Author’s Bio: As a proponent of cloud-based telecommunications, Tom Senkus shares his knowledge with startups and small businesses that want to embrace this revolutionary technology to gain a competitive worldwide advantage for their organization. For more information, visit www.tomsenkuswriter.com
Cloud-based telecommunication is one of the foremost trends developing for modern businesses. In this article, we’ll cover what cloud telephony is and how it works, detailing some of the many benefits that come with its proper use.
What is Cloud Telephony?
To begin, cloud telephony is a form of telecommunications that uses cloud computing to place two parties in touch with one another by phone. In contrast to typical landline communication of the past, cloud telephony is faster, more efficient, and more versatile. It enables businesses and individuals the ability to reach callers anywhere around the world instantly. Simply put, using VoIP and other protocols, audio information is instantly encoded into digital information and sent over the Internet. It is then subsequently decoded on the receiver’s device in real-time.
Types of Cloud Telephony
Of course, “cloud telephony” is a catch-all term for this new form of communication. In fact, there are many facets of cloud-based communication. In the next section, we’ll touch upon some of these aspects of cloud telephony.
Virtual Phone Numbers
Perhaps the cornerstone of cloud telephony is the advent of virtual phone numbers.
In their most basic definition, virtual phone numbers are cloud-assisted phone numbers that function in the same way that “normal” phone numbers do, while retaining the same country codes and area/region codes that local customers are familiar with. For instance, using a Dubai virtual phone number will retain the same country code (+971) and the remaining digits (04 XXX XXXX) that correspond to the region.
However, the key to understanding what makes virtual phone numbers so versatile is the routing capabilities that enable international businesses to offer a seamless calling experience internationally without having to face long distance fees, service blockages, and other obstacles. This means that your business can be located in the United States, for example, but still enable callers in Dubai to dial your virtual phone number just as they would any other local phone number. In reverse, when your US-based business pairs your virtual phone number with “outbound calling,” calls can be routed from the U.S. to Dubai just as a local call would be made. There is no need to dial out” or pay long-distance fees. Best of all, recipients will have a recognizable phone number appear on their caller ID, which helps an organization’s localization process.
Another aspect of cloud telephony that many organizations are taking advantage of is creating a directory system for their business. The most popular method is to utilize a Private Branch eXchange (PBX), that creates an automated directory when a caller dials your virtual phone number. By dialing the appropriate numbers and following the prerecorded directions, callers can self-select through your directory. This helps them to easily find the information they’re looking for. They can then navigate to the appropriate departments/staff listings, ultimately directly reaching the right individuals to resolve their issues.
For businesses that are looking for ways to make their organization more professional, using a toll free number in conjunction with a PBX is a smart, cost-effective choice.
Cloud telephony is an evolving technology, which means that each day, there are new ways to implement it throughout your telecommunications. Many virtual phone number providers supplement their services with add-ons that enhance the functionality of virtual phone numbers and other aspects of communication.
Some of the most common add-ons include call recording, time of day routing, and simultaneous ringing. First, call recording enables inbound and outbound calls to be stored and later reviewed. This enhances the ability to review your company’s customer service and ensure compliance with industry regulations. Time of day routing, a popular add-on, enables your organization to reroute calls made during predetermined hours to another destination phone number, such as a call processing center in a more favorable time zone or a PBX system. And simultaneous ringing is just as the name implies – all connected devices ring at the same time when an inbound call is received, which allows for calls to be answered in the shortest amount of time by the first available employee.