PROS AND CONS OF CLOUD PHONE SYSTEMS
With the advent of cloud phone system technology, there has been much discussion about the pros and cons of cloud compared to traditional on-premise systems. Overall, many companies are switching to cloud-based technology in an effort to save money and improve reliability, but there are still some factors affecting the way cloud phone systems are being implemented today.
In general, the cost of operating a cloud phone system month to month is less than the cost of on-premise phone systems (in some cases significantly less). This is because cloud-based systems have a set monthly subscription fee that stays level no matter how many calls you are making or where you are calling. This is a huge plus for businesses who have been paying extra for long distance phone calls by the minute. In addition, cloud-based systems are able to leverage a much larger system that supports hundreds of clients, whereas traditional phones required their own land lines and maintenance – a large up-front expense. If you already have compatible IP phones from previous purchases, you may have almost no upfront cost to move to the cloud. Even if you don't, the upfront costs are usually half that of a traditional system.
Another major bonus of using a cloud phone system is the amount of flexibility you have. Not only can you add and subtract devices from your system with ease, but you can also move devices between locations without a problem. Instead of being tied to one physical land line that is assigned to you, your device is now capable of connecting anywhere you have an internet connection. These systems are particularly useful for companies that operate in multiple office locations or those who have team members who are in the field and traveling frequently.
In terms of maintaining system hardware, cloud-based systems have a clear win here. Since the majority of the equipment is housed at the service provider's location instead of at your site, you will have far less to worry about when it comes to maintaining your phone system. Where traditional phone systems required routine maintenance of devices and lines to ensure quality connections, cloud-based systems require minimal work on your end.
In general, cloud phone system technology has proven itself reliable and sustainable for many businesses. Unfortunately, areas that do not currently have strong or reliable internet infrastructure available have had difficulty implementing cloud phone systems successfully. Others who have good internet but share the internet with other applications (such as web browsing) have also seen issues when there is not enough bandwidth to cover the total need. Dropped calls and other interference caused by spotty or over-utilized internet have been a problem. While there are firewalls that can protect voice traffic, there is no immediate for many location-based problems until internet providers find ways to offer better services in hard-to-reach areas.
As cloud phone system technology continues to grow in popularity, it will be easier to get great deals on IP phones and other necessary equipment. For the most part, cloud-based systems excel when it comes to cost-friendliness, ease of maintenance, and flexibility. Their major struggle is the internet providers who are unable to provide adequate service to all areas equally. Over time even this will be less of an issue, and cloud-based systems will be the new standard in business phones.
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