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Choosing a Cloud Telephony Service for Business: The Dos and Don’ts

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Choosing a Cloud Telephony Service for Business: The Dos and Don'ts

The internet is constantly buzzing with what the cloud can accomplish and its evolution.

The enormous popularity is due to its excellent advantages, such as flexibility, scalability, reliability, and affordability, which have been important factors in business adoption of the cloud.

Cloud-based business phone system is an important component of cloud strategy. Cloud telephony helps streamline and optimize critical business processes. Employees are now significantly less likely to be in the workplace, especially since 2020.

Today’s professionals will spend time working from home, clients’ offices, or cafes, as well as on the go. So it’s a high time for replacing the plain old telephony system and move to the cloud.

But what are things you need to consider while choosing a cloud telephony service for business? To find that out, stick till the very end!

What is Cloud telephony?

Cloud telephony is a virtually hosted technology that transforms a traditional phone system into a cloud-based phone system.

Every call that your company receives is routed through Cloud Servers. All vital data, such as customer databases, can be stored in the cloud and accessed at any time using a mobile device or a web browser.

Cloud telephony is a telephony system, which builds, operates, and maintains standardized phone platform solutions on its servers. In this type of phone system, the clients get remote access through the internet.

You can make consumer calls using a web browser or a mobile app using a cloud-based phone system. It allows you to easily handle inbound and outgoing calls with your customers.

Whether you decide to go cloud or not, you’ll need to do a lot of studies. You’ll be able to make smarter decisions equipped with this knowledge of what you can do and what you should avoid.

Things to do while choosing cloud telephony services

How will you choose the right service provider for your business with so many alternatives?

When choosing a cloud computing company, there are a few things to consider.

Here are a few crucial things to address before selecting a cloud service provider.

1. Gather more information

Even if you’ve moved to the cloud and the vendor handles everything, it’ll help your organization if you’re informed of technology trends.

This will assist you in making well-informed judgments and developing superior plans to propel your company forward. Attend cloud computing conferences, seminars, and workshops as much as possible.

2. Double Check on its Quality and Reliability

You’ll begin by deciding on a platform and then looking for providers who can offer it. Since call quality is so important in telephony, you need to look for companies that can deliver a premium voice network.

In order check its reliability and quality, you can request a free trial. You can also look at the reviews dropped by the customers on the various review sites. If you get a satisfactory result while cross-checking its quality and reliability, you can make a decision accordingly.

3. Ensure the system is safe and secure

Security is always the matter of utmost concern in a cloud telephony service. So when choosing a cloud service provider, you must examine several security risks to your data, customer and employee identities, apps, and devices.

The sensitivity of your data will influence your risk tolerance level, but any provider you select should at the very least provide encryption, firewalls, antivirus detection, and user authentication.

Things to Know:

  • i. Antivirus detection: What methods are used to detect dangers (e.g., behavioral-based scanning)? Is it updated regularly? Is there a high number of false positives?
  • ii. Encryption: Is data automatically encrypted before leaving the cloud services facility at the physical layer?

4. Customer Support

Support is also crucial to remember once the service is up and running. Is the service provider available 24 hours?

Do they promise a specific response time? If you’re a multinational corporation, do you want a provider with global operations that can provide local support?

It’s also crucial to consider the ease and availability of reporting issues, so inquire about phone, email, and live chat support options. You might also inquire about your provider’s typical response and resolution times.

5. Pricing Structure

Because you only pay for the resources you use, cloud computing is a great way to save money. However, before deciding on cloud migration, have a look at how much money you’re currently spending on your current working plan.

Also, because cloud computing pricing varies a lot, be sure you know how and for what you’ll be charged.

Inquire about setup fees and the possibility to add services as needed. Will you bill hourly, monthly, semi-annually, or annually for your services?

6. Check out the feedback from customers:

Companies make claims about customer satisfaction and usability every day, but these statements aren’t wholly true.

Should constantly check customer feedback against company claims. You’ll be able to obtain a quick product summary, complete with a list of features and consumer comments, thanks to customer reviews.

Things to avoid while choosing cloud telephony services

1. Don’t be too picky

There’s nothing wrong with utilizing both the private and public cloud simultaneously. However, conduct a thorough examination of the cloud security concerns that are commonplace.

That isn’t to say you have to be overly picky. While security is crucial while transferring programs, don’t forget to create numerous backups to ensure you don’t lose any data. When it comes to cloud storage and hosting, though, you must be picky.

2. Don’t move too many apps to the cloud

Hundreds of programs, data, and documents may need to be migrated to the cloud in some cases. While it may be tempting to relocate them all at once, this is not a good idea.

Certain applications require significant adjustments, and making all of them before migrating would be prohibitively expensive.

3. Transferring everything to the cloud isn’t a good idea

It’s great to have a new functioning database, but it doesn’t mean you have to shift all of your information to cloud storage.

You may need to save certain files for various reasons, including security and efficiency. Your chief technology specialist can advise you on what to migrate and what not to migrate.

Benefits of Cloud Telephony

Cloud telephony is a good solution for almost any organization. A cloud-based phone system provides various benefits for enterprises, which is why so many of them are quickly adopting it.

So, let’s look more closely at cloud telephony’s advantages.

1. Cost-Efficiency

Not only can cloud telephony save you time, but it also saves you money. The conventional landline phone system, unlike its modern version, requires costly gear, installation, and upkeep.

There’s nothing like long-term fixed deals with a cloud-based telephony solution. It’s all about flexible payment arrangements.

2. High Scalability

When you engage in a Cloud Telephony phone company system, you will no longer have to pay extra today for the possibility of needing more later. The system enables you to purchase a scalable solution deployed across several platforms and environments.

Cloud systems are built to scale to meet the organization’s future demands as they arise. You can edit users, add auto attendants to the system, and create ring groups and campaigns when your business requires it.

3. Reliability and Resilience

Traditional telephone systems can be severely damaged by natural calamities such as cyclones, floods, and earthquakes, while cloud systems are unaffected.

Cloud storage, in reality, keeps information safe and accessible from anywhere. Whatever occurs, you can rest assured that your business will continue to operate.

4. Updating constantly

When you host your business phone system on the cloud, you eliminate the risk of it becoming obsolete over time.

The advancements occurring in the technology domain specific to your organization are updated in your specific communication system through a good hosted solution.

This independence from manually updating your business phone system all of the time allows you to focus on other business processes without being distracted.

5. Extra features are available.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR), call recording, call monitoring, voicemail, real-time analytics, call scheduling, and many other features are available in the cloud.

Final Thought

Hopefully, this article will have clarified the things to consider while choosing cloud telephony for business.

Now that you’ve learned about cloud telephony and what it can do for your company, there’s only one thing left for you to do: Your company’s phone system will be moved to the cloud.

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Before Deciding Where Your Content Team Reports, Pay Attention to This

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Before Deciding Where Your Content Team Reports, Pay Attention to This

When a brand creates a new content marketing or content strategy team, they often ask, “What function or department should the content team report to?”

My answer? “Yes!”

Now, I’m not trying to be a smart aleck. (Well, I am a little bit, do you even know me?) But seriously, my yes comes from years of helping implement content teams in dozens of businesses. My affirmative response indicates the most important thing isn’t to whom content reports; it’s that content teams report to the business.

When it reports into a function, such as brand, marketing, sales enablement, demand gen, PR/comms, or even (yes, really in one case) finance, the business acknowledges content marketing is a real thing with real responsibilities, power, and capabilities to affect business outcomes.

“What outcomes?” you might ask.

Well, that depends on where content marketing reports.

Now you have the real conundrum.

You can’t figure out where content marketing and content strategy should report without knowing the expected business outcomes, and you can’t know the business outcomes until you know where they’re reporting.

The most important thing isn’t to whom #content reports; it’s that content teams report to the business, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

It’s tricky.

Content’s pervasiveness creates the challenge

Content as a strategic function in business affects almost everything. That pervasiveness means nearly any function in the business could “own” content as a strategy.

For example, we recently worked with a company about a year into its enterprise-wide digital transformation strategy. They have a content team, and we were to help them assemble a governance and operational approach for their website content.

When we determined the right operational processes, we got into trouble. A content team leader asked, “What if someone proposed a new AI chatbot as part of this digital transformation for the website? Is it a content project with a technology component or a technology project with a content component?”

The question isn’t semantics. Instead, the answer determines the process for development, the team owning implementation, and the measurement by which it’s deemed successful.

Knowing where a #content project is assigned determines its development process, implementation owner, and success metric, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

It’s not just a technology challenge, either. The company also wanted to create new brand content guidelines for the website. Is that a content team project informed by the brand team or a brand project in consultation with the content team?

Given content’s pervasiveness, you can argue it is part of any meaningful communications initiative the business takes on. But sales’ needs are different from marketing’s, and HR’s requirements are different from the demand-gen team’s. However, to achieve consistency in content and communication, it doesn’t make sense to let each function determine its content strategy.

To achieve the balance between an enterprise-wide content strategy and the unique needs of every function in the business, the leaders and practitioners must decide to whom content reports. Again, the agreement is important, not the where or what of the agreement.

3 key attributes to identify in the decision-making process

As you and the leadership ponder how to balance the enterprise content strategy and where it should sit, consider these three key attributes that play an essential role in success.

1. Develop a content operations backbone

I don’t care if you have two people and one blog and a website or a team of 50 who operate on 35 content platforms across multiple channels. A content operations infrastructure creates consistent success across your digital content experiences. Content operations is an enterprise-recognized set of integrated and shared systems (meaning technologies), standards, guidelines, playbooks, and processes to ensure reliable, consistent, scalable, and measurable content across the business.

Content operations acts as the backbone – the foundation – to ensure the content is created, managed, activated, and measured the same way across whatever audience and whichever channel the brand presents to.

2. Connect with the audience across platforms

You can no longer expect to create one optimal experience that makes up for a bunch of sub-optimal ones.No matter your size, it’s not good enough to have your blog subscribers separate from your marketing automation database and all that separated from your CRM system. This goes for all of your audiences – from new employees to external parties such as analysts, journalists, partners, vendors, etc.

In this approach, the goal is to engage, build, and develop relationships with audiences. Thus, connecting audience behavior with insights on how to communicate better is not a siloed functional need; it is an enterprise need.

3. Build an accountability framework

This attribute in one word? Standards (and a team to keep them.) In a truly fascinating way, one of the earliest activities in building a content strategy makes the biggest impact on larger businesses: Come to terms with what words around content strategy and marketing mean. What is a campaign? What is the difference between a campaign and an initiative? What is an e-book? What is an article vs. a blog post? How long should a white paper take to write? Most businesses assume these things or create meanings based on contextual needs.

At a recent client, one group expected the content team to produce white papers within a week of the request. Another group expected them to be delivered in six weeks at double the length that the other group thought.

An accountability framework – and its ongoing evolution – presents clear ownership and coordination of content standards (roles, responsibilities, processes, types) across the enterprise. This model should not detail the definitions and standards but identify how they will enforce them.

Start your content decisions by deciding together

Where should you begin?

Well, just like in the beginning, my answer is yes. Independent of where you start, the critical point happens in the deciding of the elements. To be clear, these are institutional decisions, not simply “what you think.” In other words, it doesn’t matter what you believe the definitions, roles, or processes should be if the other parts of the organization don’t know, believe, or care.

A great first step is to create that accountability framework and make people care about its existence. At first, it might create a language of content that everybody in your business understands. When someone says, “I’d like to do a campaign,” or, “I think we should write a white paper,” everyone understands what that means and what it takes to do it. Then, the benefits of an accountability framework will start to become clear.

It makes the case for a team assigned to lead this consistency easier. And that enables the team to connect those experiences and audiences in a way that makes sense for everyone.

In the end, you have found determining the where, how, and what of a content strategy implementation isn’t the most important. The act of deciding is.

It’s a strange combination. In isolation, the reason for deciding seems straightforward. So why wouldn’t anybody want a clear definition of what a campaign is or a single source of the truth when it comes to the tone of your content?

But stacked together, those decisions feel like they are bigger than the content team and really should involve the entire enterprise. (Spoiler alert: They do.)

If you want any desired consequence, you had better decide on all the things that would help create it.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

Get Robert’s take on content marketing industry news in just five minutes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

Watch previous episodes or read the lightly edited transcripts.

Subscribe to workday or weekly CMI emails to get Rose-Colored Glasses in your inbox each week. 

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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