Common questions about cloud telephony answeredPosted on 11 August 2023 by Beaming Support
With the ISDN switch off looming, many businesses are looking to move to a cloud phone system. This article will answer some of the main concerns we hear from businesses looking to make the move.
The top considerations when moving to a cloud phone system include:
- What equipment and hardware will I need to buy?
- What bandwidth / internet speeds will I need?
- How will I make calls in an emergency?
- Will the migration process involve downtime?
- Can I tailor the system to suit my business?
- Will the phone system be secure?
What hardware will I need for a cloud phone system?
One of the benefits of a cloud phone system is that there isn’t a need for expensive hardware – in fact, the main piece of equipment you will need is a compatible router, configured to support your phone system. Cloud phone systems aren’t hosted on your premises, so there is no need for space in your office to store the bulky hardware traditionally associated with other phone systems. Other equipment that you may potentially use are IP phones – but these aren’t always necessary; ‘softphones’ allow you to use PCs or mobile phones to operate your phone system.
If you want to limit the hardware you need to purchase, at Beaming we have developed the BeamRing Communicator App to accompany our cloud telephony system. This allows BeamRing users to operate their phone systems via their mobiles, while maintaining the functionality of their desk phones.
What bandwidth/ internet speeds will I need to support a cloud phone system?
Cloud phone systems do not require large amounts of bandwidth, or particularly fast speeds. A regular broadband should suffice, providing the router is set up to best support voice calls.
However, for other business purposes we recommend using business broadband – to support file sharing, video conferencing, business software and more, which do all require more bandwidth. Learn more here.
Will I need a separate connection to use a cloud phone system?
This will depend on the current connectivity you have in place for your business. Although cloud phone systems don’t use a lot of bandwidth, other business applications do, so if you have a busy office, it may be wise to install a separate connection for your phone system. Your ISP will be best placed to advise you on the steps to take to ensure that your calls are of the highest quality.
In some cases – for example in a smaller business that uses less bandwidth – it may simply be recommended that your router is configured to prioritise voice traffic, so that your call quality isn’t impacted during peak times.
If your business already uses a fibre optic leased line, this will be capable of supporting your phone system as well as your other business activities, so there’s no need for a separate connection.
Will cloud phone systems work in the event of a power cut, or internet drop out?
The systems rely on an internet connection, and will not work if they are without power. But their inherent flexibility means that there are ways you can still communicate in the event of a dropout. To mitigate the risk of being disconnected, your provider may recommend a battery backup, or an uninterruptable power supply. If your internet connection were to go down, your phone system can be configured to forward your calls to other devices, such as mobile phones.
BeamRing User Flex users benefit from ‘Office Anywhere’ – an automatic feature that will recognise the lack of signal and direct all incoming calls to your employees’ mobiles. This means that your customers will still be able to contact you using your regular business number, even when you are without power or internet signal at your normal business location.
Learn more about answering calls when your site goes down.
How can I have a seamless transition when migrating to a cloud phone system?
Choosing the right ISP will enable you to have a hassle-free migration experience. When moving to a cloud phone system, a good ISP will take the time to learn about your business and understand what’s important to you. Everything you need will be put in place ahead of time so that you can test that your phones work before your migration, and then on your migration date, you can enjoy a straightforward transition over to your new system.
For most businesses, their public-facing phone number will be an integral part of their communications. Moving to a cloud phone system doesn’t mean you have to lose this number – a simple process known as ‘porting’ allows the transfer of telephone numbers, so you can keep the number that your customers associate with you – so there’s no disruption for them, either.
Learn more about the BeamRing installation process here.
How can I tailor my cloud phone system to my business?
The easiest way to ensure you end up with a cloud phone system that meets the needs of your business is to discuss your requirements with your cloud phone provider. The ability to customise your system will depend on the provider you choose – some allow for tailored solutions, such as the ability to have shared call appearance, busy lamp monitoring, remote office, and more. The different features you can choose from can help to improve your customer experience, without overwhelming your staff with too many new options to learn.
Beaming’s technicians will get to know your business, what matters to you and the pain points you need solving. We are able to select features that will benefit your business, to create a truly bespoke solution for you and your team. Learn more about the features you can configure with each BeamRing system here.
The team at Astell Scientific wanted to be able to use an app that turned their mobiles into extensions of the system, allowing them to work from anywhere.
BeamRing’s online portal can also be used to check call logs and recordings – an important safeguarding feature for organisations like Sandown School.
How can I be sure of the security of a cloud phone system?
The security of a cloud phone system will be reliant on the security of your internet connection, which will be overseen by your internet service provider. Security levels can be increased through features such as regular password changes, and pin codes for your voicemail service. Make sure you choose a provider with a proven track record of keeping systems secure, and with external certifications (such as Beaming’s ISO 27001 certification).
How do cloud phones work with international phone calls?
Because they are internet-based, calling international numbers using VoIP will incur significantly lower costs than standard PSTN-based phones.
How difficult is it to train staff on cloud phone systems?
Although adopting a new phone system may sound like a big change, switching to a cloud phone system doesn’t have to be complex.
All the feedback we’ve received at Beaming is that businesses of all sizes, across all different kinds of industries, have found cloud phone systems very straightforward to use. Our technicians can provide training, so you can feel confident in the system before it goes live.
Are cloud phone systems only for larger companies?
Not at all – cloud phone systems can be set up for single users, up to as many as you need. With the ISDN switch off approaching, businesses will need to move away from standard PSTN systems over to VoIP, whether they are sole traders or multi-site businesses.
Will the sound quality of a cloud phone system be worse than my existing system?
Early adopters of cloud phone systems from when VoIP was first introduced may have memories of poor sound quality associated with their cloud phone system. But the significant advances in technology since have allowed for cloud phone systems to benefit from crisp, clear audio quality that surpasses that of standard ISDN phone systems.
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How to keep your phone number when your business moves16/08/23 Support team
We’re Beaming, a specialist internet service provider (ISP) for businesses. We’ve been helping organisations across the UK with fast, reliable, and secure voice and data connectivity, as well as managed services, since 2004.
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