Cloud-based phone systems have been viewed as important and valuable for a while now. However, since the beginning of the year with the coronavirus pandemic, this perception has evolved, and a growing number of Richmond businesses of all sizes — from startups to enterprises — now believe that cloud phone systems are essential. What is the reason for this mindset shift? It’s all about flexibility.

We have entered the Era of Uncertainty, which means that the ability to adapt is arguably a business’s most vital core competence and competitive advantage. Cloud phone systems drive flexibility on several levels, including:

  • Capacity Flexibility: With a conventional phone system, businesses can only add a limited number of additional lines before they must pay a huge bill to upgrade their on-site PBX, and the process can take days or weeks to complete. However, with a cloud phone system it’s possible to add hundreds or even thousands of new numbers/extensions without delay. The key consideration is the amount of available bandwidth on the existing data network, which can be affordably increased as needed.
  • Number Flexibility: With a cloud phone system, Richmond businesses can expand their target market reach by adding non-local numbers. For example, a Richmond, VA-based business can easily and affordably get a number with area code 804 (Richmond) or add a toll-free number. This is especially valuable to small businesses that need to compete with large statewide or national organizations.
  • Network Flexibility: Cloud phone systems can run on a variety of technical infrastructures, such as SONET, ATM, or even WiFi. This flexibility means less complexity and confusion (and stress!) for IT teams and a more standardized and optimized data and telecommunications foundation.
  • Cost Flexibility: With a conventional phone system, many Richmond businesses — especially smaller organizations — pay for more capacity than they need. For example, their system may support 20 connections, but they only need 5. AS a recurring annual expense, this is a huge waste of money. But with a cloud phone system, businesses can flexibly align capacity with actual need. This is because they are not forced to buy, install and maintain expensive on-site PBX hardware. Instead, they simply add low-cost licenses (a.k.a. seats) on an as-needed basis. And if they scale down and no longer need licenses, they simply allow them to expire. It’s a level of seamless scalability in either direction — add or remove — that is impossible with a conventional phone system.
  • Device Flexibility: With a cloud phone system, employees can make/receive calls and access other functions (e.g. chat, presence, call history, etc.) using their smartphone. They can also slip on a headset and use their desktop or laptop as a softphone. This kind of total device flexibility is not just extremely convenient, but it’s also highly cost-effective.
  • Worker Location Flexibility: Even as the lockdown ceases and things return to normal, a growing number of Richmond businesses have decided to make remote work a permanent rather than temporary option (if not every day, then at least a few days a week). A cloud phone system is ideal for worker flexibility, whether they are in the corporate office (including “hot desk” environments), their home office, or anywhere else that the work journey takes them.
  • Move Flexibility: When they move locations, Richmond businesses with a cloud phone system don’t have to face the hassle and expense of having the phone company reconfigure their system and possibly dig up new lines. Instead, these businesses simply unplug the IP phones from their old location, plug them into your new location, and they are all set to go. All of the numbers stay the same.

A Final Word

In the new business climate of today, Richmond companies are faced with much uncertainty — which is not always a bad thing. There are more opportunities for innovation, growth, and success. Richmond businesses with a cloud phone system have the telecommunications flexibility they need to embrace uncertainty and thrive vs. dread uncertainty and struggle.

About the author : cindi martin

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