More businesses are moving to cloud-based phone systems. Should your business move, too?
An effective and reliable method of communication is a cornerstone of any successful business. Cloud-based phone systems, also known as internet calling or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), have become extremely popular with the increased ubiquity of cloud storage across all aspects of business, but they may not be right for everyone. Read on to see if it’s right for you.
What is a cloud phone?
A cloud-based phone system, or cloud phone, is a phone service that allows you to make calls over the internet rather than over a traditional analog phone that uses copper wires or optical fibers to make a connection. Cloud phones are hosted in one or more offsite secure data centers.
These Hosted phone system can be used with a variety of devices, including traditional phones with adapters, smartphone apps, computer software or VoIP-enabled phones. Rather than maintaining software via a server such as a private branch exchange (PBX) on the premises, all information and data are stored in the cloud. This helps you save on costly maintenance and updates since everything can be easily updated in the cloud.
Cloud phone system vs. a traditional phone system
Traditional telephones work by connecting phone systems to the public network. These networks use ISDN or PSTN. In more modern setups, traditional phones can work through VoIP, which runs the phone lines through internet connections.
Cloud phone systems take the concept further. The phones are not routed through traditional networks at all. Instead, voice communication is routed through a hosted internet system. Traditional phone technology can be used, but it isn’t necessary. Instead, any computer device can use cloud calling for voice communication. Typically, cloud-based voice is less expensive than traditional phone lines or VoIP because it can be bundled with additional cloud services. Cloud calling is an inexpensive resource for providers.
How do cloud-based phone systems work?
Cloud-based phone systems work by breaking your voice up into small digital packets that are sent as data over the internet to the recipient of the call. A cloud-based PBX is used to route the call.
Cloud-based phone systems are accessible through a variety of methods, making them available for anyone with an internet connection to use. You can make cloud-based calls via
• A traditional phone with a VoIP adapter. The adapters plug into a phone outlet in the wall or directly into your router.
• A computer (i.e., a “softphone”). There are many programs or applications that let you make voice calls over the internet, including Skype, Google Voice and Apple FaceTime.
• A smartphone. With your smartphone, you can download apps such as Google Voice or Skype to make internet calls.
• A dedicated VoIP phone. These look like traditional analog phones but connect directly to a computer network rather than a phone line.