If you are a SMB (Small to Mid-sized Business) owner, you probably keep hearing, “You should move to the Cloud!” or “The Cloud is the future of business communications.” You are not alone. Moving everything to the Cloud is a not only a business trend, but it’s also a smart business decision. The “Cloud” in communication terms, is essential the same thing as your typical on-premise phone system, except it is hosted by a vendor in their data center. Your phone service is delivered to you over the internet. The golden question most business owners are asking is: “How do I know if the Cloud is a good fit for me and my business?” I invite you to ask yourself the following questions.
Do you have a reliable ISP (Internet Service Provider)?
Internet is arguably the most important aspect to have in place before moving to the Cloud or any hosted service for that matter. In order to receive high-quality voice and video, there are certain aspects of your network that need to be validated. We call this “VoIP Network Readiness.” In general, we recommend at least 100Kbps per concurrent call both internal and external. You can check your network’s bandwidth, latency (delay), packet loss, jitter, and quality of service here by using our free comprehensive VoIP network test.
Do you have many projects going on right now that might be tying up money on hand?
A cloud-based phone system is categorized as an OPEX or Operational Expenditure, meaning that it’s a subscription that you pay for over time with little to no upfront investment. Many SMB owners are trying to establish inventory, personnel, and keep their feet underneath them. Being able to distribute the cost of a business phone system and phone service over the course of a few years can allow for more money to be spent upfront on immediate needs.
Are you a small-medium sized company with little to no IT footprint?
On-premise appliances are known to come with some physical maintenance issues from time to time. All technology hardware needs to be properly maintained with updates and occasionally some parts replaced. When an SMB doesn’t have a dedicated IT staff to maintain all of this physical technology, it can become a burden to the business owner or whoever the “tech-savvy” person in the office might be. A hosted phone system is housed in the data center(s) of the vendor that is providing the service, giving the business owner peace of mind and less to manage. When software needs to be updated or hardware replaced, you can feel confident that the vendor is maintaining that on your behalf, freeing up your time to focus on your business and customers.
Do you have remote workers or multiple offices?
In today’s modern business world, more and more companies are allowing employees to work from home. In fact, some studies are showing that those in the new workforce generation are expecting the option of working from home as needed. A hosted phone system allows you to communicate anytime, anywhere. As long as you have internet access, you can connect to the PBX hosted in the vendor’s data center. The ability to have your business phone calls roll to your mobile phone is a commonly requested feature. This is giving business owners the luxury of extending office hours and keeping customers happy by always having someone available to answer the phone. A hosted phone system is also ideal for businesses with multiple offices because you don’t have to stress about piering multiple devices together. All the phones/endpoints register to the Cloud, no matter where they are deployed.
Is the growth or future of your company a concern?
The future of any SMB can be hard to predict, but making sure you invest in technology that can grow with your company is a priority for any ambitious business owner. A hosted business phone system is very flexible and future proof, giving your company the ability to add and drop users as needed. If you have a seasonal business, then this flexibility will particularly benefit you. All business owners want to see their company grow and expand; knowing that you have a phone system that will grow with you can give you the added confidence you need to push full steam ahead.
If any of the above reasons resonate with you, then the Cloud is something you should definitely consider. Communication is certainly the lifeline between businesses and their customers, but when you are juggling all that comes with owning a business, the last thing you need to worry about is maintaining expensive on-site hardware. A hosted phone system is meant to give the end user a reliable, worry-free, and effortless experience.
At Sangoma, we maintain all the software upgrades and hardware replacements behind the scenes so you don’t have to. Switchvox Cloud arrives with all features included and is quick to install and easy to use. With everything coming from one vendor, not only does it simplify your monthly expenses, but it can also mean big savings as well. Click here to see a quick tour of Switchvox Cloud and see how your business can grow and benefit from an all inclusive, hosted business phone system!