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5 Ways Cloud-based Communications Applications Help Businesses Grow

Staff Writer's picture

This article was originally published on ReadITQuik

Cloud-based communications will continue to transform organizations in 2019 as more enterprises transition most, if not all, of their communications applications to the cloud. This piece outlines five ways that cloud-based communications applications can help businesses grow.

December is a time when countless IT leaders offer their predictions about how enterprise technologies will transform businesses in the coming year. While these predictions always have varying degrees of accuracy, here?s one that is all but certain: cloud technologies will continue to transform organizations in 2019 as more enterprises transition most, if not all, of their business applications to the cloud. And business communications will be one area in particular where we will see increasing reliance on the cloud.

According to a Broadcom survey of global telecom providers, more than half of businesses will have moved to cloud communications by 2020. The survey also points to accelerated adoption of cloud contact center and team collaboration services.

This move to cloud-based communications shouldn?t come as a surprise. Most IT leaders today understand the many reasons why business functions are moving to the cloud, from dramatically improving agility and efficiencies to reducing operational overhead. Here are five ways that cloud-based communications applications can help businesses grow:

1. Advanced Features and Capabilities can Enhance Productivity

In the past, many businesses with traditional, on-premise private branch exchange (PBX) phone systems had to make do with basic phone features like voicemail and call forwarding. Only the biggest corporations could afford state-of-the-art features like advanced analytics, mobile apps, sophisticated auto attendant capabilities and directory/presence/status information for the global workforce. Cloud communication technology has made these and other advanced features, such as enabling mobile or remote employees affordable for companies of all sizes.

These features are more than a convenience. They can have a dramatic and very positive impact on employee productivity and business workflow efficiencies, which in turn offers double-savings for companies?paying less for comprehensive phone features, and enabling employees to do more business no matter where they are with the rich new capabilities.

2. Your IT Staff will Focus on the Business Initiatives, not Phone System Maintenance

Many older telephone systems are based on PBX equipment that?s installed in a business?s IT closet. Companies are then responsible for paying to maintain the phone system themselves. With a cloud-based solution, there is no need for a PBX server in an IT closet.

Businesses also no longer have to pay PBX maintenance fees?it?s all handled by a service provider. Instead, companies pay a predictable and consistent monthly fee that allows companies to manage a long-term fixed cost. And when it?s time to upgrade, service providers automatically push the updates as part of the monthly fee.

Further, maintaining a PBX requires either outside consultants or dedicated IT staff. With a cloud communications solution, companies can reduce or eliminate outside consultant fees, and IT staff can focus on business initiatives instead of maintaining an outdated phone system.

3. Keeping the Customer?s Relationship with the Business Instead of an Employee

Using cell phones for business calls is pretty common especially for the mobile workforce. However, there are two issues with that which can be extremely costly for a business: First, there can be a lack of visibility on employee communications with a customer. Second, if an employee leaves the company, customers/partner relation with the business can be disrupted or even worse, the business relationship can be gone with the employee.

Cloud communication solutions use mobile apps to make both of these issues go away. Businesses receive full visibility and analytics on employees communications. In the event of an employee leaving, immediate continuity and assignment of the number to another individual within the organization is possible with a cloud-based solution.

4. Making Changes as the Business Scales

A traditional, on-premise communications system is difficult to grow or change. Companies may end up purchasing excess capacity just in case they need it later. Further, companies have to pay additional fees, dedicate IT staff, and possibly hire outside consultants to help with the additions or transitions.

Cloud communications solutions allow companies to easily expand and make changes to phone systems themselves. Some providers let companies add lines by simply logging into their own accounts and placing the order. As a result, moving an employee becomes as easy as unplugging their phone and plugging it back in the new location.

In addition, soft and mobile clients allow businesses to instantly provision and enable telephony and communications for the workforce globally around the world.

5. Keeping a Tab on What?s Happening in Your Business?Creating a Unified Communications System

Companies today do not just use voice to communicate. They use a wide range of applications, from video conferencing to text and group messaging. When companies move all of their communications to the cloud, they have the opportunity to create a truly unified communications experience?one that offers significant business benefits and insights. Consider these two:

First, a truly unified communication enables a company?s employee to elevate a conversation between two individuals seamlessly to a group collaboration and video conference session, without disruptions or moving from one tool to another. Second, not having information readily available about what communications channel a customer used for a previous interaction with the company, or what was said, might result in a poor experience the next time that customer engages with the company.

Data is the new currency, and siloed communications data makes it difficult if not impossible for companies to create a system for analyzing all communications data, which can help create more efficient communications practices internally as well as with customers.

When companies adopt a truly unified cloud-based communications solution that offers voice, video, and collaboration capabilities, they gain access to all of their communications data and analytics in one convenient solution, which can enhance the customer experience, collect business intelligence, increase sales, and reduce churn.

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