Top 10 Benefits of Switching to a Cloud-Based Phone System

cloud-based phone system

As small businesses change and grow, the ability to quickly scale up — or down — becomes a necessity. Adding new employees, for example, requires the company to adapt its phone system to accommodate the need for more lines.

That is harder to accomplish using traditional on-premise telephony systems due to higher setup and maintenance costs, the need for hardware on-site and reliance on IT support. A cloud-based phone system, on the other hand, would enable small businesses to manage communication services in a less costly, more streamlined and agile manner.

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The following points, gleaned from an email exchange between Small Business Trends and Aaron Charlesworth, VP of product marketing at Vonage, outline the benefits that small businesses can accrue by switching from traditional PBX systems to cloud-based VoIP technology.

Benefits of a Cloud-Based Phone System

1. Fully-Integrated Communications System

A report from the research firm Gartner points out that integrating a company’s communications with its everyday applications for business processes and workflows helps increase efficiency.

Business tools that operate in the cloud are easy to deploy, enabling employees to stay connected whether they are in the office or on the go. In this way, the cloud provides a consistent business presence and helps to increase productivity with seamless access to CRM tools, email, instant messaging, voice and videoconferencing.

2. Control Over Modes of Communication

A cloud-operated system puts businesses in the driver’s seat, allowing them to pick and choose what features they need, with access to turn them on or off easily.

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Also, cloud solutions give employees anytime, anywhere access via a smartphone, desk phone or softphone to all their calling features. Even better, they can have real-time access to their critical business software.

3. Top Line Business Features

A cloud-based phone system would give small businesses access to the types of network applications that one would typically find at larger corporations. These include features such as a Virtual Assistant, Auto Attendant, Never Miss a Call or Call Center solutions.

4. Mobility and Ease of Use

Today’s workplace is increasingly mobile, and small businesses especially need to be able to operate from multiple locations.

With a cloud-based system, small business employees have access to features that allow them to log in from anywhere so that they can be reached while on the go, giving customer-facing and revenue-producing employees greater control over their productivity.

5. Time Management and Efficiency

Web-based customer portals enable IT staff to manage their system more efficiently. With insight into the installation, service configuration, trouble tickets, training, billing and call analytics, this full access to a customer’s system and account allows them to spend fewer resources on project management and focus more on work that adds to the bottom line.

Also, cloud solutions can easily integrate with other cloud-based applications, providing mobile employees access to all the features and functionality they need to work just as efficiently as if they were in the office.

6. Flexibility to Scale Up (and Down)

As a business grows, so does the need to hire new employees, open new offices and onboard new customers. This requires a communications system that can scale up — or down — as the need arises.

With a cloud-based phone system, businesses can add as many extensions as they need to accommodate heightened call volume, or, if necessary, simply call in to deactivate these extra extensions. Unlike traditional systems, businesses only pay for the extensions they need for as long as they need them.

7. Business Continuity

Working with a phone system “in the cloud” allows businesses to remain connected to their customers no matter the environment. A cloud-based communications system is likely to be unaffected by outside factors such as severe weather or other issues that may keep employees from getting to the office.

With a cloud-based system, businesses can maintain a consistent presence — and access the tools needed — to keep things running smoothly.

8. Improved Customer Service

With the Virtual Receptionist (VR) or Auto Attendant feature, businesses can easily direct calls to various departments and even create greetings unique to a given department.

For example, a business could set up a holiday greeting in advance (via the administrative portal) and pre-set it to revert to the non-holiday greeting on a specified date. It could also add an on-hold message about special promotions or commonly asked questions.

9. New Service Features Added Easily

During busy seasons, some businesses will add premium calling features to increase call-taking efficiency and maximize staffing. Call Groups, for example, allow incoming calls to ring on multiple extensions.

Call Queues provide a “dynamic waiting room” for callers that let businesses customize the on-hold experience and better manage call volume. Both help to decrease voicemails, missed calls and busy signals, enabling service to as many callers as possible.

10. Cost Savings

Cost savings are another benefit of cloud-based phone system.  Moving telecommunications off of PBX platforms and to the cloud can be less expensive relative to monthly service rates versus that of a traditional system, helping to reduce costs and, ultimately, increase profitability.

Cloud Phone Photo via Shutterstock


Paul Chaney Paul Chaney is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. He covers industry news, including interviews with executives and industry leaders about the products, services and trends affecting small businesses, drawing on his 20 years of marketing knowledge. Formerly, he was editor of Web Marketing Today and a contributing editor for Practical Ecommerce.

10 Reactions
  1. My only trouble with this is its overdependence on the Internet. Sure, it is efficient but there is also the trouble of having disconnections. So you need to have some alternatives ready.

    • Hi Aira,

      To respond to your comment, your concern is actually an advantage to a hosted VoIP service.

      The server that is the brains for the service usually resides in a secure data center. So, if the business is hit with an internet service interruption, they can have calls rerouted to cell phones. Calls will continue to come into the business and the auto attendant can route the calls to voice mail. If the user has simultaneous ring already active then they will receive the call on the other device. Also, the user can often unplug the office phone and take it home to continue working, provided they have high speed broadband. The phone number will follow the handset and no one knows they are not in the office working! If they have a softphone on a laptop, they can take that device home and the phone number will follow them.

      Hope this helps.

      Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns that I can provide assistance.

  2. Wow, I had no idea that there were so many different benefits to a cloud-based phone system. What impressed me the most was the fact that it is very easy to scale up and down. Since companies can grow or shrink at any time, I think that having this flexibility can save money in the long run. Instead of spending a lot of money in order to add or remove infrastructure, you can just make changes all in the cloud!

  3. These 10 benefits of using a cloud-based phone system are amazing. The control that it gives to business is really awesome. I feel like the more you’re able to be in the driver’s seat can really help your business work toward the goals that you might have.

  4. Spencer Montgomery

    It’s good to know that there are a lot of benefits in switching to a VoIP service. I like that it has the flexibility to scale up or down. If I owned a business, this is definitely something I’d consider. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Cloud based phone system is good. Additionally, one can also use tools like R-HUB audio conferencing servers for all their online audio conferencing needs. It provides free HD VOIP audio conferencing.

  6. I like how the article explains that a cloud-based phone system helps to improve customer service as it can include a virtual receptionist which can help to direct calls. My company doesn’t currently have a receptionist so it is difficult for our customers to get to the right department. By having a cloud-based phone system, we can use the virtual receptionist to help direct the calls to the correct department.

  7. It’s great that you mentioned that a cloud phone system would allow employees to have access to various calling features and critical business software anytime, anywhere. My husband and I are thinking of opening a marketing firm in a year or two since we both have two decades of experience in the industry. If we proceed with our business venture, we’ll definitely consider getting a cloud phone system to have fully-integrated communications. Thanks!

  8. Great information cloud based phone system for your business. Cloud communications solutions (UC) enable your workforce to be more flexible and improve your customers’ ability to connect with your team. Increase your customer engagement and reduce your operational costs