If you’ve owned a business for a couple of years, or even a few decades, you know that a lot has changed in a short period. The introduction of new terms like “cloud-based business communications” are challenging to digest. If you’re unfamiliar with cloud communications or cloud migration, you’re not alone. Our goal is not only to introduce you to cloud-based business communications but to have you walk away feeling like an expert. If your organization has experienced challenges with its current business communications platform, let us explain how a cloud-based system will be a significant upgrade.
Business communication tools are critical to the success of your organization. Effective communications ensure that your staff reaches their goals and fosters positive working relationships with the team to increase efficiency. As the business landscape continually evolves, yours must adopt a platform that enables all of its users to access information from any device, no matter their location.
The benefits are immense, but there’s a lot to unfold. Let’s discuss it in-depth below.
What are Cloud-Based Business Communications?
Cloud communications have grown in popularity over the past several years. They’re defined as a method of contact that uses the internet instead of a standard business landline. Migrating your communications to the cloud is the process of moving your organization’s phone system, messaging, video, and other communication tools to a cloud computing environment.
When your business migrates its communications to the cloud, any phone calls your team makes, messages they send, and video meetings they have use technology that’s hosted offsite, managed by a third-party provider, and delivered over the internet. This means there is no hardware to install, no physical lines running through your office, and great opportunities to scale your communication strategy to your current needs.
Business owners are seeking cloud-based business communications to reduce their costs. However, it’s more than that – adoption of this technology enables the team to build, deploy, and manage its communications system efficiently. When utilized properly, you can empower your team with a host of tools that improve workflows and increase productivity, as well as mobility, enabling employees to communicate and collaborate in ways that were once impossible.
Cloud-based communications are being adopted at a staggering rate, proving that it’s not a trend – it’s the future. Let’s take a look at how cloud communication platforms work.
How Do Cloud Communication Platforms Work?
Cloud communications platforms include cloud telephony, also known as cloud calling or cloud phones, which enables businesses to make and receive calls using VoIP, short for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP includes voicemail, call recording, call routing, and call forwarding. Other cloud communication features include messaging, which offers real-time chat for individuals and groups, video for individual or multi-participant video conferencing, and collaboration through team messaging, file sharing, scheduling, and project management. It also permits the use of software integrations, which enable applications to share functionality and automate repetitive tasks.
A cloud-based communications platform is a tool that allows your business to improve its workflow and share data in real-time through the cloud. Cloud communication providers are responsible for hosting and maintaining communication services through data centers in multiple locations, which ensures service reliability and data security. Customers access the system over the internet, and only pay for essential services they need.
Another benefit of cloud-based business communication is the ease of administration. It allows business operators to easily add, delete, and manage users, run reports, and manage the entire system through a web-based portal. This streamlines workflows and increases team productivity since data is shared and accessed in real time.
The services and features mentioned above all combine to make up UCaaS, which is short for Unified Communications as a Service. Widely considered to be the future of business communications. UCaaS incorporates VoIP phone service, real-time chat for individuals and groups, messaging, video, collaboration tools, file sharing, scheduling, project management, software integrations, and easy user management and system administration through a web-based portal (this is the “Unified Communications” part). A third-party provider operates and maintains the UCaaS platform and offers it “as a Service.” UCaaS is disrupting the business communications industry and changing how organizations do business.
Below, we’ll discuss how the cloud is changing business communications.
How the Cloud Is Changing Business Communications
The advancements in business communications technology have helped businesses reach new heights. Cloud communications have increased productivity while lowering operating costs, allowing greater work efficiency, data security, and decreasing human error. Cloud communications enable users to access business communication tools from anywhere as long as they’re connected to the internet. Cloud communications are becoming the standard for organizations globally. It’s time to seriously consider transitioning to the cloud, so let’s look at how it’s changing business communications.
Cloud Communications are Easy to Set Up, Use and Manage
With cloud-based communications, you don’t need to be a tech expert to set up a new system. There are no physical systems or software to install, customers just need to sign up and access the system through a web-based portal. This means you can choose to implement the system yourself, but if you’re still concerned, your service provider should offer installation, onboarding, and training services. They should also offer live support to help you solve any issues without skipping a beat.
Scalability is an important consideration when looking into cloud-based business communications — cloud communication solutions make scaling up or down simple. With on-premise phone systems, scalability can be challenging. For example, if you’re looking to add ten users, but the plan requires you to purchase 15 lines at a time, you’re paying for five unused lines. With a cloud-based solution, you can scale the system to what you need, no matter the number of users. Adding new users is easy and can be handled through the system’s portal with just a few clicks.
Cloud-based business communications are also easy to manage. They allow your business to delete, manage users, run reports, and manage the system as a whole with ease. They’re accessible through a web-based/internet portal that’s easy to use, operate, and navigate. You’re looking to streamline workflows and increase productivity, so a system that’s easy to manage will help your business exponentially.
Cloud Communications Enable Remote & Hybrid Work
The workforce doesn’t solely rely on a desktop anymore. Since you and your team are constantly on-the-go, it’s important to have access to information from any device. Since information is stored in the cloud, it becomes accessible on your mobile device, tablet, or laptop. A robust communication platform makes teamwork and collaboration possible no matter the location of your staff. As more businesses adopt remote and hybrid work, having a platform that increases efficiency, and productivity, is critical.
According to a Buffer 2021 State of Remote Work report, 97 percent of respondents said they’d recommend remote work to others. At the beginning of the pandemic, most employers believed remote work was a trend that would end as the pandemic slowed. Businesses pushed for employees to return to the office, while workers made their pleas for flexibility options. As the push for remote and hybrid options have strengthened, so have the tools supporting remote work, giving employees options. Cloud communications provide remote and hybrid work users with voice, video conferencing, messaging (individual and team), and content sharing tools that work in real-time. It also increases efficiency, as well as improves the quality of work.
Cloud Communications Enable Improved Employee Satisfaction
Businesses risk losing and retaining top talent if they continue operating with outdated communications. Gartner found that businesses risk losing up to 39 percent of its workforce if they were to call employees back into the office full-time. The workforce has spoken, and the overwhelming majority want flexibility with how they work and to be part of an organization that offers cloud communications. These tools will automatically translate into improved employee satisfaction.
Offering your team unified communications is excellent for overall employee satisfaction. However, it will benefit your business as well. Another study conducted by LinkedIn found that employees are seeking improved work-life balance. A remote or hybrid workforce provides employees with reduced commute times and more time with their families, translating to less stress and feeling more engaged at work. This automatically equates to a happier employee, who will be far more productive in their role, benefitting your business.
Cloud Communications Enable Employee Collaboration
Team collaboration has become more important than ever since we’re not all present in the office. UCaaS simplifies the collaboration process by integrating voice, text, and video conferencing into one solution, enabling your team to work from any device no matter their location.
Collaboration tools include the following:
- Real-Time Video Conference: Collaborate face-to-face to see who you’re talking to through a real time video feed.
- Screen Sharing: Share your desktop or a specific application to all participants in the meeting.
- Team Messaging: Stay connected with team members through real-time group chat and one-to-one or group messaging.
- File Sharing & Storage: Store and share files with team members, partners, and customers.
If your team is scattered across the globe, you can’t let distance interrupt creativity. Real-time video conferencing allows you to collaborate face-to-face as if you were together, screen sharing enables you to share your desktop and show your work, and team messaging helps you to put the final touches on a project. These tools can help your team break barriers and achieve new heights.
Cloud Communications Streamline Workflows
Cloud communication tools streamline your business communications by integrating voice, text, video conferencing, and collaboration into one place. Cloud communications also integrate with business software, including CRM and marketing applications, which improve business operations and streamline workflows. You can access everything on one platform. This allows you to access all of your connected devices from anywhere at any time. Cloud communications will also allow you to connect separate stand-alone software applications to create a single unified system. This is known as software integrations.
Since software integrations create a single unified system, they’re vital for your business to execute various functions, including online customer service and support, email marketing, and more. Your organization has to find ways to be efficient without compromising service. Integrations enable applications to share functionality and automate repetitive, manual tasks. Single Sign-On authentication can also be leveraged to securely share data between applications.
Software Integrations also enable the following:
- Click-to-Call capabilities
- Call history display and sharing
- Customer data display and sharing
- Analytics tracking and sharing
- Document management
- Inventory and shipping management
- Messaging and chat activation sharing
Software integrations do more than you can imagine. Everyone benefits when your organization provides its team with tools that work together.
Cloud Communications Reduce Operating Costs
Reduced operating costs are always at the top of all business owners’ minds. No matter where you look, the prices have increased. It might sound like a fable, but there are still avenues where you can reduce costs and increase profits.
Businesses that migrate their communications to the cloud can reduce costs by reducing office space, utilities, and service contracts. There are lower costs with a cloud-based phone system because you won’t be paying for hardware, maintenance, and upgrades – the provider takes care of that. With voice, video, messaging, and collaboration tools combined in a single platform, you aren’t paying multiple vendors, resulting in a lower total cost of ownership.
Your team will benefit from a robust cloud communications system because they’re more productive and satisfied with their job, leading to less turnover. This means your organization will spend less money down the line on recruitment and training.
It’s Time to Adopt a Cloud-Based Business Communication System
For a while, many experts believed the demand for hybrid and remote work options would wane as we emerged from the pandemic. However, those demands increased, and the need for cloud-based communication tools has risen substantially. As our workforce becomes more mobile, your business must complement that by streamlining its workflows. It can do this by adopting UCaaS, which brings messaging, video, and team collaboration into a single platform. This is the future of business communications, and in order to retain current employees and attract top-tier talent, you must adopt a cloud-based business communication system.
Cloud-based business communications have changed how we work. Fortunately, they’re easy to set up, use, and manage, enabling your business to offer the flexibility of remote and hybrid work, equating to a happier workforce. UCaaS also strengthens various business options, which improve productivity and collaboration, resulting in faster problem-solving.
How we conduct business is continually evolving – remote and hybrid work has become the standard today. Your business’s communications must adapt and evolve to accommodate this shift to remain competitive. It’s time to switch to cloud-based business communications. Fortunately, Crexendo® provides the tools to transform your business into a modern powerhouse. Let us show you how we can help.
Crexendo® Offers the Leading Cloud-Based Business Communication Solution
Your business can benefit from cloud-based communications, and Crexendo® has the solution you need. We understand the reluctance to upgrade – you may think a new system is far too advanced for your small-to-medium-sized business, or your budget has no wiggle room for this technology.
However, this is precisely where Crexendo®’s award-winning VIP Platform comes in. Crexendo® VIP™ includes Video, Interactions, Phone, collaboration tools and software integrations — it’s the cloud-based communications solution your business needs to succeed. VIP is simple to set up, easy to use, and a breeze to manage. But if you need help at any time, our U.S.-based customer service team is easily reachable to walk you through your new system and answer any questions you may have.
Perhaps you already know that a cloud-based communication system is right for your business, but what makes Crexendo® the right provider? Well, we’re the fastest-growing UCaaS Platform in the United States, and Nasdaq recently congratulated us on supporting more than two and a half million users globally! We stand behind our platform by offering a 100% Uptime Guarantee and a Lifetime Customer Warranty on all Crexendo devices, which lets you focus on getting your work done without worry. To top it off, you get all this for up to 55% less than the cost of a traditional premise-based business phone system.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find another solution that can beat Crexendo®’s, one that includes the same productivity-boosting features, rock-solid reliability, top-rated customer service and support, and incredible cost savings. If you’re still a bit hesitant, see what current customers think about us – they love our service so much that they rate us 4.9 out of 5 stars on G2.com, the leading software review website!
Take advantage of everything our award-winning VIP Platform has to offer. Give us a call to learn more or schedule your free demo today!