Hosted by a third-party service provider like OnSIP, a cloud phone system is a Voice over IP (VoIP) platform for conducting business over the telephone. Standard features of cloud-based phone systems include advanced telephony and security functions like extension dialling, automated attendants, and even conference bridges.
Briefly Summarising Life Before Cloud-Based Phone Systems
Despite the advent of the Internet, business phone systems have been around for quite some time. The most basic phone systems allow companies to have a single primary number with multiple extensions. As of the mid-1990s, businesses could manage their phone systems by installing telephony software on the server and connecting phones to a server over their IP network, thanks to the advent of VoIP technology.
However, for a small or medium-sized business, the costs associated with owning and operating a phone system can add up quickly. These include things like the cost of a SIP trunking service and PRIs to connect the system to the PSTN, as well as ongoing maintenance, security precautions, and configuration work. (Check out our blog post on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise VoIP System Choices for additional info on on-premise phone systems.)
What people commonly refer to as "cloud-based phone systems" are internet-based phone services.
Internet telephony, VoIP, and other variations of these names all refer to the same thing. A telephony system or telephony network is a collection of phones that connect to the Internet and operate together to relay calls, usually in an office.
An Overview of the Development of Internet-Based Telephony
Cloud-based phone networks are only possible with the development of the telephone, this same Internet, plus Internet Protocol (IP).
When the telephone was first introduced in the 1870s, calls were routed through an operator and a switchboard. When AT&T introduced touch-tone buttons in the 1900s, the era of digital call switching began. Consequently, no longer a human controller is required.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network created the original form of the Internet in the mid-1960s. Primarily, it served as a means of communication between the Department of Defense and the armed forces of the United States. However, it wasn't until the rise of the PC in the '80s that the public widely adopted it. These machines allowed users to make phone-based connections to the emerging Internet.
In 1972, Internet Protocol (IP) was created to define data exchange between two computers. When the Hypertext Transfer Protocol and the Uniform Resource Locator were developed in 1989, the world suddenly became a much smaller place. These innovations laid the groundwork for the modern Internet.
VocalTec, a business founded in 1995, is credited with creating the first cloud-based phone system, now known as Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP. This was the first Internet-based telephone service available to the general public. It enabled two people to communicate with each other over the Internet using their speakers and microphones. In addition, it was created to lessen the financial burden of international and long-distance phone calls.
Online voicemail programmes emerged in 1996. In 1998, VocalTec expanded its offerings to include VoIP capabilities for phone and computer-to-phone calls. Unfortunately, ads played before, during, and after calls on cloud-based phone systems, discouraging early adopters from using them.
Manufacturers of telephone equipment and experts in telecommunications began taking advantage of the benefits of the new technology in the 1990s. First, they started equipping their switches with IP features. Then, at some point, they programmed an interface for VoIP adaptors to be used with regular phones.
As the new millennium began, VoIP began to gain traction. The decade has seen the introduction of VoIP switching software as an optional extra for routeing equipment from three different vendors. With this convenience, VoIP usage has rapidly increased and now accounts for 25% of all phone conversations. In addition, Broadband Ethernet's introduction also facilitated an uptick in call quality.
Many VoIP service providers emerged in 2004. The fixed monthly fee includes unlimited local and national calls and free calls to other customers of the same VoIP service. This was when businesses began to take advantage of VoIP calling capabilities by establishing unified communications backbones.
It's easy to see why cloud-based phone systems are the future wave right now. It has grown commonplace since it streamlines various tasks and provides extensive customisation options. It's likely that in the not-too-distant future, we'll see innovations in communication technology that will render cloud-based phone systems much more appealing and useful—if not essential.
Yet, modern systems can provide your business with even more features. For example, ring Groups and Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) Queues offer various customisation possibilities for routeing calls to certain groups or extensions.
Why Use a Cloud Phone System?
When compared to hosting your phone system, the key advantage of using a cloud phone system is the savings in both the time and money it provides. It's analogous to using a pre-existing hosted email service like Google instead of making your own. You won't need to spend money on servers to host the phone system (or on SIP trunking or a PRI service to connect them), and you won't have to worry about setting it up or keeping it secure.
VoIP hacking is commonplace if you need to be more diligent with your phone system. Hackers using the voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) technology will hijack phones and use them to make calls on your dime if possible. However, you don't have to worry about the safety of your cloud phone service because reputable suppliers prioritise it.
Efficiency of Operation
Providers of cloud phone systems typically make administration interfaces available through which any authorised team member can make adjustments (such as adding a phone for a new hire) with a few mouse clicks. Instead of hiring a specialist in information technology to handle complex configurations, firms can benefit greatly from this method.
Integrations and Advanced Features
To stay competitive, vendors of cloud phone systems emphasise developing calling capabilities that improve workplace communication. For example, a hosted PBX provider may include a web phone that can be accessed from any computer, a connection with your customer relationship management system for automatic call tracking, or a click-to-call programme that allows you to place calls with the click of a mouse. If you're a business owner, switching to a cloud phone system could be the first step towards greater efficiency and cost savings.
Remote Work & Scalability
Lastly, a cloud-based phone service will enable your organisation to serve remote employees and grow as needed. Remote workers can sign up for their phones from any location, as the service is hosted online. Almost 4 million Americans now regularly engage in remote work. However, many companies end up paying for employees' personal mobile phones and home phone expenses without a hosted phone system.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of utilising cloud-based phone systems?
Due to the rise of internet-based services in the business world, cloud-based phone systems are gaining popularity. However, when deciding if cloud phones are the ideal answer for your company, there are a few things to remember, including the following.
Advantages of cloud-based mobile phone systems
One of the key advantages of cloud-based phone systems is the low price. Because all communication occurs online, you will only be charged for the amount of data sent rather than the time spent on the phone line. Several phone lines and other features like call forwarding and voicemail can drive up the price of a conventional phone system. However, when it comes to communication, a single monthly bill is all you need, thanks to the fact that most cloud systems incorporate phone service with key capabilities.
Confidence in cloud-based phone systems is high. Because several data centres are hosting these systems, communication disruptions at one centre will only affect your ability to communicate at another. Geographic redundancy is a tried and true strategy for preventing service outages and interruptions.
Cloud-based telephone systems also offer the advantage of adaptability. For example, calls may be forwarded to your VoIP-enabled phone wherever you are, so long as you have an internet connection, making a cloud phone ideal for the increasingly common requirement that employees be reachable at all times.
Cloud-based phone systems are highly recommended if your business is experiencing or anticipating rapid expansion. With a cloud-based management system, you can quickly and inexpensively expand your business's telecommunications capabilities without hiring an IT specialist or investing in costly new hardware. This is also true for servicing, as you can perform all updates remotely in the cloud, eliminating the need for onsite work and reducing associated costs.
Cons of using cloud phone services
It's important to consider the potential downsides of cloud-based phone systems.
All you need to use a cloud-based system is access to the Internet. However, if your internet connection is inconsistent, a cloud-based phone system may not be ideal for your business. An always-on, reliable link is essential.
Replace all of your current phones with IP handsets or adapters could be too expensive for your company. Instead, think about the gear you already have and whether or not it would be practical to incorporate it into a cloud-based infrastructure.
Because they rely on the Internet, cloud phones can easily be compromised by malicious software or hackers. Therefore, your network security is a top priority. In addition, before committing to a provider, make sure you discuss your concerns and get a detailed explanation of the safety protocols they employ.
VoIP and cloud-based solutions won't support contacting 911 either. Tracing a 911 call through a cloud-based phone system can be more challenging than a regular phone because it is not attached to a specific physical address. By activating Enhanced 911 (E911), users can specify an actual address that will be communicated to emergency responders when they dial 9-1-1 from their cloud phone. However, not all cloud or VoIP providers provide this feature because doing so requires them to interact with traditional phone companies (direct competitors) that have had restricted access to the 911 network in the past. Find out if the VoIP service you're thinking about using automatically provides 911 service, if it needs to be activated, or if it's not supported.
When using a cloud-based phone service, what aspects of call quality are most important to consider?
Call quality is typically excellent when using cloud-based phone solutions. Unfortunately, several external variables can still affect the quality of these calls.
Jitter is a disruption in the flow of digital signals and is typically brought on by electromagnetic interference. It can result in a clicking sound, a flickering screen, and even data loss.
The delay in a data packet's arrival at its intended destination is known as latency. The efficiency of communication tools and interfaces is diminished when excessive latency is present. It takes time for data to reach its destination from a group of geographically dispersed devices.
A Problem With Packet Loss
This is known as packet loss when data packets are transmitted but never received. It leads to data inaccuracies, transmission jitter, and data corruption. System noise, insufficient signal strength at the destination, corrupted software, faulty hardware, or overloaded network nodes are all potential causes of packet loss.
A scale from 1 (worst) to 100 (best) is used to rate the quality of a person's voice during various testing procedures (best). It's calculated from the proportion of people who report being satisfied with a test speech signal's quality after being sent from a transmitter to a receiver.
Results Mean Opinion Score
The quality of the call is rated on a scale from 1 (very poor) to 5 (outstanding) on the Mean Opinion Score (excellent). VoIP call volumes are typically in the 3.5–4.2 range.
Monitoring these metrics to prevent call drops and interruptions and maintain optimal call quality is crucial.
Why should I switch to VoIP?
Landline versus cloud-based phone service is a contentious topic, with many variables affecting the final decision. However, due to businesses' varying requirements and constraints, it's vital to compare and contrast the two options for business phone service.
Traditional telephone lines depend upon networks of copper cables, branch exchanges, and switches, while cloud-based phone systems use the Internet to transport your speech as data. While the cloud-based phone system has been around since the 1990s, this technology has been tried and proven since the 1800s.
Call forwarding, voicemail, and conference calling are just a few of the functions included in standard telephone systems. Yet there's a price to pay for those. Cloud-based phone systems provide instant access to all of these options. Cloud-based phone systems are special because they offer services like voicemail to text. A cloud-based phone system also offers integration with several other applications. Not possible with a standard telephone network.
When the VoIP service is hosted in the cloud, there is no need for expensive and cumbersome equipment to make calls. The setup process requires minimal time and effort and can be completed in minutes. The cloud-based phone system is extremely mobile because you only need a broadband Internet connection to make calls. Use your cell phone as an extra line in your office with the help of an app.
Advantages of cloud phone service
- You may be reached at any time, regardless of where you are, thanks to a cloud phone system's flexible multi-device design that makes all of your devices ring once an incoming call is received.
- Cloud PBX apps give your staff the freedom to work from anywhere, including at home, while still having access to all the same features, including the ability to receive and make calls and transfer calls as if they were in the office. The front desk can even field calls from the outside world.
- Adaptability: A two-handset cloud system can be expanded to accommodate a growing enterprise. This way, you can add handsets as needed without increasing your monthly bill beyond what is necessary.
- Capacity can be decreased at any time. Costs associated with running a cloud-based phone system are proportional to the amount you spend on telecommunications each month.
- With various locations, cloud phone systems shine. You are freed from the confines of set locations thanks to these. Internal extensions allow for instantaneous, free call transfers between cities like Sydney,
- Melbourne, and Perth. Wow, that's very fantastic. Having free phone service between locations is a cost-saving perk for businesses with many locations.
- The effective rerouting of incoming phone calls is crucial to running any company. A call can be confidently directed to the appropriate department or employee thanks to our comprehensive suite of routeing call options.
- You can unplug your phones from your old office and plug them into your new office without worrying about leaving the exchange and losing your main number. Whoa, that's quite neat.
Rapid Deployment: You won't have to wait around for technicians who might not show up for their scheduled appointments because we can install the system whenever you choose.
Costs can be reduced by using a cloud-based phone system.
A cloud-based solution may be a waste of money at first. The typical fee for a service is a certain amount each month. Yet, internal expenses are minimised to a single hardware buy. Savings can be attributed to reduced time, money, and effort needed to allocate personnel, materials, and suppliers.
Having a landline installed and maintained is a costly endeavour. What about locally hosted internet-based systems? The setup fees for VoIP service providers will still be a part of your business expenses. A cloud-based phone service's per-user rate typically comprises a flat monthly fee plus any additional charges incurred. In addition to simplifying budgeting, budgets may now grow alongside your company.
You can get more out of your investment in business internet service by investigating integrated business phone system solutions. The cloud's power is at your disposal, and you can do it without investing in many separate devices, programmes, and services.
Maintaining cloud-based phone systems
There is a lot that goes into a business's phone system. Communication tools such as instant messaging, electronic mail, telephone conversations, video conferencing, desktop sharing, and online meetings are indispensable in today's businesses. But it might take a lot of time and effort to integrate all those moving parts across devices and locales. You wish to maximise the effectiveness of your current technological setup. Reduce the amount of time spent maintaining software and hardware components.
If you're building your system, you'll need full-time staff members who are specialists in various software and hardware. As a result, your IT staff's attention and training time will be diverted. Cloud-based systems are also easier to keep track of and update. Full system audits and replacements are not required.
The upfront costs of setting up your gear with TPx are substantially lower than the price of buying hardware systems, hosting, and maintaining. Choose the UCx business phones that meet your requirements. We manage, monitor, upgrade, and maintain your complete communication system as a part of our service.
Upgrades to cloud-based phone systems
Frequent upgrades are necessary to stay current with technical developments. However, when it comes to keeping tabs on and upgrading your company's telephony infrastructure, there's only one better option than a cloud-based system, which can be done without incurring downtime or wasting money.
Full-service, cloud-based communication systems
Thanks to Unified Communications as a Service, wasted time and missed chances are eliminated. The efficiency of a distributed workforce is maximised with cloud-based solutions since employees can access them from anywhere and on any device. With TPx, you won't need to offer a facilitator a long list of phone numbers and email addresses so that they may mediate a call between remote participants. Instead, end customers may find it as simple as downloading an app.
Cloud-based systems are easier to integrate because they are more widely available. However, connecting new applications and gadgets in the workplace can be costly for businesses. To maximise teamwork with minimal expense and disruption, you can switch to a hosted PBX, which is provided by specialised service providers and funded by the pooled resources of their clientele. Regarding communication tools, your system is always up-to-date and fully comprehensive.
Data security for cloud phone systems
Security is crucial in all aspects of communications, from the transmission of private information to the protection of the information transmitted and stored in communication systems to the protection of the endpoints themselves. The greater the number of possible connections, the greater the flow of information. Increased safety is possible with cloud-based technology.
Providers such as TPx offer comprehensive data management and monitoring services. Cloud storage also makes backup less of a hassle and more secure. In addition, it is kept in many locations to prevent data corruption, loss, or disaster. And the time it takes to recover after a calamity is cut down significantly.
Benefits of Migrating to a Cloud-Based Phone System
For financial reasons, switching to a cloud-based phone system is preferable to maintaining an on-premises network. Without paying the rental line cost for each landline number throughout your company's history, you can save a tidy sum over a decade or more.
A cloud-based phone system is simple to implement and requires no special hardware. Access to the Internet and an IP phone or softphone is all required. Pre-configured IP phones from reputable manufacturers like Cisco are available (we provide a variety of Cisco IP Phones), and then you'll be ready to go. If that's the case, you need an account with us.
Versatile: This business phone system gives you a lot of leeway in how you conduct your daily operations. With a Computer or mobile app, you can connect to a call service in the cloud anytime and from any location.
The cloud-based phone system provides a superior caller experience, which translates to happier customers. In addition, its adaptability dramatically cuts down on missed calls from potential consumers, ensuring that no transactions are lost.
Your current phone number will continue to function (s). You can also obtain new phone numbers. In addition, foreign phone numbers can be obtained, allowing for the simple expansion of a company's operations into other markets.
Any business can benefit from a cloud-based phone system. They can assist a company of any size in functioning in the same manner as their larger counterparts. Or, if you're running a large firm, you may manage your company's telephone with one unified platform.
With our pay-as-you-grow pricing model, a cloud-based phone system is also an attractive option for growing businesses. As a bonus, this will make your startup appear more professional.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems hosted in the cloud facilitate telephonic interactions between business personnel. Extension dialling, automated attendants, and conference bridges are all examples of these high-tech telephony and security features. The invention of the telephone, the Internet, and IP networking made them possible (IP). There was a need for an operator and a switchboard to route calls before the widespread availability of the Internet. The Internet as we know it today was developed by the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network in the 1960s, but it wasn't popularised until the personal computer boom of the 1980s.
The Internet Protocol (IP) was developed in 1972 to standardise the transfer of information between computers. VocalTec, founded in 1995, is widely recognised as the company that pioneered VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), the technology behind cloud-based phone systems. Manufacturers of telephone equipment and experts in the field of telecommunications quickly saw the potential of the new technology and began incorporating IP features and a VoIP adaptor interface into their products in the 1990s.
The advent of VoIP switching software as an add-on to routers from three different manufacturers in the new millennium was a major factor in the technology's meteoric rise. Starting in 2004, a plethora of VoIP providers sprung up, each promising unrestricted long-distance and domestic calling as well as free calls to users of the same service. Telephony hosted in the cloud is the wave of the future because it simplifies many processes and allows for extensive personalisation. Even more functionality, such as ring Groups and Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) Queues, is available to your company with today's systems.
The proliferation of web-based services has led to a rise in demand for cloud-based phone systems among businesses. You can sign up for one of their phones from anywhere, and you'll benefit from time and money savings, enhanced security, streamlined operations, seamless integration, cutting-edge extras, the ability to work remotely and expand your business, and more. While cloud phones may seem like the perfect solution for your business, there are a few things to keep in mind. In addition to the low cost of a traditional phone system, cloud-based phone systems also allow for online data transmission and storage. Furthermore, they are flexible in that you can forwards your calls to a VoIP-enabled phone in any location, making them an excellent choice for businesses that need their staff to be reachable at all times.
However, they can be hacked or damaged by malicious software, so it's important to weigh the pros and cons before signing on with a service. Tracing a 911 call through a cloud-based phone system will be difficult because VoIP and cloud-based solutions do not support dialling 911. Despite the high standard, call quality can be negatively impacted by factors beyond a provider's control, such as latency, packet loss, jitter, and R-Factor. Monitoring these KPIs is essential for preventing call drops and interruptions and keeping call quality high. It's important to weigh the pros and cons of both landline and cloud-based phone services for businesses, despite the heated debate between the two.
Cloud-based systems use the Internet to transport speech as data, whereas traditional telephone lines rely on copper cables, branch exchanges, and switches. Cloud-based phone systems eliminate the need for costly and awkward hardware while providing convenient features like voicemail to text and application integration. With cloud PBX applications, employees can do their jobs from anywhere, including their homes, and still have full access to all of the same tools they would have in the office. They are flexible and can be increased or decreased to meet the needs of your business. Free and instantaneous call transfers between major Australian cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth are made possible by an internal extension system. Less time, money, and effort are required to allocate personnel, materials, and suppliers, which allows for rapid deployment and cost savings.
Installing and maintaining a landline can be expensive, but internet-based systems that are hosted locally may be more affordable. Reduce the time spent on software and hardware maintenance with an integrated business phone system solution. Compared to hardware systems, hosting, and maintenance, the initial investment in a cloud-based system is much lower. Upgrades to cloud-based phone systems are required to keep up with technological developments, but full-service, cloud-based communication systems are the best option. With TPx, employees no longer have to worry about losing valuable time or missing out on opportunities because they can do so from any location and using any device.
Businesses may find it more expensive to use cloud-based systems, but they are simpler to integrate than on-premises networks. To improve collaboration, companies can adopt hosted PBX systems, which are supplied by third-party service providers and paid for through the consolidated revenues of their clientele. The security and comprehensive data management and monitoring services offered by cloud-based systems make backup both more convenient and more secure. In addition, the time needed to get back on your feet after a disaster is drastically reduced. A cloud-based phone system can be set up quickly and needs no specialised equipment to function properly.
Better caller satisfaction, fewer missed calls, and international expansion are all benefits of migrating to a cloud-based phone system. It's adaptable, useful, and appropriate for companies of all sizes. In addition, it has a pricing structure based on usage, making it a good fit for expanding companies.
- Hosted by a third-party service provider like OnSIP, a cloud phone system is a Voice over IP (VoIP) platform for conducting business over the telephone.
- Standard features of cloud-based phone systems include advanced telephony and security functions like extension dialling, automated attendants, and even conference bridges.
- However, for a small or medium-sized business, the costs associated with owning and operating a phone system can add up quickly.
- VocalTec, a business founded in 1995, is credited with creating the first cloud-based phone system, now known as Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP.
- This was the first Internet-based telephone service available to the general public.
- It enabled two people to communicate with each other over the Internet using their speakers and microphones.
- When compared to hosting your phone system, the key advantage of using a cloud phone system is the savings in both the time and money it provides.
- If you're a business owner, switching to a cloud phone system could be the first step towards greater efficiency and cost savings.
- Lastly, a cloud-based phone service will enable your organisation to serve remote employees and grow as needed.
- Due to the rise of internet-based services in the business world, cloud-based phone systems are gaining popularity.
- One of the key advantages of cloud-based phone systems is the low price.
- Cons of using cloud phone servicesIt's important to consider the potential downsides of cloud-based phone systems.
- All you need to use a cloud-based system is access to the Internet.
- However, if your internet connection is inconsistent, a cloud-based phone system may not be ideal for your business.
- Therefore, your network security is a top priority.
- Tracing a 911 call through a cloud-based phone system can be more challenging than a regular phone because it is not attached to a specific physical address.
- By activating Enhanced 911 (E911), users can specify an actual address that will be communicated to emergency responders when they dial 9-1-1 from their cloud phone.
- Find out if the VoIP service you're thinking about using automatically provides 911 service, if it needs to be activated, or if it's not supported.
- Call quality is typically excellent when using cloud-based phone solutions.
- Landline versus cloud-based phone service is a contentious topic, with many variables affecting the final decision.
- However, due to businesses' varying requirements and constraints, it's vital to compare and contrast the two options for business phone service.
- A cloud-based phone system also offers integration with several other applications.
- Not possible with a standard telephone network.
- Costs associated with running a cloud-based phone system are proportional to the amount you spend on telecommunications each month.
- With various locations, cloud phone systems shine.
- Having free phone service between locations is a cost-saving perk for businesses with many locations.
- Costs can be reduced by using a cloud-based phone system.
- You can get more out of your investment in business internet service by investigating integrated business phone system solutions.
- There is a lot that goes into a business's phone system.
- Frequent upgrades are necessary to stay current with technical developments.
- Full-service, cloud-based communication systemsThanks to Unified Communications as a Service, wasted time and missed chances are eliminated.
- Regarding communication tools, your system is always up-to-date and fully comprehensive.
- Increased safety is possible with cloud-based technology.
- For financial reasons, switching to a cloud-based phone system is preferable to maintaining an on-premises network.
- A cloud-based phone system is simple to implement and requires no special hardware.
- Access to the Internet and an IP phone or softphone is all required.
- If that's the case, you need an account with us.
- With a Computer or mobile app, you can connect to a call service in the cloud anytime and from any location.
- Your current phone number will continue to function (s).
- You can also obtain new phone numbers.
- Any business can benefit from a cloud-based phone system.
- With our pay-as-you-grow pricing model, a cloud-based phone system is also an attractive option for growing businesses.
FAQs About Cloud Based Phone System
Virtual phone systems convert analog signals into digital and transmit them through the internet. They both provide phone functionality, but in different ways. The key differences between a PBX and virtual phone system are how calls are handled and how it connects to the Public-Switched Telephone Network.
A phone system comprises multiple telephones used in an interconnected fashion that allows for advanced telephony features such as call handling and transferring, conference calling, call metering and accounting, private and shared voice message boxes, and so on.
What are the different types of phone systems? There are three basic types of business telephone systems: KSU, PBX and VoIP.
A cloud-based or cloud phone system is a phone service that allows you to make calls over the internet rather than over a traditional analog phone line that uses copper wires or optical fibres to make a connection. Cloud phones are hosted in one or more off-site secure data centres.
The cloud provides a number of IT services, such as servers, databases, software, virtual storage, and networking, among others. In layman's terms, Cloud Computing is a virtual platform that allows you to store and access your data over the internet without any limitations.