Growing a small company through the next phase of its development is one thing, but scaling up to an entirely new level is something else. A company of 20 or 50 people is a very different proposition to one with less than 10. Establishing a cloud phone system can mitigate some of these challenges
Anyone who has established and grown a business to a ‘milestone’ size will know that resource requirements change and so do many of the challenges that come with it. Having a cloud phone system in place helps keep an office modern but also makes contacting colleagues easy due to being quick to set up, not requiring the barriers of wires.
With just a small number of employees, a good handle on the finances, and an IT setup that is manageable, a company can generally operate quite comfortably. As a business grows, these resources will often need to be expanded and new and different pressures start to apply.
The tribulation of traditional telephony
Historically the business phone system has been a bit of a barrier to quick and easy business scalability as well as one that has been costly. Before the emergence of cloud telephony, a business wanting to upscale or change its telephone system would need to plan well in advance. Adding new people and new extensions as well as catering for ‘moves and changes’ took time and often a company would rely heavily on its telephony provider.
The phone technology, such as a PBX, sockets, and wiring, would need to be installed and configured by the supplier, with no hands-on involvement by the business other than perhaps the person responsible, such as an IT manager. As well as pre-scheduling additions and alterations, it would take time for changes to occur and there would be additional costs.
The overall capital expenditure cost also needed to be factored in, so additional money – and usually a hefty slice of it – would need to be assigned
Because of the dependency on the phone provider and associated costs, companies weren’t able to consider and change aspects of their business as quickly as they would like. This would invariably have a delayed knock-on effect. For example, why hire sales staff right now if they cannot be set up to take or make a phone call for another couple of weeks?
Cloud has introduced more choice and control
The cloud has fundamentally changed the way that companies can establish and operate their business communications and telephony. With most businesses now using the Internet in one capacity or another, much of the platform and technology needed is already in place.
Not only has cloud telephony freed companies from the issues of having to rely on their phone provider, but it has also introduced new levels of flexibility and autonomy that means they can scale as swiftly as they wish. No longer is there a need to wait for an engineer and then also pay for the work, a company can arrange its additions, deletions and moves, and changes on its own.
This means that a business can rapidly scale capacity to suit its changing requirements, right across the organisation or just in particular areas. For example, if a company wins a major contract or starts work on a significant project requiring the temporary hiring of a number of employees, users can be added and subsequently removed without having to rely on the phone company.
Another scenario is where a business has to contend with seasonal demand. A cloud phone system does away with the often lengthy process of pre-planning, organising, installing and configuring, and stumping up the cash for all of it!
Cloud phone systems mean cleverer communications
Unlike a traditional phone system, which operates on a dedicated telephone network, a cloud phone system can be tightly integrated with a company’s IT network and applications. This introduces other functionality and features that enable businesses to scale more easily and in smarter ways.
Rather than just being about voice communication, a cloud phone system works as an intelligent communications hub that operates seamlessly with (CRM) Customer Relationship Management systems. This can put it right at the centre of customer interaction and company productivity as it can work with a company’s data systems.
For example, a company’s CRM system can work as one with the cloud phone system. Combined, the technology and applications can make life a whole lot easier and faster for employees and this can make for a smoother and more efficient experience for customers of the business. Examples include click-to-dial, where an employee simply presses a hotkey to dial a number and also screen pop features where they can instantly view information about the customer.
Call analytics can also be used as an extremely useful tool for scaling. If a business department or team is known to be underperforming or overperforming, lessons can be quickly learned and applied. It could be, for example, that part of the business requires fewer staff handling calls, call routing needs to be altered to take pressure off a particular team, or calls need to be directed to company specialists.
By Rafael Cortes, head of marketing, Foehn