What Is a Cloud Phone System?


A cloud phone system is a not-so-fancy name for voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) based telephone platform. VoIP is the technology that converts your voice into a digital signal, allowing you to make a call directly from a computer or other devices. Cloud phone systems typically offer advanced security and telephony features that are especially useful for businesses, such as: extension dialing, auto attendants, and conference bridges.

Before the Cloud
Business phone systems have been around for a long time — well before the Internet. When they were first introduced, they had relatively simple features that we take for granted today, like the ability to include individual extensions to the main phone number. Since VoIP-based phone systems were introduced in the mid-1990’s, businesses have been able to install telephony software on a server and connect phones to the server over their IP network, thereby letting them manage their phone system themselves.

It soon became apparent that for some companies, running their own phone system became a handful. Doing so often required quite a bit of IT overhead such as: purchasing a trunking service that connected the phone system to the Public Switched Telephone Network, maintenance, security measures, and custom configuration.

Benefits of a Cloud Phone System
Low Cost – The primary benefits of a cloud phone system are a reduction in both the time and money spent on managing your own phone system. Far less hardware needs to be purchased by you (generally, just the phones themselves), and you can skip all the time spent on configuration, upgrades, and security.

Higher Security – Cloud phone services come with the added security that other managed services usually do. They will often have advanced and monitored security measures built in at minimal cost to you.

Advanced Features & Integrations – Today’s cloud phone systems are able to offer many advanced features and can also incorporate numerous other useful business services, such as:

• Video conferencing
• Screen share
• Team chat
• Fax
• File collaboration
• File backup

Scalability & Remote Working – Lastly, cloud phone systems are inherently scalable and can support a changing roster of remote workers. Because the service is hosted on the Internet, remote employees can register their phones from anywhere, and cloud-based systems are also immune to local outages.

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