Cloud telephony offers organisations across multiple sectors substantial operational advantages. No more buying a physical telephony system and installing it somewhere on your premises. No more costly hardware maintenance, call charges or electricity bills. Much smoother pathways to adding additional functionality, without installing extra hardware or ISDN lines.
Yet the cloud telephony market is crowded and can be complex to navigate. How can you choose the right supplier and the right solution for your organisation?
Here are some key areas to bear in mind.
Experience and scale
There are plenty of areas of enterprise technology in which choosing a small player can pay off. They might offer something genuinely unique or innovative, or a personal touch that makes a big difference. However, when it comes to telephony – the absolute foundation of your business communications – our advice would be to prioritise established players with genuine scope and scale. The world’s biggest VoIP providers are able to support communications all over the globe, and continually innovate and enhance their solutions to offer you the very latest functionality.
One of the most powerful advantages of cloud telephony systems is the seamless integration they can offer with core business productivity applications such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. Combining telephony and CRM systems, for example, means that service agents can access customer histories automatically whilst calling them, delivering a smoother and more efficient experience for all. When choosing a solution, then, you should establish which applications you would like to integrate with your telephony solution and discuss this with your proposed provider.
Just like an on-premise telephony system, the most convenient cloud telephony solution for your business will be one that offers a quick and easy setup and seamless integration with all relevant applications, as outlined above. What is the installation, test and go-live process? How long will it typically take? Can it be achieved in a single migration or will it be phased?
Since one of the key drivers for deploying cloud telephony for many organisations is enabling flexible and mobile working, it makes sense to establish how your proposed solution handles routing calls to mobile devices. Can users set multiple devices or numbers to act as their answer points?
Another key function to look for when selecting a solution is the ability for calls from particular customers to be automatically rerouted to the same agent who answered the call last time. Simple enough for the best solutions to achieve, but it has a dramatic effect on your ability to deliver personal and tailored customer service.
Support and training
As with any other enterprise technology deployment, you should always think carefully about how your staff will get to grips with the new solution and what support will be on hand once your deployment goes live. What kinds of support and education packages does your proposed supplier offer?
Try before you buy
It’s an old notion, but still has legs. Most cloud telephony providers should let you try a version of their solution for a limited period without committing. This will allow you to try out the solution in situ, get to grips with the key features and really establish whether what looked good on paper works well in practice.
At APH, we recommend 8x8 and Microsoft as two of the best providers of cloud telephony solutions. They are two of the biggest organisations in the marketplace, they are genuine innovators and they offer outstanding scalability and support. Talk to us today about how to move to a cloud telephony solution.
.APH offers cloud telephony options. To explore your options, get in touch.