Cloud Communications offers a variety of benefits to companies in the areas of cost savings, increased efficiency, increased scalability and reduced infrastructure costs among many others. However, with all of these benefits companies need to make sure they are prepared to take advantage of what the Cloud has to offer. Certain questions need to be answered and addressed before jumping to the Cloud.
Am I Currently in a Long Term Contract?
The telecommunications industry is notorious for long term contracts with auto renewing functionality. Many clients have no idea that their contract term auto renewed at the termination of their original term, locking them in at higher rates for longer terms. These contracts are typically very difficult to get out and have severe termination penalties. The typical contract length is 3 years, but it is not uncommon to see 5 year deals. At certain times, the cost savings is so dramatic that it outweighs the early termination fees. Stay up to date on your contracts and don’t get stuck with old technology for another term contract.
Can My Current Network Support Adding Voice?
How is your internet connectivity speed today? Do you have times of the day when it is slower than others? If you are already experiencing slow internet then layering a VoIP solution on top of it may be challenging. Implementing a Cloud Communications solution means your voice will be layered on your current data or internet connection. If your data is already having speed issues the last thing you want to do is add more weight to an already stressed situation. Voice is simply another form of data. What do you use the internet for? Are you streaming a lot of video? How much do you download vs. upload? Understanding the bandwidth you currently have will begin the process of understanding whether or not your network can support VoIP. Although this is a major concern, any reputable company should be engineering this properly to ensure the quality of both your data and voice stays high.
Do You Have Cabling Where the Phones will Go?
Since Cloud Communications and VoIP will be layered onto your data connection, it does require network cabling available where the phones will reside. Each outlet must be outfitted with at least Cat 5 cabling which is essentially industry standard for your typical Ethernet cable. In areas where a Cat 5 cable is not available, you will. Either need to run a data cable, or use a standard analog type phone at that location.
What Features & Capabilities Do I need With My Telephone System?
There are many different legacy phone systems with many different features still in use today. What features does your business really use and need? Most companies utilize a fraction of the functionality of the phone, but still are attracted to higher priced solutions with shiny toys (features) that may or may not ever be used. A Cloud Communications solution is about efficiency and paying for what you actually use (on many different levels) so it is important to understand what features and functionality your employees actually use on a day to day basis. Feature dumps are really cool for demonstration purposes, but do they actually make your business more productive? Is it worth the additional cost?
Make sure you are asking the right questions about the communication tools your company uses will enable you to find a better more cost efficient way to communicate. Moving to Cloud Communication has quickly become the most cost efficient communication solution for businesses. With these questions answered how will it benefit your business in moving to Cloud Communication?