Moving To A “Cloud” Phone System?

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Moving To A “Cloud” Phone System? There is no such thing as “the cloud”. The concept means that you have equipment in a data center that has redundant power, cooling, and internet. 

There are a lot of benefits in that sentence though. You probably don’t want to pay for colo space, buy an expensive internet connections, or mess around with telephone companies, right? 

No problem! You can get the above, and keeping your return on investment (ROI) of your phone system. Find a telephony solutions company that can help you virtualize your phone system, or host it in their colo racks. This way you only pay for what you use. Of course, you can rely on them to handle phone company problems too. That is what they are best at!

Cloud – “New & Improved”

So many customers get caught up in these promises of it being cheaper moving their systems to the cloud. They’re told to get rid of their current phone system because cloud systems are new and improved. The truth? This is not always the case.

Some pop-up cloud offerings that appear today consist of overly complicated configurations. I once worked with this company that was using a free PBX (box 1). There was another phone system in front of it for phone call routing (box 2). They had a third box to get PC phones working. Then then had a fourth box to translate the changes between all the boxes. Then they had a fifth box to allow for Cisco phones to work. Lastly, they used a sixth box that gave you a webpage to make changes to your phone system. “New and Improved”

What I just mentioned is an actual, real-life example of a phone solution. It was so overly complicated, clunky, and buggy, I am not sure how the solution ever worked to begin with. Each box in that example was a different vendor’s hardware. It was all working together with tape and string. It broke down all the time and was incredibly difficult to support customers.

Surprising fees

When moving to a cloud-based phone system, many find surprise costs at the end of the month. 

End Of The Month Fees

I will give you an example. Most electric companies base your monthly bill on the average amount of electricity that an average household uses. Well, during the winter, your bill should be the same if their averaging the overall cost, right? They consider the extra use that will occur during the cold months and usually come up with an average for the year. It also helps the customer budget easier and, in return, you can pay your bills more reliably.

I am not sure about you, but my bill is still quite a bit higher during the winter. This is what it is like with a cloud provider. You will save money on your phone minutes, but that is only because you are getting a wholesale rate.

Loss ROI Of The Phone System

Those savings you’re quoted are not taking into account the purchase of the system. This frugal investment is now a lot more expensive than originally, because you did not factor in the shortened lifetime.

Calling Plans

The way Telstra or AT&T works with Microsoft Teams is that buy a calling plan for every single user. Now with your current phone company, you only pay for what you use per month. 

So, imagine this: your company is growing and 10 percent of the entire staff goes over on their calling plans. What are the penalties? Do you have communication credits configured properly for each person? I am betting you will not be billed the same rate as your current phone carrier. What about the un-used minutes from other staff?

Let’s imagine that you are paying $50 a month for a cloud calling plan for a user. The user gets 3000 minutes, and they are using only a portion of it. Calling plans can be changed at the end of every month, and you can add or remove users on the fly. But what about all of those extra minutes? Are you regularly doing reporting for this?

How often do cloud providers looking at users usage and recommend changes to save money?

Zoom is not calling me and letting me know that a lower cost plan would be more suited for me. Instead they are happy to take my monthly payment. I’m not trying to put down the billing model of these companies. It does work for a select few customers, but who originally had no phone system or are very small with limited usage. 

I know that many customers could be saving more money taking advantage of alternative options. The cloud is just a buzz. Many organizations are realizing that the solution they were promised does not necessarily save them that much. Unfortunately, it’s harder to go back after a big decision like this.

Moving To A “Cloud” Phone System?

Finding the right company to handle your telecommunications needs is an important part of this process. Do your research, don’t fall for advertising tactics. Carefully consider your business needs both now and in the future.

Ready to make the switch to Microsoft Teams, or wish to improve your current phone system? Let us know if we can help. Trifecta Telephony.

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