Cloud telephony is one of the main technologies that enables fledgling entrepreneurs to bring new ideas, products and processes to the market. It allows new start-ups to compete against more established names without having to be at a disadvantage.
The digital economy is a fertile breeding ground for start-up companies and new ventures. It’s a diverse, competitive environment which thrives on real-time transactions and communications, as well as the sharing and manipulation of market data.
In an environment such as this, start-ups need to be adaptable and as responsive as their competitors. There are several ways in which cloud telephony helps to make this possible.
Up and Running
If you're looking to make an impact on the market and get a jump on your competitors, the last thing you want to have to do is wait weeks or even months for your communications system to be set up.
With cloud telephony, you can have a comprehensive telecommunications system based on VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) technologies – typically within the space of a single working day. The system will be fully operational as soon you come online.
Less to Manage
As its name suggests, cloud telephony is an internet-based phenomenon with services coming from a provider that hosts them on remote servers in the cloud. All you require to access these resources is a stable data connection and VoIP-enabled hardware (if you don't already have it).
This means that there's no need for you to set up, manage or maintain a ton of infrastructure and hardware on your premises. Maintenance responsibilities are largely taken up by your service provider. Tweaking your system settings, allocating lines and telephony features as well as operating your subscriber accounts are left to you. This is easily accomplished through user-friendly, administrative software.
Less to Spend
Since there's no need for you to purchase or install an on-site private branch exchange (PBX) and its associated hardware, the set-up costs for a cloud telephony system are minimal. You'll also miss out on the expense of having to service and maintain all that equipment.
Cloud telephony services are typically provided on a subscription basis with a single monthly payment covering all the various terms of your contract. With VoIP and SIP spearheading a competitive market, prices are readily affordable with special deals for start-ups and business consumers.
You'll need to shop around a bit to get the best terms or seek advice from specialists in the field, such as the experienced team at LG Networks.
Room to Grow
The whole point of starting up a business venture is to see it grow and develop over time. Cloud telephony allows you to cater for all the various conditions that your start-up will encounter along the way.
Web-based administrative software and flexible contract terms enable you to add new users, channels and features with just a few clicks. This empowers you to scale up your operations to deal with seasonal surges in demand, special campaigns or the simple fact that your business is getting bigger. The reverse holds true as well, with the ability to remove lines or scale down in response to slower periods, downsizing or other conditions.
Changes you make in the physical world can also be facilitated through cloud telephony. For example, if you're moving premises or expanding to multiple locations, SIP trunking and VoIP technology can assist in making your office relocation go smoothly. This will also enable you to retain your existing business telephone numbers.
A Higher Profile
Whatever industry you're in, it's likely that you'll be competing with enterprises of various scales. One of the great advantages of cloud telephony is its ability to give even the smallest sized organisation a telecoms presence that's on a par with the largest multinational corporations.
Offering free-phone or toll-free numbers makes it possible for customers and suppliers to get in touch with you at no added cost to themselves. By using virtual telephone numbers, cloud telephony enables you to have a presence in regional or even international catchment areas by registering phone numbers for specific localities.
VoIP systems also offer enterprise-level facilities such as electronic receptionist services (Auto-Attendants), call-handling with queues, recorded messages, Music On Hold and enhanced messaging tools.
Improved Customer Service
Interactive Voice Response or IVR systems may be configured to ensure that you never miss a customer call or business opportunity. With coverage that's essentially 24-7-365 – and a range of options on how incoming calls and messages should be handled – a cloud telephony system can deliver information, assistance and support at all times, enhancing your ability to deliver the highest quality of customer service.
Availability and Recovery
The extensive call and message handling facilities offered by cloud telephony ensure that your telephone system remains inherently available to all its stakeholders (your staff, supply chain partners and customers). VoIP & SIP technologies and infrastructure also have availability, business continuity and Disaster Recovery built in. There are also options for re-routing or forwarding calls and messages in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
Network consultants like the experts at LG Networks can also advise on the best ways of ensuring that your telecommunications and business data network integrate more smoothly by making allowances for backups, downtime management and incident recovery.
Tons of Features
We've already mentioned many facilities that cloud telephony systems make available to start-up ventures. These are just a few of the features that VoIP telecoms and SIP technology have to offer. Others include:
- Call waiting, call forwarding and enhanced messaging.
- Presence panels to enable your staff to keep track of each other's activities and status on the phones.
- Call recording, for assessing the performance of sales and customer service personnel, dispute settlement and regulatory compliance purposes.
- Integration of your telephone system through Unified Communications (UC) with office productivity software, multimedia and business platforms such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
There's a lot more than this, depending on the cloud telephony service plan and provider that you choose. If you'd like to know more about cloud telephony options for start-up ventures, VoIP, SIP, or data and telecommunications networking options for businesses, get in touch with the experts at LG Networks.