Small businesses move into the cloud for their communications needs

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The withdrawal of traditional ISDN services from 2020 in the Isle of Man is changing the way local businesses communicate. Telecoms providers have rolled out next generation services which are catering for larger businesses but for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) a more flexible solution is available. Zoe Richardson, Sure’s Account Director supporting SME businesses in the Isle of Man, explores why cloud-based voice services are the answer for many of her clients.

ISDN services have been a reliable telephony delivery system for many years, but the technology is now outdated and infrastructure has moved on. The lack of support for the system means that it needs to be retired and in the Isle of Man this is scheduled to happen next year, in 2020.

Some businesses will be alarmed that the service they have relied upon for their communications is going to be withdrawn and will be wondering what to do next. There’s no need to panic as Sure has been preparing for the termination of ISDN for some time and have come up with a range of solutions to keep businesses connected to their customers, suppliers and colleagues.

Next generation ISDN services are proving popular with larger businesses, but our dedicated SME team are seeing demand for cloud-based voice services being driven from these smaller enterprises.

Voice over the cloud

The idea of using the cloud for traditional voice services may seem a little intimidating but it’s really just the business version of technology that many of us now use on a daily basis.

Communications channels like Skype, WhatsApp and Facetime all carry voice services over internet protocol (VoIP); it basically means providing a phone service that is carried over the internet rather than via traditional telephone networks.

More and more of our daily communications needs are handled in the cloud and at Sure we’ve responded to customer demand to introduce cloud voice services that deliver everything you’ve come to expect from traditional private branch exchange (PBX) systems.

With Sure’s cloud voice service calls are handled via cloud-based servers instead of via expensive equipment that needs to be installed in a business’ premises. This reduces the cost of communications, means there’s less equipment to maintain and provides greater flexibility.

Why move to the cloud?

Apart from the imperative to find a new telecoms solution after the withdrawal of ISDN, there are many reasons why cloud voice services are perfect for SMEs.

The modern business, and especially SMEs of between five and 50 employees, often offers a more flexible mode of working and cloud voice is especially adept at enabling this. The cloud-based system means that your business can still have extension numbers but those numbers can be anywhere; in branch offices, home offices, from PCs and even on mobile devices – all you need is the cloud service and a good internet connection.

This means that communications are integrated and your business is well-connected and offers a consistency of communication even when employees are working in different places. Everyone on the system has access to the same information and contact details that they’d have in the office.

The cost saving is another good reason to consider cloud voice. Without the need for ISDN equipment there’s a significant saving to be made and cloud-based services are also easier to maintain.

Cloud voice also allows for scalability as your business grows; adding news users is easy and cheap and the technology itself is futureproof – new functions and features are available on demand without complicated upgrades and system downtime.

The withdrawal of ISDN is changing demand in the business communications space and Sure’s dedicated SME team are working with clients to modernise their systems with cloud solutions.

To find out if cloud voice is the best solution for your business in a post-ISDN world get in touch.

This article originally appeared in Business 365 magazine

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