COVID-19 has forced work-from-home upon the unlikeliest of candidates. Organisations of all sizes, scales, and specifications have adopted completely alien strategies and mediums in a bid to continue running their businesses.
In this scenario, one of the most affected players have been startups, and it is they who’d benefit the most from adopting cloud phone systems. Let’s take a look at how.
What are Cloud Phone Systems?
A cloud-based phone system can be thought of like a hosted website. It is hosted on the cloud, meaning there is no need for premise-based legacy systems. The hosting and maintenance are also done by a third-party which means that this is not something you need IT teams to look after.
Instead of you having to set up complex phone communication systems for your business, you can set up a cloud phone system which will forward all calls directly to a line of your choice.
For example, many startups choose to route calls directly to their smartphones. This is a brilliant option for those who have a dispersed setup or don’t have a fixed office space as yet.
Organisations, both large and small, are going through digital transformations, moving away from legacy technologies and shifting to cutting edge cloud phone systems. As teams move into the digital world, they can quickly become overwhelmed with the sheer number of options of not only vendors but also different cloud solutions.
These days, even service providers have come to recognise that an increasing number of applications and platforms—from Cloud PBX tools to CRM to data analytics and so on—have become difficult to integrate, harmonise and manage.
This is especially so when they’re installed and operated by different vendors. If businesses leverage a cloud phone system, then by combining all of these processes and functionalities into a single platform, organisations and businesses can very easily manage their communications, contacts, and all related information.
Plus, this can happen on the same application, provided by the same vendor, under the same terms of the contract, and charged on the same invoice as well.
“Startups by their very nature are businesses with a very distinct set of needs and demands. Same goes for their consumers as well, given their fickle nature. These need to be factored in before any service decisions are made.”
The unexpected challenges that cloud phone systems can help startups tackle:
COVID-19 has thrown open a can of worms, a completely new set of challenges, if you may, for businesses, especially smaller ones like startups operating out of homes. Following are the three primary obstacles they’re facing owing to the pandemic –
1. Massive burden on communication pipelines –
There’s been a rapid increase in digitisation and multiplication of use cases of the same, literally overnight. What this has done is, it has put tremendous amounts of strain on legacy, traditional, capacity-constrained phone systems.
Call drops, delays in replies, poor communication quality, etc. have shot through the roof and a usual voice call seems like a burden on most days. This adversely impacts the productivity of the organisation and may drive away customers as well. This is why most people have frequently started to use cloud-based services.
The Internet and the digital infrastructure more broadly have held up rather well, and this has only accelerated this trend and provided an impetus to an inevitability. This is a big reason why most businesses are finally making the complete switch to digital.
2. Uncertainties of operation –
There is tremendous business uncertainty all around, no matter which industry your organisation might be dealing in. One of the most important things right now, for anyone running a business, is flexibility.
The most vital part of it is the fact that they should have the ability to scale up and down at a moment’s notice. Plus, this should be done without too much investment being required, or it will go to waste in case of a scale down.
Businesses around the world pay huge amounts of money in buying new hardware while expanding. However, a cloud phone system is very, very flexible and it grows effortlessly as per a business’s needs without incurring any extravagant upgrade charges. Same is the case when scaling down business operations.
3. If a startup has international clients –
A lot of present-day startups, especially in the services space, have a sizeable base of overseas clients and customers. And they need to be in constant touch with them for a number of reasons. Doing this on any premise-based legacy system would rack you up to massive bills, something out of bounds for startups especially.
A cloud-based phone system allows you to get local free phone numbers of almost any country across the globe. Using these free phone numbers, businesses can make international calls at very minimal costs. All that a start-up needs then is a high-speed internet connection.
In what ways does a startup benefit by adopting a cloud phone system?
Sheer variety of services and possibilities. Do you need a feature like call forwarding? It lets you fix a phone number and then forwards your calls to that number. Startups find this useful because forwarding to a phone keeps them mobile.
Call scheduling allows you to program the forwarding to reach separate numbers at varying times of the day and to forward via a series of numbers up till the time somebody answers. Then there are other features like custom greetings as well.
Following are three specific ways in which cloud-based phone systems can be of immense utility to startups –
1. If you work on the go
Any startup working on its own domain of service, especially those at a relatively early stage of functioning, functions pretty much round the clock.
More than that, these organisations often don’t have a fixed, traditional office space and their workforce is working from a wide variety of places and spaces as per their own convenience.
Because cloud-based phone systems allow calls to be easily forwarded to your phone, you can answer them even on the go––whether you’re in the car, at home, or anywhere else.
2. If you have a remote team that is spread out
Another classic COVID-19 trait of working these days is that businesses have workforces that are dispersed and working remotely as well in fact.
In such a scenario, having a cloud-based phone system becomes more than imperative in fact, given the nature and kind of communications that an organisation comes to need, both internal and external.
Every employee can have their own extension that forwards calls to their personal lines. All employees can be clubbed under a single phone number but they can answer calls on their cellphones as well. This saves costs for the business and makes it rather simple for both customers and employees.
3. Reliability of services and access –
The defining feature of cloud-based phone systems is, well, that they are hosted on the cloud. This is very distinct from legacy, premise-based setups of the yesteryear.
What this leads to is massive gains as far as reliability of services and managing of downtimes is concerned.
Because the different components of such a cloud-based phone system are not all hosted in the same location, the providers can ensure a low amount of service downtime and very few operational disruptions.
Another piece of this puzzle is the fact that such a system also has crucial redundancies built-in. What does that mean? That means that if you use a cloud-based phone system, there’s a high likelihood that your service provider has servers across multiple locations. What that leads to is the fact that if the data hosting on one server fails, the operations can be simply routed via some other server.
Having a cloud-based phone system is a question of when, and not if, for startups at this stage, especially in a post-COVID-19 era. Businesses can make the call, introduce massive efficiencies into their operations, save costs, and meanwhile upgrade their customer experience as well while at it.
To find out more about our hosted phone systems, call our expert team at 0800-084-3663 now! Come on board!
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