Cloud communications is becoming a vital part of any successful business. Simply put, cloud communications is internet-based voice, data, and video communications. Businesses are rapidly adopting cloud communication strategies. Why? Improved business agility, cost savings, and access to more features, among numerous other reasons. In fact, 80% of all businesses will adopt cloud communications by 2020, according to a study found in BusinessWire. Cloud infrastructure and applications are now replacing traditional business communication equipment, giving businesses access to reliable communication services at a lower cost. In addition to these benefits, here are some of the top use cases for cloud communications:
10. Hosted Private Branch Exchange
Private Branch Exchange (PBX) allows internal telephones to connect to shared, outside lines for making phone calls. With hosted PBX, businesses can avoid the upfront costs of PBX hardware and software, delegate the management of the PBX to a cloud provider and keep the phones ringing even during unexpected downtime. A hosted-PBX system is located off-site in a distant location rather than on-premise at your business site. You access the PBX over a network, like the internet or sometimes cell towers. Hosted PBX phone systems can bring some incredible functionality to business, including transfer calls, voicemail, voice menus, recording, and businesses can increase their number of phones independent of the number of phone lines connected to their building.
9. Find Me
This feature allows employees to route calls to multiple different devices. For example, when your phone number is dialed, the find-me feature can have your cell phone, home phone, business phone (and any other phone you use) all ring at the same time. Or, you can have these phones queued so that the cell phone rings first, the home phone next, and the business phone after that. Businesses use the find me feature to help create more mobile workforces so that employees never miss a call even when working remotely.
8. Voicemail to Email
Businesses now have the ability to transcribe voicemail into email. If you’re out of the office when you receive a call, the subsequent voicemail can be converted into a .wav file attachment and sent in an email that goes to that employee’s inbox. This can be helpful when a person leaves tons of important information, like contact numbers, names, and addresses on the voicemail. These voicemails, now in your inbox, can be listened to and managed from anywhere.
7. SIP Trunking
At its core, SIP trunking (based on Session Initiation Protocol) allows businesses to connect phones using an internet connection rather than traditional phone lines. SIP trunking utilizes Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and is a service provided over your internet connection, removing the physical lines of old PSTN connections. PTSN lines are more expensive, are slow to innovate, and only designed for voice. Cloud communications not only provides a clearer and faster connection, it’s also built for voice, data, and video communications!
6. Call Center
Call centers can be hosted in the cloud by a cloud communications service provider. It relies on internet connection to accommodate callers and access call center data. All of the call center data is hosted in the cloud, from contact information, complaints, tickets, and other information that businesses might want to analyze. Businesses are moving to cloud-based call centers for several reasons, including more efficient call routing (by creating a virtual “queue”), scalability to add more seats during peak seasons, and improved business continuity. Your call center agents could be located anywhere as long as they have access to the internet!
5. Call-tracking software
Cloud communications providers also offer call tracking capabilities where the data from the call, including the conversation itself, can be recorded and analyzed. This can also help determine where inbound calls came from and if your phone number was clicked on over the internet. Call tracking software can help decision-makers not only in the marketing department, but call and support centers too.
4. Text messaging
Several text messaging platforms are hosted over the internet where text messages are sent via an internet-accessed piece of software. If you’ve ever been out to brunch, nowadays the hostesses use a similar software to automate text messages to those on the waiting list whose tables are now ready. This feature has been adapted across multiple industries, including health care, finance, banking, insurance, and many service-based industries.
3. Fax services
Fax services have moved to the cloud, too. Via the internet, users have the ability to fax documents just by sending an email. It’s essentially faxing over the internet, allowing users to forgo using a fax machine. Instead, the service is provided over a web interface. Each user gets assigned a special fax number and can be emailed at that number while the software service provider translates the data over the phone line to the faxing machine.
2. Interactive voice response (IVR)
We’ve all dealt with interactive voice responses. You call a bank or credit card company, an automated voice menu responds, and you speak to it or press a number to eventually get the information or complete the transaction. IVRs receive input from your voice or the pushing of a button, process your input, and respond with information tailored to your input. This service can now be hosted in the cloud to provide better business continuity and keep IVRs running for important announcements and contact centers.
1. Voice Broadcast
Voice broadcasting allows businesses to generate and send digitally recorded voice messages to thousands of customers. You may be familiar with how the government uses it for AMBER alerts and emergency notification. A hosted voice broadcast systems allows you to manage these lists of phone numbers, segment them, and analyze data from the automated calls. Service providers allow users to upload contacts into the cloud software, accessed via the internet, and send phone message blasts easily.
The Bottom Line:
With numerous communications features and benefits packaged into one monthly bill, it’s obvious why businesses are moving to cloud-hosted communications. And, businesses can get all of these amazing features from a one-stop-shop cloud service provider like Aspen Leaf Networks. Download our Cloud Communications case study to see these features in action and learn more about why businesses are moving to the cloud!