What is Cloud Communications?

cloud communicationsWe talk about “THE CLOUD” all the time, but what exactly does that mean? Like clouds themselves, “the cloud” is something beyond our reach that we may not understand completely.

By definition, the cloud is a network of servers that are hosted by a third-party and can be accessed from anywhere via the Internet.

So cloud communications are any communication services and applications that are hosted by a third-party and accessed via Internet.

Cloud telephony is rapidly replacing traditional telephony and has many benefits to business. From price to features to scalability, cloud or hosted are great options for all kinds of businesses and organizations.

Learn about a real Cloud Communications solution on our products page.

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10 VoIP Selling Points

voipEveryone knows the benefits of VoIP and cloud services, right? It practically sells itself – save money, save time, keep up with the latest trend. But is that all there is to VoIP?

With nearly infinite features and almost as many ways to add value, VoIP is worth much more than most think. Try using some of the following features and values to market VoIP in a bigger and better way.

  1. All Calls are Local
    VoIP allows users to generate local numbers for anywhere in the world. This eliminates the need for expensive Toll Free numbers and makes customers feel closer to the company.
  2. CDR
    Call Detail Records are elaborate and complete with VoIP. Everything is recorded and saved, from call logs to chat history to bandwidth usage. This benefits both users and IT that monitor and maintain the system. With VoIP, CDR can even be customized.
  3. Conferencing
    VoIP permits inexpensive, easy, and efficient conferencing. Whether a spontaneous conference call or a weekly video conference, VoIP softphones makes it user-friendly and simple. gloCOM lets users start conferences by simply dragging contacts into a call.
  4. File & Screen Sharing
    Most VoIP solutions make it easy to share files or even screen share between contacts. It is quicker than emailing files or using third party software. File share and screen share can be done with the click of a button on gloCOM.
  5. FoIP
    While fax may seem like a thing of the past, most businesses are still paying for a fax line out of obligation or habit. Fax Over IP (FoIP) eliminates the cost and delivers faxes straight to your email inbox. Click to learn more about The Value of FoIP.
  6. High Definition Audio
    HD audio ensures crystal clear communication for the most important calls. From big sales pitches to important conference calls to custom support, HD audio is the next best thing to a real conversation.
  7. Long Distance Calls
    VoIP eliminates geographic cost disparities and saves on long distance calls. The ability to call for ‘free’ via cloud services encourages users to pick up the phone more often and communicate quickly and efficiently to all parts of the world.
  8. Mobility
    In a world of smart phones, tablets, and BYOD, mobility is crucial in the workplace. VoIP seamlessly integrates with mobile devices through call forwarding or apps, making communication possible any time, anywhere. gloCOM Mobile softphone is coming soon!
  9. Recording
    The ability to record calls is native to most VoIP phones and is an immensely useful tool for busy and preoccupied users. Record sales calls, training sessions, or any other important calls and come back to listen again later.
  10. Voicemail
    VoIP Voicemail saves time and cuts down on stress by delivering voicemail alerts and MP3 files directly to the user’s email. The file can be accessed from anywhere and can be quickly forwarded or deleted.

What are your favorite VoIP features and selling points? We’d love to hear from you in our discussion over on LinkedIn!

Ready to get started? Contact an Account Manager today!

On-Premise vs. Cloud IP PBX Systems

Last month we learned what exactly “PBX System” means and some of the different deployment options. The two most common options – and hardest to choose between – are on-premise IP PBX and hosted or cloud IP PBX.

cloud ip pbxOn-premise solutions are owned and managed by the user. The physical IP PBX is stored on-site and all of the technology is set-up and maintained in-house.

Hosted or cloud solutions are rented out by a service provider for a monthly fee that covers service, maintenance, and upgrades. The user needs only IP Phones that connect to the cloud PBX system via Internet.

Both are good options depending on the size and type of your business.

Let’s look at the benefits of each system:

On-Premise IP PBX System

  • No monthly fee
  • More control over the solution
  • Long-term investment
  • No reliance on a service provider
  • Can integrate with other solutions
  • May have more features

Hosted or Cloud IP PBX System

  • Low or no up-front costs
  • No additional maintenance or upgrade costs
  • More flexible and scalable
  • No need for IT expertise or personnel
  • Less employee training needed
  • Advances in technology will come in automatic upgrades

Clearly both systems have benefits and drawbacks. In general, hosted deployments are better for SMBs, organizations limited by budget, or companies expecting to grow in the future. On-premise systems make sense for very large companies that are prepared to own and support their own PBX.

PBXware is an example of a hosted IP PBX solution. Learn more on our website.

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5 Implications of Decentralization with Hosted VoIP

hosted voipContinuing our previous post on 5 Ways Hosted VoIP Supports Decentralization, today we discuss some of the implications of decentralizing your business with hosted VoIP.

1. You will need to outsource your telephony.

The first step in decentralizing with Hosted VoIP is accepting that you will need to outsource your telephony system. If you are hesitant to make this decision, consider how much progress VoIP has made and how popular it has become. VoIP is quickly surpassing legacy and is certainly a stable solution that is here to stay.

2. You will need to use the cloud.

Similar to the first, the second step is deciding to trust the cloud. There is no way around using the cloud for successful decentralization. Like VoIP, the cloud has become a prevalent solution that can be trusted. You will find that the cloud can serve your business even beyond basic telephony needs in the form of unified communications.

3. You will use SIP Trunking.

Yet another modern technology, SIP Trunking has many advantages over legacy trunking. Much like the cloud, you may be surprised to find what else SIP trunking can do for you. The use of these technologies will open the door to unified communications and collaboration in more ways than you anticipated.

4. Your office will change.

With all of these technological advancements, it is no surprise that the office itself is changing and transforming. While one large, central office was the norm for years, hosted VoIP and decentralization allows for many smaller remote locations of even home workers. Consider the advantages this can afford to your employees and customers.

5. Your business will change too.

Finally, hosted VoIP and decentralization will cause your business to change and progress. Whether this means expanding to a few new geographic markets or becoming an entirely virtual company, hosted VoIP is bound to lead to growth for your company.

Ready to get started? Contact us today!

5 Ways Hosted VoIP Supports Decentralization

hosted voipMost businesses want to grow. In today’s global market an important part of growth is geographical expansion.

This type of growth has not always been easy or even possible, especially for SMBs with a tighter budget. Legacy telephony would have required a new, expensive phone system for each new office or location.

But Hosted VoIP has made geographic growth possible for even the smallest budgets. Ziff Davis came up with five ways that hosted VoIP supports decentralization:

1. Hosted VoIP offers the ability to work from home.

While working from home was previously undesirable to employers and detrimental to collaboration, cloud VoIP makes it an ideal situation. Modern VoIP tools like gloCOM make it so that home workers perform as if they were in the office, or maybe even better. Clients will not know the difference and coworkers or supervisors can be in constant, real-time collaboration.

2. Hosted VoIP makes growth more cost-effective.

With hosted VoIP, telecoms can add new locations without investing in a new telephony system for them. With as little a local Internet connection, offices across the world can connect to the central hosted VoIP system and function immediately. This makes growth less of an economic risk.

3. Hosted VoIP is flexible.

Along those same lines, growth with a hosted VoIP system is more flexible. The low economic risk means lesser consequence in case of slow or no growth. With SIP trunking, it easy to scale up or down and use only as much of the system as needed. For example, during peak times it would be easy to add temporary extensions that would later be removed.

4. Hosted VoIP gives you peace of mind.

Another benefit of hosted VoIP and decentralization is continuity. With on-premise systems, disaster recovery is up to the company. But with hosted VoIP, the system is in a remote data center and mirrored and different locations. In case of natural or other disasters, service should continue uninterrupted in all locations.

5. Hosted VoIP necessitates less IT.

Finally, hosted VoIP takes the burden of IT maintenance and support off the company. The provider can do as little or as much as needed. This is particularly useful for companies with multiple locations and home workers that do not want to hire IT staff all over the world.

If you are a telecom that wants to grow, hosted VoIP may be the right option for you. Sign up for a FREE account to learn more today.