What is Cloud Calling? The Complete Guide
Your guide to Cloud Telephony
Cloud calling or cloud telephony is one of the biggest buzzwords in the communication industry today. By the end of 2023, the market value for Cloud PBX systems is forecast to reach $20.83 million, driven in part by the demand for VoIP networks to replace traditional PSTN.
As more businesses continue to take the plunge into the cloud environment, you might be left wondering what “cloud calling” really means, and how it works to transform your business. Today, we’re going to give you your “101” intro to the basics of cloud telephony, and why it’s so important for companies in the future.
What is Cloud Calling?
Cloud calling is a form of Unified Communications as Service strategy that offers voice-based communication services through a third-party company or “host.” The UCaaS solution replaces your need for conventional PBX telephone systems so that you can reduce the clutter and expense in your office. Cloud telephony services are available through the web and in the form of applications that you can build into your existing processes through CPaaS.
Cloud telephony offerings are hosted on cloud environments and maintained by the provider you choose. You can access your systems on an as-needed or subscription basis, and customers don’t need to pay for unnecessary resources or upkeep as a result. Common features of cloud telephony packages include:
- Resource pooling across networks
- Broad network access
- Integration with call centre and CRM technology
- Integration with UC solutions
- Included PBX functionalities like conferencing, recording and call forwarding
- Self-service on-demand
The inherent flexibility of cloud calling technology also paves the way for new features in the business communication environment, like voice analysis via artificial intelligence, interactive voice response with automated assistants and more.
How Does Cloud Calling Work?
At the front end, your users might not notice a huge difference in their calling solutions when they embrace a cloud calling framework. However, behind the scenes, the way that your conversations are processed will be very different. Instead of having your calls routed through onsite PBX systems that you have to store on-site, your calls will go directly through innovative cloud-based switches.
With cloud calling, you don’t need to worry about keeping the routing and network elements of your comms stack onsite, which means that you can securely store your data and access it via the internet. While business phone systems have always been crucial to a company’s success, it’s only since VoIP based systems began to arrive in the mid-90s that we started to unlock and understand the benefits of connecting people over the cloud.
After all, for small to mid-sized businesses, the costs of running an entire phone system on-premise can be astronomical. Fees range from the costs of SIP trunking services to PRIs that connect your systems to the PSTN. Cloud calling reduces the IT overhead associated with switching to the VoIP environment. Providers in the cloud calling space allow companies of all sizes to manage and host their systems over the internet, keeping on-site clutter and cost to a minimum.
What are the Benefits of Cloud Calling?
The most quoted benefit of switching to a cloud calling environment is that it offers significant cost savings. There’s so much less to pay when you can access a phone system through the cloud, rather than building your entire phone strategy on-premise. Cloud calling skips the costs and hassle associated with provisioning, configuration, upgrades, and even ongoing security.
Some of the other benefits of a cloud phone system include:
- Better security: In a world where toll fraud is a consistent concern for all businesses, VoIP hackers will always be keen to take control of your phone systems if they can. Cloud calling providers can help you to secure your service, taking the stress off your shoulders with excellent security systems
- Ease of use: Cloud systems for calling provide a host of administrative portals that users can access to make changes to their operations. You can do something like adds a new phone to your network with a few clicks, without the excessive effort and provisioning requirements
- Advanced features and innovations: Accessing communication tools on the cloud makes it easy to upgrade and enhance your environment whenever you like. You can easily tap into new features like artificial intelligence or virtual assistants without having to rip and replace your entire system. You could also enjoy a host of integrations with other leading apps that make your communication experience more consistent and seamless
- Remote working scalability: A cloud phone system gives businesses an environment that scales naturally with their growth and supports the needs of remote workers. Because you host your service on the internet, remote employees will be able to access and register their phone requirements from anywhere
Is Cloud Telephony the Same as VoIP?
In a modern communication environment, your cloud calling environment is the tool that you use to pull all of your information and services from your VoIP server. Cloud calling solutions take more of the back-end management and infrastructure worries out of the hands of today’s evolving businesses so that they can focus on taking full advantage of all the benefits that VoIP has to offer.
As we move forward into a world that relies consistently on flexibility, scalability and dynamic change, the cloud calling environment is set to grow astronomically. Fortunately, vendors from all backgrounds are making it easier for today’s brands to move into the cloud at their own pace. From full-cloud solutions for smaller more agile businesses to hybrid cloud environments that support companies who can’t make the move to the cloud straight away, there’s a solution for everyone.
Even the biggest and most established brands can now begin to unlock the benefits of cloud telephony for themselves, with the right cloud provider. All you need to do is figure out what route you want to take to the future and pick the vendor that will help you to get there.
Further reading – Cloud calling is a crucial part of UC 3.0 – read about the future of unified communications