By: Kory Salem On: October 31, 2018 In: Avaya, Genesys, Interactive Intelligence Comments: 0

As the prominence of cloud technology has exploded over the past few years, I have seen a trend in companies struggling with this topic. Since the term “cloud” has become such a buzzword, the internet has been flooded with messaging and information generated by sales and marketing efforts. While that information is valuable and even sometimes enlightening, it is also slanted towards selling a cloud service. In this blog, I want to look at the realities of the top 3 factors you should consider when making a decision about a cloud phone system.

1. Control

This may not be obvious at first, but it’s at the heart of one of the biggest advantages to the cloud.  Most companies looking at cloud are excited at the prospect of getting rid of onsite equipment and letting someone else take care of things for them. It can be a huge benefit. What’s not so obvious is you are now giving over control of your phone system to the cloud provider. There are good and bad providers out there.  Be careful who you select. Handing off control to a good provider can be a great experience. Handing off to a bad one will be frustrating and possibly result in negatively impacting your business.

2. Cost

Another message you will see is that cloud saves you money. While that can be true, it is not that simple.  Cloud costs are very low upfront which can make moving to the cloud easy on budgets stretched thin by capital projects.  That said, to be sure of your total cost of ownership you need to do the math. Calculate your payments over time and compare that to the cost of a traditional phone system. Results will vary, but in most examples I see cloud ends up costing more over time. Typically, somewhere between 2-3 years. Don’t forget to include the cost for your phone lines. There is a lot of variability in these costs. Some companies allow unlimited minutes, some give a certain number of minutes per person, and some will charge you for every call.

3. Call Quality

The majority of cloud phone systems will be delivering your calls over the internet. Some companies offer hybrid models where you can keep local phone lines, but that also requires local equipment onsite so technically it’s only partially cloud. Sending calls over the internet is becoming more and more common and there’s a huge number of successful calls happening all the time. So why do I bring this up? Because things will happen: cloud providers can and do go down; internet pipes can be flooded with unexpected traffic; internet traffic can have unexpected latency; and many more.  Take a close look at how your company uses your phone system. If employees are just as comfortable using a cell phone or plugging a headset into a computer, this is not a big concern. If every missed call could cost you money, think long and hard about validating how reliable a cloud offering is. The best way to gauge that reliability is to talk to customers that can relay their experiences.

I hope that my take on these three factors will help in evaluating if a cloud phone system is a good fit for you.  If you are still scratching your head or just want to hear more details, I will be presenting on this topic at CPI’s Queued IN event on December 4 at Topgolf. If you’d like an invitation, please fill out the form below.

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