Category: Unified Communications, Voice over IP/VOIP

With a cloud-based phone system, an organization gains the ability to make phone calls over the internet. This shifts the company away from traditional telephone infrastructure, which includes copper wires and optical fibers that often require maintenance. Cloud phones are powered by secure data centers, providing security in addition to stable connections.

“So what?” you may be thinking. “That just means that a cloud-based phone system is a web-driven version of my current phone system.”

That’s not the case.

Cloud phones offer much more than simply calling. This article examines some of the key features you can access with a cloud-based phone system that aren’t available with analog phone systems. But first, let’s dig into how cloud-based systems differ from traditional ones.

Traditional Phone Systems vs. A Cloud-Based Phone System

Traditional phone systems, also known as legacy systems, require the connection of phones to a public network. They operate using physical wires that are connected to individual phones throughout the office, with a centralized physical box to route these calls. As premise-based devices, users must be physically at their phones to make or receive calls.

A cloud-based phone system uses your company’s internet connection to make calls, where phones are routed using a hosted internet system. This allows any digital device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, to be used for voice and video communication. In many cases, cloud-based systems are more cost-effective than traditional systems because they’re often bundled with other services. A company can choose to have a cloud-based system without buying additional phones due to the users’ ability to make calls using other internet-connected devices.

The Main Features of a Cloud-Based Phone System

A cloud-based phone system allows an organization to make calls via an internet connection. Better yet, these calls can come from any device that has a speaker and microphone, eliminating the need for traditional phones in the office. However, cloud-based systems offer much more than an alternative way to make phone calls. They also come with a variety of interesting features that enhance communication.

Feature No. 1 – Internal Chat Functionality

Internal chat allows a company’s employees to engage in a team messaging system that speeds up collaborative efforts. At its most basic level, internal chat allows users to send instant messages to coworkers and may provide the ability to send attachments with those messages. More advanced features include the ability to tag other operators to help with difficult calls and private “whisper” functions that allow supervisors to send messages during supervised calls.

Internal chat functions run concurrently with phone calls in many cloud-based systems. For example, an operator could be engaging a client in a call while sending or receiving instant messages from support staff during the call. This can prove useful in sales or customer care calls when the operator needs information they don’t currently have access to. Instead of asking the customer to hold while they look for the information, the operator can send an internal message to the appropriate person. They can then maintain the call until they receive the information.

Feature No. 2 – Video Conferencing

Statistics published by the Pew Research Center demonstrate that the trend toward remote work prompted by the pandemic seems likely to continue. In January 2022, the organization surveyed workers to discover how many of them chose to work from home. It found that 59% of people who can complete their jobs at home choose to do so all or most of the time. A further 18% work in a hybrid environment that involves working from home or the office based on the needs of their organization.

Of those who work from home, 61% said they chose to do so, compared to 38% who said that they work from home because office space isn’t available.

These statistics are important because they demonstrate that many workers simply aren’t in the office anymore. With a traditional phone system, supervisors and managers are limited to phone calls to stay in touch with these remote workers.

A cloud-based phone system offers more options, including video conferencing. With video conferences, remote workers can engage more directly in meetings and get valuable face time with their coworkers and customers. Cloud-based systems leverage digital devices like smartphones and tablets to enable video conferencing solutions that allow companies to adapt more readily to a remote working environment.

Feature No. 3 – Secure File Sharing

As mentioned, cloud-based phone systems often incorporate internal chat features that allow employees to send files to one another. Security is a key concern in these situations. If the cloud network isn’t secure, those files could be intercepted by hackers and used for malicious purposes.

Thankfully, a good cloud-based phone system will feature encryption that ensures any files sent are secure. Encryption turns the content in a file into a string of indecipherable characters. This character string is then decrypted using a special key installed in the end user’s devices. If a hacker manages to get their hands on the shared file, they’ll only be able to see the character string. This means they’re unable to use any of the data shared in the file for malicious purposes.

An Evolution in Phone Systems

Cloud-based phone systems offer much more than internet-based calling. With the appropriate setup, you enhance productivity by simplifying workflows. Internal chat allows employees to quickly send messages during calls. With video conferencing, remote workers stay more connected to the workplace, which is vital for meetings. And thanks to secure file sharing, employers don’t have to worry about confidential information being intercepted when it’s sent over the cloud.

Unified communications are made possible using a cloud-based phone system. Your only question now is, how can you implement one of these systems into your business?

Docutrend can help.

We service businesses in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to implement full-featured cloud-based phone systems. Contact one of our experts today to discuss your cloud-based system and receive an assessment of your company’s phone needs.