Cloud-Based Phone System Features and Benefits
Replace your outdated on-premise office phone system with a less expensive, more flexible, and feature-rich cloud communications platform.
The rise of cloud-based business phone systems
The limitations of traditional on-premise PBX phone systems
Private branch exchange (PBX) is a type of telephone network companies use to route calls to departments or phone extensions. Traditionally, the system itself is housed on office premises. The system machines are cumbersome and require their own storage room as well as periodic repairs and maintenance. In the past, only large companies had the resources to install and manage this kind of setup for their office phones. This changed with the emergence of cloud technology.
What is a cloud phone system?
A cloud-based phone system is a business communications solution that is hosted and maintained in the provider’s data centers—not at your office—and is delivered through your internet connection. It features a hosted PBX capability, which has the same routing and call management features of a traditional PBX while using voice over IP (VoIP) to facilitate calls over the internet. It also has other capabilities that traditional office phone systems don’t or can’t offer at affordable prices, like long-distance calling. This cloud solution is often offered as a service, so smaller businesses are able to subscribe to it instead of investing heavily on an expensive on-premise system.
Cloud-based phone system vs on-premise office phone systems
The cloud phone system changed the way companies manage calls and even do business.
Thanks to the system being hosted remotely, companies are able to enjoy the myriad of benefits and advantages that a traditional on-premise PBX setup fails to offer.
Traditional on-premise phone systems
- Expensive up-front costs for big and bulky on-site hardware
- Expensive and complex implementation
- Service and hardware upgrades requiring additional fees
- New extensions needing new cabling and installation
- Specially trained manpower required for maintenance
- Drawn out implementation of service change requests
Cloud-hosted phone systems
- No expensive, bulky hardware that require a dedicated room
- Quick installation and setup—it just takes minutes
- Works with IP phones, desk computers, and mobile devices
- No cables needed to install; uses virtual phone extensions
- Updates and upgrades are automatically rolled out to all subscribers
- Does not require maintenance from dedicated personnel
- Changes to the account can be done instantly
Why move to the RingCentral cloud phone system
Designed for business use
Get toll-free numbers along with VoIP, conferencing, and caller IDs that you can customize according to your preferences. Enjoy more capabilities like faxing, business SMS, and online meetings without switching services.
Made for flexibility and mobility
Send faxes and texts and make calls from your cell phone or tablet using your business number. Have all your calls for work routed to your device of choice using your office answering rules.
Start using your phone service within 24 hours. Need to add, remove, or change lines? No problem--you can customize your phone system through your online account.
You only need to sign up to start making and taking calls through the internet. You don't need to deal with cable and other expensive specialized devices to make it work.
Award-winning customer support
Having trouble setting up and customizing your phone system? RingCentral offers 24/7 customer assistance that includes technical support, consultations, and online resources.
Everything you need in one phone system plan
You get the most robust business communications solution in the industry with RingCentral. No need to have separate bills for voice calling, online meetings, fax, texting, and team messaging--just one itemized bill per month.
A flexible and mobile cloud communications platform
For businesses with multiple locations and dispersed workforces
A cloud phone system serves all locations and your entire workforce by centralizing all your communication channels in one cloud platform, delivered via the internet. With this, all employees from every location—including home offices and workers on the go—share the same robust features from a single unified business phone system.
RingCentral also makes it easy to communicate however you want, including through:
- Business phone numbers: Choose from toll-free, local, and even international phone numbers. You can even add virtual phone extensions, which can be accessed from anywhere and on any device, not just on the assigned desk phone.
- Online meetings: Host and join video conferences with screen sharing.
- Team messaging: Message, assign tasks, and share files to your teammates on one platform.
What’s even better is that you can do all these from anywhere in the world through the RingCentral unified app for PCs and Mac® or for mobile Android™ or iOS® devices.
A scalable virtual phone system
Get a phone system that grows as your business grows. Through an online administration dashboard, you can easily purchase, activate, and assign business phone numbers and virtual extensions to new users or departments. No need to wait for the provider to install new cables and other hardware to have the changes implemented. All it takes is a couple of clicks on your computer or a few taps on your mobile device to get it done instantly.
For businesses of all types and sizes
A cloud telephony solution that works in any industry
Businesses across the globe are switching their phone systems to the cloud because of its ability to adapt to each industry’s communications requirements. And with its ability to serve and connect multiple locations via a single solution, it provides flexible options for companies that need to run their business in unique ways.
RingCentral has proven its worth in more than one industry, including:
- High tech
- Real estate
An enterprise-level communications solution within reach of small businesses
RingCentral has enterprise-level features that can match any modern corporate phone system in the market. Aside from top-notch automated call management capabilities, it also boasts HD voice and meetings, team collaboration tools, analytics, and advanced account administration. The best part is that with no expensive up-front costs, even small and medium-scale businesses can implement enterprise-level communications for their company, allowing them to compete against bigger organizations on a more even ground.
A hosted phone system that plays well with other business apps
Has integrations with the most popular and most widely used business apps
RingCentral lets you improve productivity and efficiency by bringing the functions of its industry-leading cloud phone system to the applications you use every day for your business. This eliminates the need to switch from a specific app to RingCentral when you need to send a message, make a call, or have a meeting.
RingCentral offers the largest ecosystem of integrations for apps in the communications and collaboration space, which includes:
- Google G Suite integrations
- Microsoft Office 365™ integrations
- Salesforce® integration
- Okta integration
- Box integration
- Amazon Alexa integration
Features open APIs for integration to your custom applicationss
RingCentral allows you to seamlessly integrate business communications features into your key business processes via open APIs. This can help your organization improve efficiency by automating workflows. Our Data API can give you valuable insights into how you use your cloud phone system and your business applications.
RingCentral open APIs include
- Voice API
- SMS API
- Messaging API
- Meetings API
- Fax API
- Data API
RingCentral plans for your small business
PAY ANNUALLY AND SAVE UP TO 33%.
- No limit on number of users
- Business phone numbers in over 100 countries
- Unlimited internet fax
- Unlimited audio conferencing
- Video meetings with up to 100 participants
- Up to 24-hour meeting duration
- Quality-of-service reports
Popular integrations including
Office 365, G Suite, Slack,
- 24/7 support
Message, Video, Phone, Open Platform
- Automatic call recording
- Single Sign-on
- Multi-site admin and management
- Up to 8-digit extensions with site codes
- Hot desking
- Advanced call handling including whisper, barge, and more
- Video meetings with up to 200 participants
- Real-time analytics
- Popular CRM integrations with Salesforce, Zendesk, and more
- Industry-specific integrations with Canvas, Smarsh, and more
- Developer platform and custom integrations
Business phone or toll-free numbers
Unlimited calls within the US/CA*
Unlimited Business SMS
Visual voicemail and voicemail-to-email
Call management and phone system
- Answering rules
- Call forwarding
- Call transfer
- Call screening
- Call flip
- Call logs
- Shared lines*
- Call park
Call log reports
Unlimited internet fax
Unlimited audio conferencing
Video meetings and participants
Premium with RingCentral Video (up to 200)
Premium with RingCentral Meetings (up to 100)
Standard with RingCentral Video (up to 100)
Standard with RingCentral Meetings (up to 4)
G Suite, Slack, and more
Multi-level auto attendant
Developer platform and custom integrations
How does a cloud-based phone system work?
In the past, the ability to install a proper office phone system is exclusive to large enterprises and corporations. After all, you would need to pay a large capital upfront just for the hardware needed to make it work. That does not even count the complex cabling and special manpower needed for the actual installation.
Now, every business, big or small, has access to an automated online business phone system
But how does a cloud-based phone system work? How is it able to do what only expensive traditional on-premise systems are able to do?
To answer those questions, you need to have some understanding of the technology. The cloud phone system is actually a collection of different technological components working together to create this online telephony system.
These components include:
VoIP for transmission of voice calls
While cloud phone systems can work with regular telecom carriers, most modern business phone systems use voice over internet protocol (VoIP) as its voice call component.
It is actually a set of protocols (SIP, RTP, etc.) working together to transmit voice data across networks, including the internet, in real time. This allows it to work in a way that’s similar to how the public switched telephone network (PSTN) works.
But because it uses computer networks, it is more flexible and more mobile than PSTN.
Virtual PBX for managing calls
This is the core of a cloud phone system. The virtual PBX feature is responsible for the proper routing of incoming calls to the right department or extension. In the past, your on-premise systems had large PBX boxes that have to be maintained by specially trained professionals.
But as was said before, it changed with the arrival of the cloud, where it became possible for the service to be hosted remotely. This brings us to the next component.
Cloud phone system provider’s data center
The main difference between on-premise and cloud-based phone systems is how they are hosted. And believe it or not, it makes a ton of difference.
As mentioned previously, on-premise systems are hosted internally and exclusively serve the specific office of the organization where their hardware are set up. This means each individual location could need its own set of expensive equipment—and that is why only large corporations were able to use it.
With a cloud hosted phone system, everything is scaled up. Instead of being housed in a single server in a small room, the service is hosted in multiple servers in multiple data centers to ensure redundancy and reliability.
Also, instead of being delivered via a private network, it is delivered via the internet, which can be accessed by everyone within the secured network.
The SaaS vs SaaP model
Another main factor that separates cloud phone systems from on-premise systems is the software as a product (SaaP) vs software as a service (SaaS) concept.
Instead of selling the product exclusively to businesses under the SaaP model, cloud communications providers opted to develop and maintain their product in house and provide it to businesses for lease or on a subscription basis through the SaaS model.
Aside from removing the need for upfront capital costs, it also removed the need for professional maintenance. In addition, all upgrades and updates are rolled out to all users instead of being offered separately (often for a fee).
These are the components that make cloud phone systems what they are. More than the technological advancements, it is the hosting and delivery methods that really pave the way for this revolutionary change in how businesses communicate.
Why RingCentral is the best cloud phone system provider (according to experts)
RingCentral is the leading provider of global cloud communications solutions. Its cloud phone system has paved the way for over 350,000 companies across many industries to successfully make the switch to the cloud.
With RingCentral’s flexible offerings, organizations seeking cloud-based options to replace their old phone systems can find a solution that can be built and scaled according to their business requirements.
Aside from granting subscribers unparalleled freedom from the limitations and expenses of on-premise setups, features such as powerful collaboration tools, easy call management, integrations with business apps, and contact center capabilities are what attract more and more customers to RingCentral.
Still not convinced? Read on to find out what other reputable organizations are saying about RingCentral:
A Leader in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for UCaaS, Worldwide
RingCentral is recognized as one of the leaders in the Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), Worldwide report. Moreover, RingCentral is also positioned furthest in the Leaders Quadrant for completeness of vision and ability to execute.
IHS Markit ranks RingCentral #1 in the 2018 North American UCaaS Scorecard
RingCentral is also ranked #1 in IHS Markit’s 2018 North American Unified Communications as a Service Scorecard. This recognition was achieved due to RingCentral’s market share position, business growth, product capabilities, and continued traction among mid-market and large enterprise businesses.
TMC 2018 Unified Communications Product of the Year Award
The RingCentral app (previously known as RingCentral Glip™) was also named winner of the 2018 Unified Communications Product of the Year Award presented by Internet Telephony Magazine. The award honors the most innovative unified communications solutions in the industry, and the RingCentral app was selected for its mobile-first, intuitive user interface and robust capabilities.
2018 API World Award for Communications APIs
RingCentral was also awarded the 2018 API Award in the Communications APIs category by API World. RingCentral was chosen based on three criteria, which are:
- Has attracted attention and awareness
- Is generally well-regarded by the developer and engineering community
- And is a leader in its sector for innovation
These recognitions show that RingCentral is not only loved by its subscribers, but is also respected by its peers in the industry.
If you want to know more about RingCentral, you can call ((888) 222-5511).