The cloud has changed the business communications landscape. In the past, enterprises had the distinct advantage over smaller companies when it came to communications technology. Before the cloud, the best phone systems were on-premises systems that only big companies could implement.
That changed with the emergence of business cloud technology. Now, small and medium-scale businesses are able to employ top-grade business communications without having to spend top dollar.
But the benefits of using cloud-based business phone systems don’t stop at just the cost savings. The continuous evolution of cloud communications has not only made it feasible for small businesses to employ the best communications technology, it’s actually made it possible for them to compete against their biggest counterparts.
How? Well for one, enterprises are more hesitant to move to the cloud compared to small and medium-scale businesses. This is mostly due to already having on-premises phone systems in place that are working fine for them and the lack of willingness to risk changing something that is still working (even for something better).
This means they are not getting the advantages smaller organizations are getting from the cloud like:
Enterprise-level features on lower-priced plans
Through the cloud, smaller businesses are able to get the best features without having to shell out large sums of money.
In the past, companies had to make large capital investments for expensive hardware and infrastructure to host their own system so that they could get the best business features like auto-attendant, call forwarding, call screening, etc.
Now, any business can just subscribe to top cloud phone system providers like RingCentral and get the features they need to not only effectively communicate within and outside their organization but more efficiently as well.
This means smaller businesses get access to the best communications features, that may be even better than what some big companies have, without having to spend much.
United distributed workforce and remote work options
Another benefit that lets small businesses be more competitive is the ability to unite a distributed workforce from all over the globe under one app or system.
By virtue of being delivered via the internet, users can access their company’s business phone system from virtually anywhere as long as they have internet connection.
This also opens up the possibility of hiring remote workers for small and medium-sized businesses. They are no longer limited to hiring within the city or locale of their organization.
They can now hire people from all over the globe. This means access to more talents for the company.
Increased collaboration through cloud apps
Even with a distributed workforce due to multiple locations or remote employees, communication and collaboration is no longer a problem for smaller organizations.
Cloud-based phone systems like RingCentral can be accessed by all its users from anywhere, making it easier to communicate and collaborate in real time.
In fact, RingCentral gives businesses multiple avenues for collaboration including:
- Inbound and outbound calls from any device. Employees can also call each other via virtual extensions.
- Hosting and joining an audio conference or video meeting from anywhere if you need to meet with anyone.
- A great team collaboration tool (Glip®) that not only allows you to chat with anyone from anywhere at any time but also helps you create teams, set tasks, and even share files online.
These are just some of the examples of how RingCentral promotes collaboration. You will discover more features that let you connect easily with both your team and your customers as you explore the product.
Ability to project a bigger global image
The great thing about cloud phone systems is that it makes your business seem bigger than it already is. This is not to say that you are misleading your customer base. Rather, you want to project the legitimacy and professional image that is usually associated with big corporations.
The cloud helps a lot with that. With RingCentral, you can give off that professional image by having a phone system that automatically answers all calls and routes them to the correct department or extension instead of having an actual person answering the phone and manually transferring it to other lines.
Having the right phone number can also help you project a bigger image. A toll-free number can help you establish a national presence, while an international number can help you build a presence in a different country.
And because it is cloud-based, you do not even have to have actual physical offices around the US or around the globe. You can expand your reach virtually instead.
Scalability based on the level of the organization’s growth
Another advantage given by cloud-based communications solution is its ability to adapt to the economic condition of the company.
If your company is growing, adding new users with new phone numbers and virtual extensions would only require a few taps. Enterprises that still employ traditional systems would require new cabling to add new users to the systems.
And if the company is facing some struggles and would need to downsize, removing users, phone numbers, and virtual extensions is just as easy.
Increased productivity through interoperability of different cloud business apps
Another advantage of cloud-based technology is that it usually plays nice with other cloud-based apps.
RingCentral’s cloud-based phone system, in fact, has its own App Gallery featuring different integrations to different cloud apps.
These integrations increase productivity by adding a communications component right into some of the most popular business apps.
Each integration can have different functions including:
- Automatically matching callers to existing records in cloud CRM apps.
- Being able to instantly click-to-dial phone numbers on popular cloud productivity apps.
- Sending faxes directly from cloud storage apps.
Some of the RingCentral integrations include:
- Microsoft 365™ integration
- Agile integration
- Zoho CRM integration
- Box integration
- Google integration
You can also add a communications component on your customized solution through RingCentral APIs if you are not using any of the apps in the gallery.
These are just some of the ways that cloud communications is helping small businesses compete with large enterprises. With big companies being hesitant to move to the cloud, smaller and medium-sized businesses can continue taking advantage of services like RingCentral and close the gap further with their enterprise counterparts.
Originally published Jun 06, 2018, updated Aug 12, 2020