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Cloud-Based Phone Systems Allow Companies to Pursue Benefits of a Virtual Office

May 25, 2016
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Virtual Office Resource Contributor

Over a period of several years, there are few businesses that remain the same. They may add personnel or reduce headcount. They may open satellite offices or add a sales team. They might encourage employees to work from home, setting up a kind of virtual office. They might even have a need for a robust disaster recovery strategy, particularly if the company is located in a storm-prone area.

Unfortunately, traditional business telephone systems aren’t very flexible. Set-up and maintenance costs are high, and systems are often about as flexible as a brick. For companies that reduce headcount, either from layoffs or because they move employees to another location, it’s not uncommon to wind up paying for telephony the company doesn’t need.

At the same time, companies putting enterprise phone systems in place often require related peripheral solutions such as call recording, conferencing, telecom analytics, call screening, chat calls and more. In most cases, these are separate solutions from other vendors that may (or may not) integrate will the telephone system or important customer support functions such as CRM.

To gain flexibility, cost efficiencies and advanced features formerly available only to the largest companies with the deepest pockets, many smaller businesses have switched to cloud-based phone systems such as those offered by that can help them run their companies as well as the “big guys,” according to a recent blog post by Paul Chaney writing for the Web site Small Business Trends.

“A cloud-based phone system would give small businesses access to the types of network applications that one would typically find at larger corporations,” he wrote. “These include features such as a virtual assistant, auto-attendant, ‘never miss a call’ or call center solutions.”

It’s not only about saving money. Research has suggested that integrating a company’s communications with its everyday applications for business processes and workflows helps increase efficiency, which in turn leads to a healthier bottom line. Smaller companies are able to take advantage of opportunities that were formerly closed to them.

Today, mobility is one of the biggest roadblocks to business communication. Employees using mobile devices are usually off the company’s telecom grid, which takes control away from the organization as a whole.

“Cloud solutions give employees anytime, anywhere access via a smartphone, desk phone or softphone to all their calling features,” wrote Chaney. “Even better, they can have real-time access to their critical business software.

Ultimately, the benefits of a virtual office simply can’t be attained if companies are using traditional telephony that operates on premise only.

“Small businesses especially need to be able to operate from multiple locations,” wrote Chaney. “With a cloud-based system, small business employees have access to features that allow them to log in from anywhere so that they can be reached while on the go, giving customer-facing and revenue-producing employees greater control over their productivity.”

Most important, as the business changes – either growing or scaling back – organizations can keep the flexibility and features they value while avoiding the cost waste of paying for licenses and phones they simply don’t need. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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