Moving Your Phone System To The Cloud

Recently, a longtime Steadfast Solutions client approached us looking for a technical solution to a pressing business challenge. The company’s outdated phone system was costing the business – not just in terms of expenses but also functionality.

In the past 15 years, the business had grown from one with three computers to one with 40 computer users and multiple locations. Along the way, Steadfast Solutions has helped the business grow with modernised solutions that are built to scale to meet the company’s steady expansion.

Staying connected has been an essential part of that growth. However, the company’s traditional phone system was holding the company back.

What Options Are Available for My Business Phone System?

For decades, businesses have relied on private branch exchange (PBX) systems. Such systems, hosted on premises, offered reliability and an improvement over the previous business telephony norm. Those older multi-line systems had very little to offer in terms of advanced features or the ability to provide the functionality needed.

PBX met a dire need at the time for technical advances in business telephony. However, in today’s 21st-century business world, PBX has several limitations, including:

  • On-Premises Costs. A hosted PBX phone system requires an investment in infrastructure. Your on-site data centre will need to house equipment that has to be powered and maintained.
  • Operational Costs. With a PBX business phone system, your business pays for carrier costs, maintenance and any change orders to your contract. Typically, PBX contracts also incur a monthly charge for each seat.
  • Upgrades. If there are new features available, they need to be installed manually.
  • Equipment and Line Costs. Your company is responsible for purchasing and maintaining all of the phone equipment. You also need to provide a phone line for every user.
  • Lack of Multi-Site Support. For businesses with multiple locations, a PBX solution is problematic. New locations may use a different vendor and communicate across different locations and service providers can be costly and frustrating for employees.
  • Lack of Mobile-Friendliness. In-house PBX systems are unable to support the functionality and capability employees require when using mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets or laptops.
  • Disruptions. If the power goes out, your phone system is offline.

These barriers are why you see many companies opting to replace outdated business telephony systems with newer solutions that are cloud-based.

How Does a Business Phone System Work in the Cloud?

PBX systems today are being outpaced by systems that use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. VoIP systems include hardware and software that send telephone calls and other information using the internet instead of traditional phone circuits. Data is transmitted in small packets of information.

While in the early days of VoIP, there were concerns about call quality and lag, those issues have been addressed. Today, phone calls over the internet are common and delivered with excellent call clarity.

With the rollout of NBN, now is a smart time to be assessing your business phone solution. As the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission noted in a 2018 report, “cloud-based services … are transforming the way services traditionally provided locally to the user are consumed.”

What Are the Advantages of VoIP Solutions?

Here are a few of the significant advantages of using a VoIP solution:

  • Reliability. Your calls are sent not via a telephone line but over high-speed internet connections. There is no loss of call quality when using these solutions.
  • Affordability. When you switch to VoIP, you’ll no longer pay a fee for every incoming and outgoing call. You and your employees can make an unlimited number of calls all for a flat, fixed monthly fee. In most cases, you pay a minimal setup fee and that is it.
  • Simplicity. When you migrate from a PBX system to VoIP, you’ll be able to remove the in-house equipment previously used, saving on space, storage, maintenance and utility costs. In most cases, you can use your existing phone equipment, installing a simple adaptor that allows for connection to the internet.
  • Technical Assistance. When you have your VoIP solution hosted by your managed IT partner, you know you’ll have immediate access to trained staff to assist with any technical issues that arise. Your partner also may provide asset management support and manage your vendor service contracts.
  • Security. Today, information needs to be protected at all times. Your phone system is a critical component of your technology solution and needs to be secured. Let your technology partner host your VoIP solution to ensure the system is monitored and that necessary upgrades and patches are installed promptly.

What Features Are Available with a VoIP System?

Features vary from solution to solution. With Steadfast Solutions’ Cloud Phone System, your company enjoys major benefits not available with other products, including:

  • Free inter-office calls (same site, multi-site, home office and mobile)
  • Instant messaging
  • Synchronisation with Microsoft Outlook and Exchange contacts
  • Initiation of audio conferences from a graphic user interface
  • A desktop application for employees managing incoming calls, including knowing which extensions are available and click-to-call function
  • Configurable auto attendant
  • Call hunt groups and queues
  • Find-me-follow-me and call forwarding

Why Should We Switch to a VoIP System?

Choosing a VoIP system with Steadfast Solutions as your technology partner makes great sense. Here are some of the main reasons why other companies have switched:

  • Scalability. Start with as few as four users. The quick setup allows for rapid scaling to up to 200 users.
  • Business Grade. Steadfast Solutions uses business-grade internet connections to give your calls priority and high quality.
  • Cost Savings. You’ll reduce your call costs considerable with a flat monthly rate. You won’t have to maintain equipment and on-site staff can be redeployed to other business priorities.
  • Improved Productivity. Faster interfaces, functions that allow users to be found and more efficient phone operations allow your employees to work smarter.
  • Mobile Compatibility. VoIP solutions allow for better integration of smartphones and other mobile devices.
  • Self-Service. Need to add or remove extensions? It can all be done from a self-service administrative portal.

What Are the Business Outcomes of a Switch to a VoIP Solution?

Our client was facing a growing business and increased phone expenses. We worked closely to develop a VoIP solution and a process for migrating their phone system from an on-premises solution to a cloud-based system.

“While this sounded daunting at the time,” the client wrote recently, “Steadfast Solutions ensured that they had all the necessary protection in place to ensure that our data would not ever be at risk.”

The client reported that it is now able to make free inter-office calls from within the office, when working from home or on the road. The company had no hardware to purchase, manage or maintain. It also noted that the company’s phone costs have been reduced by $3,500 compared to its previous conventional phone system.

Steadfast Solutions is Australia’s leading managed IT services provider, delivering nationwide solutions from its home bases in Melbourne and Brisbane. The company also offers hosted software and cloud-based productivity solutions such as Microsoft Office 365.

To discover how Steadfast Solutions can deliver a business telephone solution to meet your needs, contact us today.