All communications will move to the cloud in the future. This statement has been in almost all business news, magazines, and interviews in the past few months. But if you look around, it’s easy to see that the future is already here. Cloud telephony solutions are already being used by some businesses in India.
Cloud communications are already here and helping organisations in all kinds of fields, from the IVR that greets you when you call Domino’s to the broadcast calls from your local politicians.
Even though cloud services as a whole are important to the growth of the world, Indian businesses have quickly realised the benefits of cloud telephony. They know that in order to help their clients through the ongoing digital revolution, they need a plan to stay flexible and proactive.
Cloud telephony, the communication platform of the future, is the best choice for any business that puts customer communication first.
What is Cloud Telephony?
Cloud telephony, which is also called “cloud calling,” is a unified communication service that lets you talk over the phone using a third-party host. With these cloud telephony services, users can make and receive calls directly from any computer, laptop, or mobile device with an internet connection. This means that traditional business phone systems like handsets and PBX boxes are no longer needed.
Some important and well-known cloud telephony services are:
- IVR Call recording
- Call conferencing
- Greetings made just for you and a lot more.
Small and medium-sized businesses stand to gain the most from cloud telephony, which will help them compete with bigger businesses that have more money.
How does Cloud Telephony work?
The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) or the Internet Protocol (IP) is used to deliver cloud telephony services (IP). VoIP, a Voice internet protocol, is used for transferring audio data. It changes analog signals (like voice) into digital signals so that you can make calls over the internet or in the cloud.
Customers or prospects call the number for cloud telephony. The call is sent to the cloud telephony server’s PRI lines.
Cloud telephony handles call requests based on business rules, such as playing IVR, forwarding the call to a specific extension, ring group, etc.
The cloud telephony server puts the agents in touch with each other based on how the call routing is set up.
You can set up the cloud telephony server to do other things while agents are talking to customers. For example, you can record calls for later analysis, let agents work with the CRM via API calls, etc.
Cloud Telephony’s Capability
Communication is the most important part of any business. Companies that don’t connect with their clients or give their employees a clear way to work together will fall behind in the race. So, strong communication systems are one of the first things businesses put money into.
Cloud telephony comes into play at this point. It has the potential to change the way businesses work.
Businesses can move all of their communication systems to the cloud thanks to the power of automation. It not only reduces their CAPEX by a lot, but it also gives them tools that are efficient, useful, and necessary and give them a competitive edge.
Cloud telephony can help businesses grow in the following ways:
- Easy and cheap to scale up
- 99.99% uptime
- Save a lot of money.
- Allows for effective marketing campaigns and analysis of those campaigns
- Provides international and toll-free phone numbers
- enables effective work from afar
- Call analytics to improve the efficiency of a business.
- Instant and safe backup and storage of data
Cloud telephony has many benefits, but it also helps sales and customer service teams. Customer-facing teams can have better conversion rates if they offer things like missed call services, analytical reports, and scheduled callbacks.
What is different about cloud telephony, and what makes it better?
On-premise phone systems need to have the whole infrastructure set up in one place. Now, this does give you full control over the phone systems, but it also has some bad points. Since these are old-fashioned landline systems, they need a lot of upkeep and are affected by the weather. As a result, they can also be damaged for a number of different reasons.
Cloud telephony solutions are based in the cloud, so they don’t need any infrastructure or hardware other than the phones themselves. Also, because they are hosted in the cloud, they don’t change much when the weather changes and aren’t easily damaged. Yes, it may make people feel like they have less control over the infrastructure, but it also takes away their responsibility for building and keeping up the infrastructure.
In this way, the amount of time, money, and people saved is big enough to make up for what some people might think of as less control. In reality, you get even more control than with an on-premise system.
When traditional and cloud-based phone systems are compared, the latter is found to be much more scalable. A company can meet changing customer needs with just a phone call. They can change how much they use it whenever they want, so they only pay for what they use. A traditional system, on the other hand, can only be made bigger (at the intensive cost of expensive investment in hardware and manpower).
Growth of Cloud Telephony
With the cloud in place, there was a new way to send voice and multimedia. Let’s look at what happens on 2G and 3G networks to help us understand this better.
When a phone call is made, a link is made between the person making the call and the person receiving it. This link has a certain amount of bandwidth, and the call goes through it. As long as the call is going through, the link will be there. This method, called the “Circuit Switching Method,” is easy to use and works well.
When the cloud came along, the idea of sending voice and other media over the internet was born. This led to the development of Voice over Internet Protocol, or IP technology (VoIP). With VoIP, no bandwidth needs to be set aside for any call. Instead, the data is split up into smaller pieces called “packets.” Since each packet is sent separately, the bandwidth can be shared by more than one user.
But it’s easier to say than to do. Because different people send different packets over the same line, there is a chance that some packets will arrive late or not at all. This is a big problem for voice-based communication because parts of words, whole words, or even whole sentences can get lost, making any conversation meaningless.
As technology has improved, many changes have been made to the packet-switched network, making it more reliable than ever.
Price and Quality- Balancing the Both
When businesses used VoIP, they could make calls using only their broadband networks. This made doing business easy and cheap. An organization could work in more than one location without having to set up an on-premise system in each one.
But the lack of reliability was still too much for many organizations to accept VoIP, so the choice between VoIP and traditional systems became a choice between cost and quality.
This was solved when 4G LTE came out. Long-Term Evolution, which is what LTE stands for, has made the internet much faster. 4G LTE is at least ten times faster than 3G. Voice calls over 4G LTE use the following two technologies:
CSFB (Circuit-Switched Fall Back): This is a simple solution that allows data to be sent over the LTE network while voice calls are made over a 3G or 2G network.
VoLTE (Voice over LTE): Like VoIP, VoLTE uses packet switching to make voice calls, but the network provider invests a lot in the underlying network infrastructure to avoid latency problems. Also, because LTE is at least ten times faster than 3G, the reduction in latency is a lot better.
Not only did VoLTE end the big debate, but it also paved the way for the rise of UC&C, which stands for Unified Communications and Collaborations. It is bringing together of different business communication tools. All of an organization’s e-mails, voicemails, voice communications, web, messaging, real-time communications, and conferences, as well as their schedules and due dates, can be put into a single system that can handle them all.
Cloud telephony solutions is appealing to small businesses because of the following:
“The need for scalability is the most important reason to look at new VoIP systems,” says Software Advice’s buyer report. When buying new technologies, one of the hardest things for small businesses to figure out is whether or not they can grow with their needs.
After talking to many of our own customers, we know that cloud telephony is good for small businesses, especially in terms of scalability. Before, many businesses used hard phones, but when they started opening up in different places and growing quickly, their phone system couldn’t keep up. They realized that on-site phone systems weren’t going to work.
In this case, cloud telephony can be a huge help. A cloud phone system only needs one click to add a user. Adding a new extension or giving your agents more licenses is as easy as calling a number on your cell phone. There is no need to make changes to the infrastructure that would cost a lot of money and take a lot of time, both of which are valuable resources that small businesses can’t afford to lose.
2. Integration with tools for doing business
Using different tools can hurt both your customer service and your sales processes. Imagine a salesperson talking to a prospect. They might need to take notes, set up a follow-up, and keep track of all their prospects. In the same way, a support agent would have to check in with customers more than once to make sure a problem has been fixed.
Hard phones slow down the process because an agent or rep can’t link a call to a prospect, there’s no way to keep track of a prospect’s questions, and things can quickly get out of hand. This will hurt their work, but more importantly, it will hurt their morale.
With cloud telephony, they can easily connect their phone system to their CRM or help desk. This makes it easy to connect each call to a specific customer. They wouldn’t have to switch between tools, and all of their information would be in one place.
A business can benefit a lot from a smooth workflow. One of our customers was growing quickly and missed a lot of calls because of it. Since switching to a cloud phone system, they say, “they brought much-needed order to their chaotic workflow” and were able to cut the number of calls they missed by up to 35%.
3. Reporting and Analysis
Today, data is the most important thing. To analyze and make business decisions, it’s important to have data that is easy to get to. A study by Deloitte found that 72% of companies think they can improve the customer experience by using analytics.
Most on-premise phone systems don’t have analytics, so you can’t find out how well your teams are doing or how happy your customers are. This can make all the difference for a small business. Businesses that take a proactive approach set goals, and closely track their progress tend to do better than those that don’t. Small businesses can’t take the risk of not knowing what’s going on.
With tools like call recording, a small business phone system gives them the information they need to figure out what they are doing right and where they are going wrong. With the help of useful analytics, small businesses can now measure their performance in numbers and give better customer service.
When a customer has a question, they expect a quick answer. Not being at your desk is no reason to miss a customer call. When it comes to customer service, small businesses can do a lot better than bigger ones, which may find it hard to give personalized and quick service.
When a business has to use an on-premise system, it is tied to its desks (and in the past). With cloud telephony, small businesses can quickly help customers no matter where they are, as long as they have an internet connection. This gives small business owners a lot of freedom because they can always stay in touch, even when they’re not in the office.
This also makes it possible to work from home or work while traveling. CoSo Cloud did a study that found that 77% of employees are more productive when they work from home. This shows that remote work is on the rise and is here to stay.
Small businesses stand to gain the most from this, too. Space is often a big issue for new businesses, and hiring agents remotely saves them money on rent. It also gives them the option to hire agents temporarily if they need more bandwidth. Remote work is also good for the environment. A big company like Dell tried it out and found that their U.S. employees avoid 2.7 billion round trips per year by telecommuting. This is the same as cutting 30 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year from their commuting footprint.
5. Cost Savings
Small businesses need to save money, and there is no better way to do that than with a cloud phone system.
Experts say that VoIP can cut the costs of starting a new business by about 90%. Think about it: without cloud telephony, small businesses would have to buy hard phones and phone cables, set up servers, hire technical help and rent a huge amount of space just for their phone system. On top of that, they would have to pay for ongoing maintenance and sign contracts that would keep them in this setting for at least three to five years.
When compared to their current system, a small business that switches to VoIP can expect to save 40% on local calls. This is because most cloud phone systems have cheaper call rates, and businesses can also buy local numbers in other countries and call at local rates with cloud phone systems.
What are the most important things to look for in a cloud telephony?
The market for cloud telephony has grown a lot as more businesses choose cloud platforms over on-premise setups. How can businesses choose the right platform for their business model from among the many options?
Before you choose a Cloud Telephony Service for your business, you should ask yourself the following important questions.
1. What kinds of things can the platform do?
It’s important to write down your company’s goals and how you plan to reach them by choosing the right cloud telephony software. Even though it might be tempting to skip this step and choose a cloud telephony software based on online reviews, it’s best to spend some time with your team coming up with a list of requirements.
Here are some of the questions you can ask yourself or the team:
- Does the platform record phone calls? Is there anything else that costs money?
- Is there a direct way to connect the cloud telephony software with the CRM you already have?
- How much does it cost to call? Is there a fee for a toll number that sounds fancy?
- Can you send a lot of messages at once?
- Do you have access to the dashboard for agents, and can you make reports to look at how the team is doing?
2. Will the platform give customers a good experience?
If you want to get more money back from your communications investments, you need to make sure your customers have a good time. So, you need to work with a provider who shows a strong commitment to customer satisfaction and value. By doing this, you’ll make it easier for customers to interact with you and give them better service and help at every step of the way.
3. Is your information safe on the platform?
In customer communication, sensitive information about the customer is shared. So, it’s important to know if the platform’s security is strong enough to keep your information safe. The customer database is the most important part of any business because it shows how trustworthy the brand is.
Here are some important security checkpoints:
- Security certifications: ISO certifications and GDPR compliance can be a good place to start when looking to see if the cloud telephony platform you’re considering meets industry security standards.
- 2FA Authentication for Accounts: Make sure the 2-factor authentication is turned on to stop anyone from logging in without permission.
- Auditing, logging, and monitoring: This lets you see who and when is using your platform.
- Plan for backing up and recovering data: Keeps data from being lost in any way.
- Security measures and administrative compliance certifications can help make sure that a business’s communications infrastructure doesn’t create holes that could hurt its operations.
4. Financial Performance
By building a long-term business with a cloud communications provider, you can avoid changes to new communications software, user experiences, and devices that could be disruptive. So, for businesses to choose the best long-term partner, they need to look at the provider’s financial stability using key metrics like revenue growth, profitability, market share, and the growth and loss of customers. Companies must also ask for performance data and customer references to get a better idea of how reliable a provider is and how strong the market is.
Indian businesses and Cloud Telephony
The way businesses talk to their customers has changed because of cloud communications. Not only that, but the fact that they are so common has also made people expect more from them. This quick change in how people interact and what they expect has made it possible for technology to spread to more areas of the Indian market.
Indian companies are quickly jumping on the VoIP bandwagon, but many other cloud telephony services have also been used successfully by many brands. Tech-based ride-hailing companies marketing campaigns like RedBus and Ola have used voice and SMS broadcasting tools many times.
Food delivery giants like Swiggy and Zomato use tools to hide users’ phone numbers to protect their privacy. Also, companies like Airtel and Vodafone have seen a big improvement in their customers’ experiences since they switched their customer service to voice-based IVR services.
Cloud telephony can even help non-profits do their good work. With missed call services, organizations like Amnesty International have made it possible for many people to report social problems without giving their names. IVRs can also work with local languages, which means that a single tool could easily reach people in different parts of the country.
But India’s startup culture is the one that will gain the most from cloud telephony services. Cloud solutions have helped them grow quickly by giving them access to enterprise-level software at prices that are easy on their budget. Cloud telephony services are also very scalable, which made it easy for startups like Rapido to move into new markets.
The Indian government is also doing a lot to take advantage of the opportunities that are opening up as technology changes. Niti Aayog, along with AWS, opened the Frontier Technologies Cloud Innovation Centre. This shows that they are interested in cloud communications.
Future of Cloud Telephony
We saw in 2020 how cloud telephony helped businesses keep running even when their storefronts were closed.
For the cloud, the next few years will be marked by a greater need for flexibility. And, yes, the stage is indeed set for more growth and maturity.
As of 2019, businesses had spent more than 19% of their cloud budget on cloud-related services like implementation, consulting, migration, and managed services. The report says that by 2022, this number will rise to 28%. It also shows that Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is likely to be the market segment that grows the fastest.
Cloud is where business is now and where it’s going. Market leaders are using these technologies quickly to completely change how they do business. Service providers will also focus on flexible and scalable subscription-based models. We also think that hybrid cloud models and AI will grow.
Banking, travel and logistics, real estate, education, and healthcare are some of the most important areas where cloud communications can make a huge difference and become an important part of how these areas work in the future. All of this is because cloud communications are so fast, secure, and easy to use.
Office24by7 is the best company in the world for cloud telephony. Its award-winning dedicated cloud telephony solution helps businesses grow without sacrificing quality or cost.
As the leader in cloud telephony, Office24by7 makes sure that all businesses, no matter how big or small, have access to scalable and reliable unified communications. It has the most affordable services for cloud telephony.
Screen in Real-Time
This feature makes it possible to keep an eye on agents and see if they are taking customer calls, how long they have been on a call with a customer, etc. This helps the managers keep track of how well all the agents are doing.
The cloud telephony system from Office24by7 has three kinds of virtual numbers: landline numbers, mobile numbers, and toll-free numbers.
Transferring a call
With this feature, customer calls can be sent to an admin number when there are no agents available to answer them. If there isn’t an admin around, the call gets sent to the manager.
The cloud telephony solution from Office24by7 includes a multi-level IVR that can route calls to agents without the help of a person.
Messages like “welcome” or “hello” can be set and changed based on what the client wants.
Calling in to record
Voice templates that can be used in the IVR system can be made. Each voice template is made by calling the person whose voice will be used and asking them to record it.
With the Office24by7 cloud telephony solution, customers can leave voicemails that agents can listen to when they have time.
Setting up IVR calls
Office24by7’s cloud telephony solution lets IVR menus and messages be scheduled by date and time, so they can fit with how businesses run.
Audio File Upload
Office24by7’s cloud-based telephony solution lets you add audio files from the library to your campaigns.
From the given text, it is possible to make an audio file. Then, the IVR menu can use these sound files.
The customer is sent to the same agent without hearing the IVR message or any other messages (one-day activation available).
In Queue Message
While the customer is waiting in line, music or a message will be played.
On Hold Music (MOH)
Agents can play music while customers are waiting in line or on hold.
A virtual phone number that is a caller ID for the target audience and agents for an outbound campaign.
Automatic Call Handling
Gives you the choice of using round robin, ring all, or linear methods to send calls.
Call data such as incoming, outgoing, and missed calls can be seen.
Call IVR for feedback
Customers can be asked for feedback with a simple IVR (yes or no) call.
Leave comments with a short URL
Track how people respond to an SMS message with a short URL that leads to the survey form.
Automatic Caller ID
Dial phone numbers from a database after figuring out how many agents are available. The fact that predictive dialers leave almost no time for agents to do nothing makes them more productive and saves valuable time for outbound dialing.
The Office24by7 cloud telephony solution has a feature called “preview dialer” that lets agents get ready for sales calls. It gives agents access to customer information about the next call and helps them get ready for it.
Dropped calls don’t waste any time (calls abandoned by the customer before talking to agents). The preview dialer is a manual dialer that lets an agent get ready for a call with a customer. The agent can look at the contact information.
Office24by7’s cloud-based telephony solution makes it possible to set up campaigns that give information about the whole call flow process.
The cloud telephony solution makes it easy to add customer numbers or contacts.
It lets you import customer information from.csv,.xls, and.xlsx files as a single list or as separate lists.
Offers a national “do not call” list that lets people check different databases.
Offers custom dashboards that can be reviewed in real time and help keep an eye on campaigns and agents.
Reports and Studies
It gives managers reports and data that can help them evaluate and improve the performance of their agents.
Wrapping It Up
Effective communication, both inside and outside of the organization, is the key to its success. Cloud telephony and the services that go with it are quickly taking over the Indian market, with the promise that they will change this basic building block.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic made working from home the “new normal,” businesses will continue to use cloud telephony services to run their businesses in the future. Technology has completely changed the way business is done in India, and it is becoming an important part of the operational strategies and growth stories of businesses in all fields.
If you are looking for a reliable cloud telephony solution provider, then Office24by7 can be your go to option.