Hosted Telephony: What Are the Benefits?

The humble telephone has come a long way in recent years. The desk phone was once at the center of every business. In today’s widely distributed and flexible workforce, the landline is becoming redundant. However, voice communication certainly remains a fundamental part of running a business. So how can you keep up with the times and support a dispersed workforce with the more mobile form of business communications they need? Hosted telephony is your answer: more specifically telephony hosted by a cloud communications provider, such as RingCentral.

What is hosted telephony?

Let’s back up a bit and take a look at what “hosted telephony” actually is. Hosted telephony can be defined as a form of VoIP (voice over internet protocol), which is hosted in the cloud, meaning that no physical hardware is required on-site—other than perhaps your choice of handset. But even then, you can use a desktop application or opt to have all calls diverted to mobile devices, negating the need for desk phones altogether.

If you have a team that is constantly on the move or working from remote locations, hosted telephony can help them stay in touch, even when out and about. Each staff member uses a single contact number that they can carry with them at all times—meaning their office landline number can be redirected to mobile devices and used anywhere with a sufficient internet signal.

This makes flexible working and hot desking at multiple locations possible and easy to set up, while the trend towards BYOD policies is fully supported.

There are multiple benefits for hosting your telephony in the cloud:

Easy to set up and maintain

When you go down the road of cloud hosted telephony, desk phones and conference phones generally arrive at your office or your remote workers’ homes preconfigured. All you’ll need to do is plug the phones into a high-speed internet connection and your team can get started making calls right away. Gone are the days of finding bulky hardware its own office space; the cloud-phone system infrastructure resides in external cloud data centers.

If implementing a RingCentral cloud solution, mobile workers can also easily experience the full power of the business phone system and more—including access to voicemail and the company directory, audio and video conferencing, team messaging and collaboration, online fax, and business SMS—by downloading the free RingCentral Mobile app to their iOS and Android devices. You and your team will have the capability to communicate however you want, from anywhere, on any device, giving your company the agility it needs to do its best business.

Easy to use

Many cloud communications solutions, such as those offered by RingCentral, do the hard work of integrating the applications your business uses every day into your hosted telephony system. You’ll have the ability to make and receive calls without leaving Gmail, Office 365, Zoho, or a whole list of everyday apps. There’s also the possibility of scheduling meetings and conference calls directly from your applications.

Beyond voice calling capabilities, team messaging is taking the communications world by storm due to its simplicity in streamlining communications and the potential it offers for working nimbly and effectively. Many cloud-hosted telephony providers also go beyond the phone system and offer team messaging and collaboration products, like RingCentral Glip for example. Glip seamlessly integrates features like global video calling, HD video conferencing, screen sharing, and file sharing in one user-friendly and secure application.

Easy to manage

Another benefit of cloud hosted telephony is the clear cost and time savings companies can enjoy. Having all your communications in one simple account dashboard eliminates the need for costly technical specialists or service calls to remote offices. Anyone can quickly and easily manage users, locations, and devices—anywhere, anytime. Plus, individual users have the power to control many of their own settings, minimizing the need for IT time and resources.

Easy to scale

If expansion is in the cards, cloud hosted telephony makes the transition easy. As most hosted systems operate on a license-per-user basis, new lines can be added almost immediately and with great cost efficiency. Installing new lines or moving business premises has traditionally been a great headache for communications managers, but hosted telephony makes the whole process simple, with the system powered by the cloud rather than traditional phone lines.

Virtual numbering is another bonus feature of cloud hosted telephony. It allows businesses to create a local presence even if they don’t have a physical presence on main street. Most providers also allow free internal calls, even between different buildings. This, along with the reduced need for ongoing maintenance, can help consolidate costs.

So how can cloud hosted telephony help your business thrive? With its easy setup and management, coupled with the cost savings and scalability potential you’ll benefit from, it’s a move that you’ll want to take seriously, especially as the clock is ticking on traditional PBX solutions.

There are multiple reasons to embrace cloud communications, and one thing is for sure: the outlook is extremely positive for ambitious businesses with expansion plans to be fully devoted to cloud hosted telephony.