How cloud calling can help your SMB succeed in the hybrid work era
With the growing prevalence of remote and hybrid work, keeping your small business connected has never been more important. Your team might no longer be physically present in the office at the same times, which means on-premises phone service isn’t an option.
Cloud calling can bridge that gap. Not only can it keep your team connected, but it can also make collaboration more accessible, scale to the exact needs of your company, and, as a bonus, save you money.
Here are just a few of the ways your small business can benefit from a cloud calling solution.
What is cloud calling, and how does it work?
Cloud calling is a form of unified communications as service (UCaaS) that offers voice-based communication services through a third-party company or “host.” It replaces a traditional on-premises telephone system that you’d find in an office, getting rid of the clutter and cost that comes with an on-prem approach.
Cloud calling is more feature-rich than a traditional private branch exchange system (PBX), which requires several telephone lines to be connected within close physical proximity. PBXs allow basic functionality, like taking calls, call waiting, voicemail, and automated answering, but not much beyond that.
Cloud calling uses VoIP or voice-over-internet protocol. In other words, it gives you the ability to make phone calls over the internet. These calls can be performed on regular phones with special adaptors, smartphone apps, computer calling software, or VoIP-enabled phones. All of the data from these calls are stored on the cloud, where the information is protected and easily updated.
Cloud calling functions by breaking your calls down into digital audio packets and sending them over the internet to the call recipient. From there, it acts as a normal phone call but with even better audio quality in a lot of cases. This is done through what’s called a session initiation protocol (SIP), a technology used to start and end real-time communication sessions. In short, it’s what allows both video and audio calls to take place.
How a small business can benefit from cloud calling
Most small businesses don’t have a large budget when it comes to technology or communication needs. They often have to get far on very little. That’s why expensive PBX systems aren’t practical for a small business, especially when so much work is being done remotely.
One of cloud calling’s biggest benefits is the low cost. You no longer need to worry about paying for a phone service, minutes, or voicemail. You simply need to have internet access, and cloud calling will take care of the rest. Cloud calling even offers a more expanded feature set compared to that of a PBX, but without the need to install expensive, specialized equipment.
Since cloud calling is cloud-based, the data is hosted in several redundant locations, leading to a more reliable service. Your data will be protected even if a server fails. You never have to worry about missing out on an opportunity for your small business.
As your business finds success, you may start to think about expanding your team to meet the needs of your clients and customers. Cloud calling can easily scale to add in new lines as you need them.
Convenience plays a big part in cloud calling as well. It’s easy to set up for you and your team, even when working from home. To begin taking calls, all you’ll need is a computer or phone, a microphone, an internet connection, and in some cases, a front-facing camera built into a phone or laptop.
Clients and customers just need to call a single phone number to be connected directly to your business, just as with a traditional phone. You can even take calls on your mobile phone if you’re away from your computer.
Key cloud calling features to look for
Cloud calling offers a suite of call management features like:
- A single business phone number
- Phone menu and call routing
- Call waiting
- Visual voicemail
- Built-in security
- Caller ID
Look for an integrated cloud calling solution that offers other powerful collaboration features like video conferencing, direct and group messaging, file sharing, digital whiteboarding, and more.
Additionally, calendar integrations can sync up your cloud calling schedule with your go-to calendar app, so you’ll never have to worry about missing a call or meeting.
As your small business looks ahead to long-term remote or hybrid work future, cloud calling might be just what you need to keep your momentum going and thrive.
Curious if cloud calling could work for your small business? Learn more and check out our Call plans today to see just how easy it can be to stay connected with your team, whether in the office, at home, or on the go.
Nov 24, 2021 — Jamie Romanin
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