Online phone services are not new. Many providers such as Ring Central, Google Voice, Skype, Nextiva, Grasshopper and J2 Global offer a variety of online phone services. However, there are still some small businesses who might have reasonable concerns about moving their phone service to a hosted system – managed online.
Adam Simpson, CEO and Co-founder of Easy Office Phone says that, “cloud-based phone is an increasingly mainstream choice for business communications, yet some companies are still holding back,”
Adam shares five common misconceptions in cloud-based communications systems and security:
“Voice quality might be affected” – With a suitable Internet connection, digital phone service can in fact deliver considerably higher quality and fidelity than a traditional copper landline. Voice reproduction is much more accurate and lifelike. Many users report that voices sound more natural and less “tinny” on a digital service.
“The technology is less secure” – After moving to cloud-based phone service, your company can actually enjoy much more secure conversations. With compatible hardware, all voice packets can be encrypted. In addition, with a private Internet connection, the path those packets travel along is also secured, making interception and decryption virtually impossible. By comparison, a traditional landline would be considerably easier to tap.
“Scalability is a limitation” – Cloud-based phone service is vastly more scalable than on-site systems. There is no need to install a physical PBX box on company premises, meaning initial deployment is rapid and simple. Adding capacity as a business grows is similarly painless as cloud-based providers can activate additional lines remotely and within minutes, in contrast to needing an on-site service call to run more physical lines into an office. In addition, flexible device and software options mean that businesses can easily integrate new, remote or part-time staff into their communications ecosystems.
“The cost of switching is expensive” – Getting started with a cloud-based service is actually very cost-effective. As previously mentioned, there’s no need for an on-site hardware PBX, which means potential initial savings of thousands of dollars. Initial setup is also less costly – most cloud providers ship hardware pre-programmed and ready to plug and play. Whether a company chooses to install the phones themselves or hire an IT company, work time is minimal. There is truth to the concern that equipment designed for analog systems may not be inherently compatible with a cloud-based solution. However, the majority of today’s legacy phones can be used with a digital service if a company obtains analog-to-digital adapters, which are very cost-effective compared to purchasing new phones. Finally, with desktop and smartphone apps, companies can reduce or even completely eliminate the need for new hardware.
“This technology will be obsolete in a few years” – IP technologies are now well-established components of the telephone network, and will soon become the mainstream standard. The FCC recently voted to begin testing the deployment of IP networks in place of existing copper-based infrastructure. Communications will soon reach a point at which the adoption of IP technology will no longer be optional.
“With the FCC openly discussing the end of the traditional public phone network, the time to switch to a cloud-based communications service is now,” adds Simpson. “It’s not just a marketing cliché – cloud-based service truly is the way of the future. Businesses will benefit from adapting now, rather than scrambling to catch up at the last minute.”