud appeared first on Sangoma.
Last week, I described the basic architecture of a PBX system. But these systems have evolved into Unified Communication systems that handle more than voice – they handle messaging, texting, chat, video and others. This is where most business phone systems are today.
But how did they evolve so quickly? The basic architecture stays the same, so if you have a good architecture upon which to build, features can be added quickly. When doing an instant message for example, there still needs to be a database of users and rules that go with it, there needs to a message broker between the two people involved, and there needs to be trunks and an end user device. The basic architecture is there – just the type of media involved changes. The UC system simply had to handle different media beyond voice. The convergence of voice with IT (VoIP) proved to be monumental since voice became just a type of media- just another type of data to be moved. And once that happened, other media could be moved with the same constructs as voice. Hence, UC implementations became de rigeur.
Messaging via chat, or playback of a voice or video mail on your email are everyday examples of such communications in the office beyond a simple voice call. Different devices could be enabled for different kinds of interaction beyond voice, adding text, chat, and video for example.
The advances in the networks and the ability for applications to utilize these advances in network technology also played a huge role in enabling the PBX to evolve to truly become “Unified Communications”. Once such network was the emergence of 3G and 4G, which ushered in the world of mobile enterprise applications. Your office becomes mobile, because you have office apps such as your office phone, your instant messaging system, etc. on your smartphone or your laptop or tablet. Effectively, your offices move to wherever you are. And many of us reading this blog have experienced that.
But what is next? Next week I’ll explore some ideas.
The post The Evolution of the Business Phone System into a UC Platform appeared first on Sangoma.