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The modern business technology landscape is so different from what it was a couple of decades ago. In the past, enterprises had a huge advantage over smaller businesses because most of the advanced business technology required huge capital investment. This was because the technology needed to be hosted within the premises of the company and required its own network or infrastructure.
The same goes for business communications. For the longest time, on-premise phone systems were considered enterprise-level only because, well, only large enterprises are able to afford them.
That all changed with the arrival of the cloud. Now, most business tools are delivered via the internet–and that includes how a business communicates. As a result, it gave birth to what most refer to as a virtual phone service.
Virtual phone service refers to the combination of different virtual communications tools like VoIP, virtual phone numbers, and cloud PBX to provide businesses with a communications solution that can be accessed from anywhere via the internet.
How a virtual phone service works is that it leverages cloud technology. Instead of businesses hosting the service within their premises, providers host their service on their own cloud data centers and deliver the service through the internet.
This setup has given this business communications solution a distinct edge over on-premise systems and gave organizations more reason to go virtual with their business phone service.
The traditional on-premise phone systems require businesses to purchase and set up expensive hardware like servers and PBX boxes, not to mention the cabling needed for the system and the specialized manpower for maintaining it. The price tag is already high before you even get to use the system. The worst part is that the hardware will only become obsolete over time and will need to be replaced in the future.
Fortunately, this is no longer a problem with virtual phone services. Since they are hosted by the provider at their own data center and are delivered via the internet, they are able to offer it to businesses on a subscription basis. Organizations that need a business phone system can simply sign up for the service, use it, and pay the periodic fees for using it. If they feel they do not need it anymore or if they’ve found another option, they can simply unsubscribe from the service. No getting stuck to a technology that is not meeting your needs anymore.
While using VoIP phones for your virtual phone service is the ideal approach, it is not a requirement at all.
In fact, you and your employees can use the phone service with your laptops, desktop computers, or mobile phones. Simply add your employees as a user to the system and they can start using the service by logging in to their account or by downloading the necessary desktop or mobile app from your provider, which will let you and your employees use your internet-connected devices for your business communication needs.
Traditional phone systems require you to be on the premises of your business to be able to manage them.
With a virtual phone service, you are able to easily manage your business phone system right in the palm of your hand. As an administrator, you can access your account to order new business phones, add or delete new users or departments, and even grant admin and user privileges using your cell phone. Regular users can also make changes to their call handling, notification, and caller ID settings from their apps.
In the past, you would need to install separate phone systems for each office location you have for your business. In some cases, you’d even have to rely on different providers. This results in disparate systems that are not compatible with each other.
With a virtual phone system, however, you can use a single system for all your business locations. You can even have one single virtual phone number for incoming calls and the cloud PBX component will route it to the business location it is intended for.
As mentioned above, the cloud PBX component takes care of call routing for incoming calls. One of its features is the auto attendant, which automatically answers all incoming calls before the cloud PBX does its thing. It removes the need to hire a receptionist to answer each call because each call is answered and routed automatically.
It provides your business a more “enterprise-like” image, especially when you add a professionally recorded greeting.
You can also add virtual extensions to represent individuals or entire departments within your company. This way, when a call is made, the caller can simply dial the extension number to reach the team or individual they are looking for.
You can also set up your own dial-by-name directory, so even if callers do not know the extension they are looking for, they can still search for it through the phone system.
In the past, you only hire people who live within the vicinity of your business’s location because they need to be able to come to the office to work.
But since virtual phone services can be accessed from anywhere, an applicant’s home address is not a big concern anymore. As a result, your business can now explore remote and flexible working options for your existing and future workforce. With remote working options on the table, you can expand your search all over the country (or even the world) to hire the best talent out there because they don’t have to be in the office to be connected to your business. They can work remotely from their homes instead.
These are just some of the benefits businesses experience when they make the shift from traditional phone systems. The savings and mobility alone make a virtual phone service the best phone service for small businesses.