So you’re happy with your present business phone system. It makes and receives calls - nice and simple. Nothing to worry about right?
Maybe. Maybe not.
Today, there are fewer and fewer businesses holding out against the technological advances of cloud computing and accompanying cloud-based services.
When it comes to business phone systems, though, a few exceptions remain.
Thankfully, you’re here, which means you’re considering embracing these groundbreaking technologies.
And the good news? You’re not too late to join the party. Though technology moves at a rapid pace, there are reasons why cloud phone systems are future proof. You’ll learn about those in a bit.
First, in comparison to analogue or on-premises phone systems, what makes VoIP so special?
Need a primer on VoIP technology? Read our comprehensive ‘What is VoIP’ guide.
I: VoIP is More Powerful
1) Better Features
Excepting for some distant future where we’re all communicating telepathically via Neuralink, cloud phone systems are future proof.
That’s because VoIP phone systems are upgraded programmatically.
What does that mean?
Expert developers, like the ones sitting right behind me ;), can write and build new features, or even re-work an entire VoIP platform for cutting edge efficiency, security and scalability.
Then, these same developers can push the update live across the internet (at a non-disruptive time, of course) for you and your staff to benefit from the next morning.
Given the wealth of options and technologies available to developers today, including APIs, SDKs and virtualisation, they’re able to leverage ever more powerful technology stacks to build greater and greater tools.
In turn, this also means VoIP systems like Yay’s can offer features altogether impossible with a dusty analogue phone system:
Choose which of your phone numbers to present as from call-to-call? Check.
As many concurrent calls as you have laptops, phones, even iPads? Check.
Make administrative changes from anywhere in the world in seconds? Check.
If your business phone system can only make and receive calls, you’re missing out on some seriously cutting edge functionality.
2) Software Integrations
In the same vein, VoIP’s software foundation allows for integration with a variety of other powerful tools.
SaaS platforms, your favourite sales CRM, or even full software ecosystems like Microsoft 365 and Teams can work together with a cloud phone system to extend and upgrade functionality.
Here’s an example:
Microsoft Teams offers stellar integration with Microsoft’s formidable suite of 365 products and services. It also provides an internal communication/collaboration solution for businesses.
However, popular opinion holds that Teams falls short of offering a usable business phone system. When it comes to making and taking business calls and meetings with customers, clients and others external to the business, Teams doesn’t offer a viable solution.
What can businesses do? Integrate the Teams frontend with a powerful cloud phone system like Yay’s in the backend to get the best of both worlds.
3) Branded caller experience
Cloud phone systems can play a key part in unifying your company branding.
That’s because, with VoIP, organisations can control phone numbers, call flows and more from a centralised dashboard. Therefore, you can implement company-wide changes to branding or messaging instantaneously.
This way, your customers get the same brand experience no matter which department or member of staff they interact with.
Such cohesion in branding and messaging makes a big difference to your customers. It shows a level of professionalism that today’s demanding market expects.
II: VoIP is More Affordable
4) Affordable Setup
Cloud phone systems cost a lot less than their physical counterparts.
For starters, new businesses looking to get up and running with a professional phone system will find the rock-bottom setup costs for VoIP phone systems very attractive.
In comparison to on-premises phone systems that require costly physical equipment and specialised engineers for the installation, VoIP requires no physical equipment at all.
Since all the ‘brains’ of the VoIP system are hosted in the cloud, on a server maintained and paid for by your service provider, it’s the provider that absorbs those costs.
Since it’s much more affordable to run servers at scale than to design, build and install instances of a hardware ‘brain’ for that same system, though, providers can keep prices down.
5) Low/No Maintenance Fees
Since the ‘brains’ of the system are hosted in the cloud and no physical hardware is required, it follows that maintenance costs are rock-bottom too.
When there’s no physical equipment, it can’t break down.
Of course, hardware servers can fail, but networking best practices necessitate that the provider implements redundant servers and various fast failover methods. After all, if a service is unreliable, you don’t use it for very long. It’s therefore very much in the provider’s best interest to do this.
What’s more, your business won’t be responsible for repairing equipment that can only be serviced and maintained by specialised engineers (who themselves come at a further cost), as it is with on-premises phone systems.
Finally, thanks to the phone system being configurable via a centralised dashboard, there’s a lower opportunity cost to your business since you can make changes instantly.
If you’ve new staff in the building or need to scale the system, you can just do it. You don’t need to make an appointment and wait for the engineer to turn up to make a change while your newest member of staff twiddles their thumbs.
6) Leverage Existing Devices
Leveraging the savings inherent in virtualisation and software doesn’t just mean saving on the brains of the system. It also means saving on the costs of the end devices.
VoIP apps, aka softphones, are smartphone apps that bring all the functionality of a business hardware deskphone to any smartphone, PC or tablet device.
This makes it possible to leverage the devices your staff already own to minimise additional costs to the business.
Thankfully, the flexibility of VoIP systems means that those who prefer to use desk hardware phones can still do so.
7) Lower Call Costs
What’s more, VoIP’s cheaper call rates make it more affordable still versus traditional analogue solutions.
A quick comparison between Yay’s call costs and those of a provider like BT makes this glaringly obvious.
International mobile calls to the US, for example, from the UK would cost you just 1.5p/min with Yay. With BT, however, mobile international calls to the US from the UK are 102.0p/min.
8) Sensible Payment Plans
Another reason that VoIP systems have proven so popular is because of the various payment models VoIP providers offer.
Since there are fewer restrictions with VoIP phone systems vs traditional systems, businesses get more sensible billing and the option of choosing from a few comprehensible payment plans rather than a swathe of licences, add-ons and additional fees.
While traditional telecommunications providers lock customers into strict, long-term contracts, the best VoIP service providers will offer more modern, flexible payment plans.
Yay.com offers a monthly subscription payment model, even for customers with hundreds of users. This incentivises us to provide you with an ongoing service that’s best-in-class whilst attracting customers jaded with the outdated, inflexible contracts offered up by older companies.
III: VoIP Makes Your Life Easier
Here are some of the ways a cloud VoIP phone system will make your life easier and your business more efficient.
9) Use Any Hardware
Unfortunately, whether it’s a lengthy contract or the devices you’re permitted to use, many older business phone system providers enforce restrictions on their customers.
Modern VoIP phone systems like Yay’s, however, impose no such limitations and are compatible with any device or desk phone.
It’s therefore dead easy to get started with a service like ours. Be warned, though, that not all VoIP providers offer a service that utilises the technology to its full potential. Choose your provider carefully!
10) Work Anywhere
Though some businesses can’t function without boots on the ground, more and more workplaces are supporting remote and hybrid working.
The number of great SaaS products and applications that empower businesses to collaborate effectively from anywhere is rising every day.
And what about communication?
That’s where UCaaS comes in.
UCaaS, or ‘Unified Communications as a Service’ takes the same approach as SaaS: a subscription-based service hosted in the cloud, but for your communications.
UCaaS combines cloud phone system technology with several important additions that distributed teams need to thrive: business text chat and video calling.
Leverage UCaaS and ideas will flow through your business, even when your teams are distributed, via instant text chat and high definition voice and video calling.
11) Scale At Will
As your business grows, you’ll need a phone system that can scale with you, with costs that rise fairly and proportionately.
Thankfully, by hosting switchboard functionality in the cloud, providers make it possible for you to create call routes, add or delete users and change extensions and other components of your phone system on the fly from wherever you are.
12) Customisation: APIs & Webhooks
Since VoIP solutions are hosted in the cloud and are software-based, those with a little bit of programming experience can customise their chosen VoIP solution.
Customisation possibilities vary from simple software tweaks and data pulls, to new and proprietary features and integrations, built to solve the problems most pertinent to your business.
For the record, not all providers will offer this feature. As part of our pledge to give customers the freedom they deserve, though, Yay’s open VoIP API and webhooks are freely available to all of our customers - no matter which plan you’re on.
13) Intuitive Configuration
With VoIP, you and any of your staff can experience the powerful upgrades VoIP can offer to even everyday experiences (like a chat with a colleague) with zero effort.
That’s because setting up even an elite-level caller experience requires no technical knowledge.
Gone are the days of relying on an appointment with a certified Cisco engineer to travel to your office and update your phone system manually. Now any member of your team can log in to a service like Yay’s and tweak your configuration with just a few clicks.
(Bonus) How to Choose a VoIP Provider
Perhaps the most important point of scrutiny for you, when considering any provider, is that they are forward-thinking in their approach.
It’s vital that a provider shows evidence of innovation and momentum in their niche. After all, if other providers continue to bring out new and better features and services than your current provider, you’ll be left wanting to switch and switching isn’t always easy; it creates work for your system administrators and can be costly if you’re locked into a contract.
Today, a business phone system provider should really be branching out into the unified communications space.
Rather than detracting from the quality of the business phone system offering, this adds functionality and creates a seamless collaborative platform for users.
For the provider, this means taking steps to provide you with encrypted business instant messaging, video conferencing and secure file sharing.
Sometimes phone system configuration can be difficult, especially if your provider’s platform isn’t intuitive or has a bit of a learning curve.
That’s why great customer support is so important.
Great customer support can mean the difference between a fast, stress-free transfer and an altogether more difficult experience. Any new system takes a bit of getting used to and it’s imperative that business continues to run smoothly during the switch.
If your prospective provider has a reputation for poor customer service, consider looking elsewhere, or at least buckle up for what is likely to be a bumpy ride.
Sign Up With Yay Today
Here at Yay, we have experience in helping clients of all sizes transform their business communications and leverage the power of VoIP to boost efficiency and win new business.
If that sounds like something you’d like to get on board with, be sure to try our service out for free, or get started by comparing our voice plans.