The cloud has been used for years to foster collaboration by allowing users to access and share information from anywhere. Now more than ever, businesses have a need for flexible and reliable systems to power their internal and external interactions. Cue software-centric (aka cloud-based) telecom services like voice, video chat and messaging.
As business leaders look to adopt cloud-based telecom solutions, they want to understand how these tools will benefit their business and their customers. In short, cloud-based telecom has enabled companies to expand their global customer base, improve customer support deployments and provide global customers with the solutions they need to excel. Further, the scalability and flexibility these solutions offer allow businesses to innovate their offerings in response to unique circumstances to maintain or increase market share while reducing overall costs.
Finding a solution that satisfies a business’ and its customers’ needs can seem daunting. For years enterprise decision makers have invested heavily in their on-prem IT infrastructure, so many are hesitant to explore alternative solutions while still waiting to see ROI on older ventures. In fact, in 2019, 80 percent of workloads were still on-premises. Although the rapid spike in the remote workforce this year likely increased this percentage, it is important to unpack the negative perceptions decision makers still hold about the cloud.
Below are five of the common concerns organizations of all sizes have raised – and eventually overcome – when migrating to an IP-based carrier.
Myth 1: Cloud-based telecom means less control
Enterprise leaders may think they will have less control over their private branch exchange (PBX) if it is hosted offsite. However, businesses have stronger control and greater flexibility over their offerings with cloud-based systems.
For example, instead of changing physical hardware systems to fit the business’ evolving needs, cloud-based systems allow for changes to be made in a streamlined and efficient way, often with just one click. End users also have the control to modify the way they interact with a business in real-time (i.e., by setting calling or texting preferences by specific phone numbers or locations).
Myth 2: The cloud does not offer flexibility
Also false. One of the key benefits of the cloud is its scalability. Traditionally, IT professionals deal with hardware that offers a fixed amount of data storage and computing power. However, cloud environments allow users to leverage as many or as little resources depending on their specific needs at any given time.
This flexibility allows customers to utilize the cloud to its fullest extent as their needs evolve. It also makes the cloud more cost-effective, as the business pays for the services they are using. This scalability is especially critical in uncertain economic times when a business might be forced to scale their cloud architecture up or down, based on customer requirements and market demand.
Myth 3: The cloud exposes data to more risk
There are a few things to unpack when discussing security here. First, despite sophisticated hackers and looming security threats, the cloud is still a highly secure option and can be even more secure than on-premise systems due to the industry’s and communication service provider’s (CSP) dedication to ongoing security best practices. For example, cloud providers not only have dedicated internal resources but also regularly rely on external auditing to maintain compliance and certifications. The HyperNetwork, and other adaptive routing networks, will redirect traffic in the instance of a network outage or security threat.
Many decision makers also worry that because public cloud environments are usually multitenant - meaning they operate multiple users’ cloud data on the same server - their data is at risk of being exposed to other users. This is a rational fear for cloud newcomers, but cloud providers that operate a multitenant environment separate the data to keep information restricted to the customer or user that it supports.
Myth 4: The sound quality is poor on hosted phone systems
Voice quality should be a top priority when evaluating cloud-based carriers. It is critical that IP service providers can ensure carrier-grade voice and messaging services and minimize the presence of latency and jitter. Notably, some software-centric service providers are certified as CLECs (Competitive Local Exchange Carriers), which provides direct access to telecom resources that are carrier-grade, high performing and reliable.
Veteran cloud carriers also offer additional performance-related functions including the ability to provide E911 emergency service, caller ID and troubleshooting. These providers are committed to quality and technical expertise, which goes hand in hand with powering quality customer experiences.
Myth 5: The cloud risks IT jobs
As automation technology and cloud-based solutions continue to evolve, there have been concerns that IT jobs will be at risk. However, transitioning towards cloud communication solutions does not make an internal team obsolete. Instead, it allows the current team to dedicate time toward innovation and improvements, rather than addressing tactical issues, making updates or porting phone numbers. Overall, the cloud presents the opportunity for talent to be utilized more effectively and reduces the need for the business to rely on or look for legacy skill sets.
Despite these common myths, businesses should consider transitioning communication services to the cloud. The benefits associated with more control over their PBX, increased flexibility, enhanced security, improved sound quality and more compelling job opportunities for IT professionals are factors that combined can deliver promising ROI.
In these unique times, businesses will continue to turn to cloud-based services for streamlined, efficient business operations. Global adoption of cloud-based communication services will continue to increase as awareness of the benefits and inaccuracy of the myths becomes more widespread.
About the Author
Darach Beirne is vice president of customer success at Flowroute, now part of Intrado. With more than 25 years of experience building and leading B2B customer success, Darach leads Flowroute’s dedicated customer support team, driving strategy for customer success and improved customer satisfaction. Prior to joining Flowroute, Darach lead professional service and sales engineering teams for providers such as Contenix, Huawei/3Leafsytems, InQuira, Siebel/Scopus and Ingres. He also has assisted high-tech companies develop strategies to improve the customer experience and increase scalability.