How the Cloud Transformed VoIP
The cloud has dramatically transformed how small businesses work, according to a recent article from PC Magazine. The shift isn’t just in the production servers, hosted software, and critical applications such as email communications. Telephony is just the natural next step.
Businesses are increasingly investing in virtual servers to reduce their hardware expenses. Many see software-as-a-service as a way to get enterprise-class software at a fraction of the price. Hosted services are making it easier to manage email communications, file storage, and various forms of collaboration. But for many businesses, Voice-over-IP remained something administrators deployed on-premise, with all the hardware challenges and networking headaches traditionally associated with PBX and telephony.
That is beginning to change, with a growing number of hosted VoIP platforms currently available on the market. For the most part, these systems offer businesses a full-blown telephony system where the phones communicate over the Internet with a remote PBX. Businesses buy the pre-configured phones, plug them into their network, and the phones download all the settings from that PBX. As easy as that, the business up at and running with a full-blown phone network.
The cloud model is the only way to provide the flexibility businesses need as their workforce becomes more distributed. Small and mid-sized businesses are increasingly relying on virtual office setups as many of their employees work remotely or out in the field. There is a definite shift from the traditional onsite centralized work force to a virtual distributed office model. But the needs of the phone system are still the same: Businesses need extensions and voicemails for employees, and then separate extensions and voicemails that are associated with a department to which multiple employees have access. The cloud’s central promise has always been flexibility.
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