Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Cloud Telephony Solutions for SMEs


Cloud Telephony Solutions for SMEs

In the modern workplace, effective communication is more critial than ever. 

For SME owners, managers, and decision-makers in the UK, staying ahead of the curve means adopting the latest technologies that streamline operations and enhance productivity.

Cloud telephony is one such technology that has been gaining traction, as it streamlines business communications, making them more flexible, agile, and cost-efficient.

In this blog, we’ll explore what cloud telephony is, its specific features and benefits, and how it integrates seamlessly with Microsoft 365.

What is Cloud Telephony Services?

Cloud telephony, also known as hosted telephony or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), is a communication service that allows businesses to make and receive calls over the Internet rather than through traditional phone lines.

This technology leverages cloud computing to manage and route calls, eliminating the need for on-premises PBX (Private Branch Exchange) systems. Cloud telephony is a type of cloud-based phone system that operates using remote servers instead of traditional physical on-premises equipment.

Unlike traditional phone systems, cloud telephony is highly flexible and scalable, making it an ideal solution for SME businesses.

By utilising the cloud, businesses can access a wide range of communication features and services without the need for significant upfront investment or ongoing maintenance.

Key Features of Cloud Telephony

1. Scalability

One of the standout features of cloud telephony is its scalability. As your business grows, your communication needs will evolve.

A cloud telephony system allows you to easily add or remove lines and features to match your current requirements.

This flexibility ensures that you’re not paying for services you don’t need while also allowing for rapid expansion when necessary.

Additionally, a cloud phone system offers increased flexibility, cost savings, productivity improvements, and scalability, making it an ideal solution for modern businesses over the more traditional pbx systems. At Acora One, we are primed as an expert cloud telephony provider.

2. Cost-Effectiveness

Traditional business phone systems often require substantial capital investment in hardware and ongoing maintenance.

Cloud telephony, on the other hand, operates on a subscription-based model.

This means you can spread costs over time and only pay for what you use. Additionally, because calls are made over the internet, long-distance and international calls are typically much cheaper.

3. Advanced Call Management

Cloud telephony offers a suite of advanced call management features that can enhance productivity and customer service. These include call forwarding, call routing, voicemail to email, auto-attendants, and call recording.

For example, call routing ensures that calls are directed to the right person or department, reducing wait times and improving customer satisfaction. Does your existing basic business phone system enable this?

4. Mobility

In today’s increasingly mobile work environment, the ability to make and receive calls from anywhere is crucial. There is a demand for employees to be just as accessible from sites, working from home or at their desks.

Cloud telephony systems enable employees to access their business phone system from any device with an internet connection.

Cloud calling, a feature of cloud telephony, allows users to make and receive calls from any device, anywhere, using a web browser or an app, meaning the transition of employees working remotely is seamless.

This means whether they are in the office, working from home, or on the go, they can stay connected and productive, and provide your clients with the best possible service.

5. Integration with CRM Systems

Many cloud telephony solutions offer seamless integration with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems.

This integration allows for automatic logging of calls, screen pop-ups with caller information, and improved data tracking.

For SMEs, this means better customer insights and more efficient communication processes.

6. Reliability and Disaster Recovery with Cloud Telephony Providers

With cloud telephony, your communication infrastructure is hosted in secure data centres with robust disaster recovery plans.

This means that in the event of a hardware failure or natural disaster, your phone system remains operational.

This reliability is crucial for maintaining business continuity and providing uninterrupted service to your customers, something that could not be guaranteed with an older business phone system.

Benefits of Cloud Telephony for SMEs

1. Enhanced Productivity

Cloud telephony systems are designed to streamline communication processes, allowing employees to focus on their core tasks.

Features like voicemail to email, call forwarding, and auto-attendants reduce administrative burdens and ensure that important calls are never missed.

Additionally, cloud telephony services offer significant benefits for businesses by increasing the flexibility of your employees, meaning your business can be more adaptable moving forward.

2. Improved Customer Service

Advanced call management features and CRM integration enable businesses to deliver a higher level of customer service.

Calls are directed to the right person quickly, and customer information is readily available, allowing for more personalised and efficient interactions.

Boosting your reputation as a business with excellent customer service, and giving the illusion of truly knowing your clients by heart.

3. Flexibility and Mobility

For SMEs with remote or mobile workforces, cloud telephony provides unparalleled flexibility.

Employees can make and receive calls from any location with an internet connection, ensuring they stay connected and productive regardless of where they are working.

This flexibility is especially valuable in today's remote work landscape and something that is becoming increasingly expected within SMEs by employees and employers alike.

4. Cost Savings with Cloud-Based Phone System

By eliminating the need for expensive hardware and reducing call costs, cloud telephony can lead to significant savings for SMEs.

The subscription-based pricing model allows businesses to budget more effectively and avoid large upfront costs, ensuring the correct solution for your unique business needs.

5. Scalability

As mentioned earlier, the scalability of cloud telephony ensures that your communication system can grow with your business.

Whether you’re adding new employees or expanding to new locations, you can easily adjust your telephony system to meet your specific needs.

Implementing a cloud telephony system offers significant benefits such as cost savings, increased reliability, and flexibility in managing your business calls and phone service.

So, why have you not moved to a Cloud telephony solution yet?

Integration with Microsoft 365

One of the most compelling aspects of cloud telephony is its seamless integration with Microsoft 365, for user management.

For SMEs already using Microsoft 365, this integration can significantly enhance their communication capabilities.

The benefits of this Microsoft 365 integration with Cloud Telephony systems include:

Unified Communication

Unified communications integrate various communication systems and collaboration tools under one platform, including voice, video, data, real-time communications services, CRM systems, and other day-to-day tools like Microsoft Office or G-Suite.

This integration simplifies business processes, improves productivity, performance, customer experience, and reduces costs, making teams more efficient and agile.

Internal Collaboration

Cloud telephony systems often include collaboration tools such as instant messaging, which help in connecting teams, improving productivity, and supporting remote work capabilities. For example, the platform Microsoft Teams.

Teams Integration

Microsoft Teams, a key component of Microsoft 365, can be integrated with cloud telephony to provide a comprehensive communication solution.

This integration allows for voice calls, video conferencing, and collaboration all within the Teams platform. However, this does depend on your existing software limitations already in place.

For SMEs, this means a more cohesive and streamlined communication experience both internally and externally.

Image of an employee using Microsoft Teams application on a mobile device

Enhanced Collaboration

With cloud telephony and Microsoft 365 integration, employees can easily switch between different modes of communication.

For example, a phone call can be escalated to a video conference or a group chat, facilitating better collaboration and faster decision-making.

Additionally, instant messaging is one of the collaboration tools integrated into the cloud telephony system, helping to connect teams, improve productivity, and support remote work capabilities. This results in better service and solutions for your most important asset, your customers and clients.

Improved Cyber Security

Microsoft 365 offers robust security features, and integrating cloud telephony ensures that your communication system benefits from the same level of protection.

This includes encryption, secure access controls, and regular security updates, helping to protect your business from cyber threats and attacks.

The risk of data leaks and breaches is vastly reduced compared to easily hackable classic hardware options.

Centralised Management

For IT managers, integrating cloud telephony with Microsoft 365 simplifies the management of communication systems.

With a single dashboard, you can monitor and manage all communication channels, ensuring that your system is always up to date and running smoothly.


Round Up of Cloud Telephony Solutions for SMEs

In conclusion, cloud telephony solutions offer a wide range of benefits for SMEs, from cost savings and enhanced productivity to improved customer service and seamless integration with Microsoft 365.

As businesses continue to adapt to the changing work environment, adopting cloud telephony can provide a competitive edge and ensure that communication remains efficient and reliable for your employees, clients, and customers.


Please Note: In terms of a cloud telephony solution, please be aware that the points above are part of a generalised guide and you need to speak to a cloud telephony provider for more specific advice for your SME.

Acora One cloud telephony experts are available here.

Are you ready to transform your business communications with cloud telephony?





Back to the blog.