What are cloud communications?
To improve interconnectedness, many companies have decided to move beyond traditional, in-house phone systems to Internet-based cloud communications. Cloud communications are maintained by a third party who provide host switching, storage, telecommunication applications and data communications entirely through the Internet. In the past, cloud communications were strictly associated with data services, but with the advent of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), businesses are now able to merge their telecommunication services with data management. The result is a streamlined resource that is more flexible and affordable than traditional phone-line PBX systems, which can be especially beneficial for start-ups and small businesses.
What’s wrong with my traditional phone-line system?
A key component of a traditional TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) PBX is that its infrastructure must be set up at the businesses’ location. Each phone-line extension is literally a physical location, and therefore, a number is limited to a specific phone. As businesses grow, it can be costly to execute the necessary wiring for new phone extensions. Furthermore, many small businesses don’t have the time, money or resources to maintain an in-house phone system. If there is an issue with a traditional PBX system, the company must rely on a technician from the phone company to appear at the office and make the necessary repairs, which can be time-consuming and detrimental to business operations.
What are the advantages of cloud communications?
The elegance behind cloud communication is its off-site hosting. Third-party telephone services host and maintain the PBX for its client company, and calls and applications operate via the Internet, all of which can be accessed from anywhere, not just the office. Therefore, businesses do not have to purchase and maintain expensive hardware in the building; one merely has to subscribe to the service on a monthly or annual basis. If a malfunction arises, the hosting company is only a phone call away and can make the necessary adjustments. This eliminates the need for costly on-site repairmen.
Are there any disadvantages to cloud communications?
The most potent criticism concerns the finicky nature of the Internet. If a business uses cloud communications and loses its Internet connection, it can potentially lose not only its access to the web, but also its ability to take calls and manage data. I contacted Mayer Rosenbaum, Chief Technology Officer of Telebroad, to discuss the issue. He said that Internet loss is not a concern at Telebroad because a dual WAN system is used to prevent any detrimental Internet outages: “By having a dual WAN router… you can actually have a full backup for the Internet. When one internet connection goes down, the router would sail over to the secondary or third Internet connection available… without even disconnecting your call.” If a strong Internet connection can be secured, there are really no significant drawbacks to this new method of telecommunication. With a proper setup and a capable connection, a growing business can improve its global presence, productivity and profit with a subscription to the modern age of cloud communications.