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4 Things to Know When Considering a Cloud-based Phone System


Before you dial up a new cloud-based communications platform, here’s a few things we’d love to share to help you make the best decision for your organization... and avoid the dangers of disappointing results.

Thinking about upgrading your phone system? You’re not alone.

Accelerated by the remote realities of the pandemic three years ago, telecommunications are changing in both scope and overall capabilities. The Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) model is booming as businesses seek mobility and flexibility enhancements but still understand that phones remain our primary means of communicating with clients.

Frankly, people expect to be able to collaborate and communicate easily, without being tethered to a single desk in a physical office. Consider that 91 percent of employees are frustrated with the tools they’re given for collaboration at work, and 57 percent said they believe legacy tools are stopping them from achieving their goals (Freshworks).

That’s not why you’re here. You know the advantages that come with UCaaS. However, before you dial up a new cloud-based communications platform, here are a few things we’d love to share to help you make the best decision for your organization... and avoid the dangers of disappointing results.

4 things to know before signing off on a cloud-based phone system.

1. What are my current pain points?

Consider starting with a consultation.

If you’re simply purchasing through an online vendor, this may not be an option. However, using a locally-sourced technology company can sit down and listen to your current challenges and ask relevant questions. This process will help you discover more about what’s working, what’s not, and where you want to go with your solution.

In speaking with a potential UCaaS partner, consider these common pain points:

  • Disruption of service due to power outages or loss of Internet service
  • Need for mobile access to the system
  • Challenges with adding new lines or upgrading, which may require provider intervention and high fees
  • Restrictions on devices, as most on-premises solutions only work with physical phones

2. What's my Internet speed?

A simple but unmistakably significant component to successful performance? Your Internet speed.

Consider that the Internet is now your source for making and receiving calls. Not all providers will offer what’s commonly called a VoIP Scout Test, but running this test on your existing environment has major benefits.  A VoIP Scout Test essentially simulates making calls over the Internet over a given period of time and provides a detailed report on how adequately your Internet service could support a VoIP phone system.

Obviously, it’s better to know Internet inadequacies prior to plugging in phones.

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3. What do the finances look like?

Consider pulling out your existing phone bills (particularly if you’re using a traditional phone system) and comparing it with any cloud-based phone proposals. It’s not at all abnormal to discover that you can reap the benefits of UCaaS (phone, video, text, mobile, file collaboration, etc.) and still come out saving money.

Another thing to consider: By adopting some of the tools that come with UCaaS, many organizations can do away with paying for applications like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Zoom. Other financial considerations: 

  • What’s the total cost of ownership (TCO)?
  • Does the provider offer a leasing option?
  • What's the length of Contract?
  • Do you have to use their phones, and if so, what’s the cost?
  • Is support extra?
  • Are there different plans or tiers?
  • Does it include long-distance calls?
  • Are add-ons available (i.e., toll-free numbers)? And what are the costs?

4. What will support look like?

In short, are we talking self-service or full-service?

This starts with the delivery of the phones themselves. Is the provider going to simply ship a load of phones to your office and send you links to YouTube Support videos? Or is there distinct onboarding and training to help you fully utilize the many features available with your new system? Additionally: 

  • Is the provider local?
  • When you call for support, are you talking to a real person? In your area, or overseas?
  • Is the provider local, with onsite IT technician availability, or are you dealing strictly with overseas phone support?
  • Is it 24/7/365?
  • What type of support channels are available (phone, chat, email, etc.)?
  • Do they make support a priority, with the ability to share actual service response metrics?

Where people work, and how they choose to communicate, continue to transform. At Datamax, we're ready to help you embrace the evolution of how your employees and clients expect to communicate. Interested in learning more about UCaaS? Let's visit!

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Topics: Cloud Technology VoIP Phone Systems Unified Communications