Hosted voice continues to gain a foothold for a myriad of reasons.
After hundreds of client implementations, here are the top 10 reasons ARG sees clients moving to hosted voice.
Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity: With all of your organization’s communications services available via the cloud (accessible by any internet connection – Fiber, Copper, Cellular, Cable, etc.), not via a phone system in a closet in your office (Utilizing fixed voice lines/circuit), power outages, weather events and the like no longer prevent your business from continuing to operate, making and receiving calls as if it is just another day is the norm with Hosted Voice.
No more investing in expensive phone system equipment: Traditional phone systems require a hefty capital expenditure tying up your cash in a depreciating asset that will inevitably become obsolete. Hosted phone solutions do not require a large Capital Expense but rather are paid for on a monthly basis becoming a predictable Operating Expense.
Mobility: Hosted Voice solutions provide for full mobility. Anywhere you can access the internet (even outside of the country) you can tap into your office phone system and make and receive calls using the same single phone number that is used in the office. You can even choose to have it appear as though you are calling from your office by sending out your DID number when making a call so that, regardless of where you are calling from, your call recipient will receive your office number on their caller ID. Whether you are remotely accessing your hosted phone system via a smartphone, laptop or tablet you maintain the ability to call your colleagues via a 4 digit extension and you can transfer calls to your colleagues just as if you were in the office. The ability to seamlessly receive and make business calls utilizing your single phone number from anywhere you want expands reachability and increases consistency for staff and customers alike.
Simplified Management & Improved Resource Use: No longer having to maintain and support a phone system in your office frees up your IT staff to work on projects that enhance business productivity. From changing a voicemail greeting to altering ring patterns to making auto attendant modifications you simply log into your Hosted Voice online portal, purposely designed for ease of use, to execute the changes. Staff members can be given varying degrees of permissions to access and make changes via the portal.
Feature & Function Availability: From the most basic features such as transfer and voicemail to the most technology-forward features such as skills/success-based agent call routing, all are available to you on demand. Traditionally, with a phone system, to gain access to advanced features you would have to buy an enterprise grade phone system intended and priced for very large organizations. Further, should you decide your organization needs a customer support line/call center you would be looking at a new equipment purchase costing tens of thousands of dollars and requiring many hours to implement. Now, with Hosted Voice solutions, the full scope of features are all built into the provider’s platform and are available to you upfront or down the road as needed. Should your organization need a customer support line/call center, with Hosted Voice, you would simply request an upgrade of your pertinent colleagues “seat” type or user profile for a modest increase in the monthly fee.
Remote workers: With a Hosted Voice solution and the ability to reach the cloud-based communications system through any internet connection and using smartphones to IP Handsets, working remotely becomes a real and viable option. Staff members maintain the same capabilities and features regardless of where they are located, such as four digit dialing colleagues and transferring calls. Customers receive the same experience as they simply dial the same single phone number (and see that phone number on caller ID when receiving a call), experience the same Auto Attendant and ACD, etc. no matter where an employee is working from. Each person manages only one unified voice mail. Finally, readily available reporting and analytics allow management to view call activity just as if they were next to their employee in the office. Note: with call routing plans staying intact, along with all other feature/functionality regardless of staff member location, call center staff can also work from home, and staff and customers have the same calling experience as when all staff are working in the office.
Scalable & Flexible: Premise based phone systems inherently have a max user capacity. Therefore, as your business grows, you are exposed to labor and equipment costs as well as the potential for a requirement to make a significant upgrade to your phone systems to accommodate your new staff members. On the other hand, Hosted Voice solutions are built on platforms designed and intended to have many new users added on a daily basis. Therefore, should you add a new staff member, you simply request an additional user (seat) and that is that. The exposure to variable labor costs and upgrades is not applicable.
With a premise-based phone system you are limited to the features that were built into the system when you bought it. As time progresses and new features are requested/needed by the organization, your options may be very limited. With hosted voice, the providers are continually adding the latest features to their platforms. All of the provider’s hosted voice customers have access to the new features as soon as they are added to the platform. As such, you can very easily and quickly activate new features with hosted voice, giving your organization the latest tools they need to achieve max productivity.
Performance & Reliability: Hosted Voice solutions can now match the reliability of traditional phone systems and voice lines; many users actually notice an improvement in the sound quality of hosted voice calls. Further, with the readily available, geographically diverse auto failover and continuity features in hosted voice solutions it is often argued that today’s hosted voice solutions exceed traditional solutions in both performance and reliability.
Risk Removal: Premise-based phone systems have historically been procured under the assumption they have an average lifecycle of five to eight years. As such organizations are left in the position of selecting a phone system based upon the predicted user capacity and feature requirements that the organization will have over that 5-8 year horizon. Predicting business growth and the associated size requirements is a very challenging task, let alone doing so over a 5-8 year time horizon. The fast pace at which communications technology evolves and develops is sometimes hard just to keep up with. Determining an organization’s specific phone system feature requirements for the next five years is almost an immeasurable undertaking. An organization is forced to make decisions about a phone system, based on guesses about where they’ll be in five years. They risk falling short of meeting future requirements and losing productivity. Conversely, they could be pushed to over-buy unused capacity and features that wastes tens of thousands of dollars.
Hosted voice solutions remove this risk associated with premise-based phone system procurements. With hosted voice, an organization can make the capacity decision simply based on the number of staff members they currently have. Similarly, they can order just the features that the organization requires at that point in time. Moving forward, at any time, additional ‘seats’ can be ordered for new staff members. When it comes to features, at any time down the road new features can be requested and quickly implemented. Further, as new technology/features are developed over the years the hosted voice provider adds the new features to their platform which in turn makes them available to their customers. In conclusion, the significant productivity and financial risk that comes with a phone system procurement is eliminated with hosted voice solutions. Beyond that, hosted voice solutions allow customers to take advantage of features and technology that is developed in the future without a big investment in equipment upgrades and labor hours.
Peace of Mind: Voice communication remains an essential function to just about every organization, hosted voice greatly decreases the risk that your phone service will be disrupted. When your phone system is on site, your run the risk of a power outage, sprinklers or other physical damage to the building could compromise phone service. When the phone service is out, productivity is compromised and money is lost.
The hosted voice infrastructure resides outside of the office in secure and redundant data centers. As such, if damage or an outage occurs at your physical location, there is no risk of damage to an expensive phone system and business can continue normally. Calls to the organization’s main phone number and staffs’ direct phone numbers will ring on a smartphone, tablet, IP or traditional handsets at home. On top of that, when you are logged in to your hosted voice service from any internet connection, your call recipients will see office phone numbers on their caller ID just as if they were being called from staff in the office.
To learn more about hosted voice, call ARG at 703-770-2400 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org