Businesses are increasingly taking their IT operations into the cloud. According to new research from the Cloud Industry Forum, nearly 80 per cent of UK organisations have now formally adopted at least one cloud-based service, showing just how far the market has come in understanding and accepting this technological approach. The uptake among start-ups is even higher, with some reports suggesting 95 per cent or more of new businesses avoid incurring any IT purchasing costs for software, systems and infrastructure.
Let's be honest though - a lot of the cloud services being referred to here are web-hosted database applications or storage facilities, and it's clear why businesses benefit from moving their data requirements here. The one thing that surprises some people to see in the cloud, however, is their telephony.
It isn't that unusual as a concept when you accept that "voice" is just digital data (noughts and ones!) and the phone service is just another "app". So who are the adopters, why are they adopting it, and what benefits can they expect from a cloud-based telephony approach?
London based property company Daker Estates was using a traditional landline telephone system, but this was proving expensive and provided no extra value to the business with regards to functionality. Above all, Daker Estates was looking to reduce telecoms costs. Like many companies in the property management industry, the business relies on the telephone, the Internet and word-of-mouth to operate effectively and to advertise and communicate. Consequently, the management needs to be sure that its network and communication systems are on point or else they cannot run the business smoothly. In order to ensure the most efficient and effective communications with its clients and customers, Daker Estates has turned to cloud telephony.
"I particularly like the degree of mobility that the system delivers," explained Rachid Daker, director of Daker Estates. "I can call the office from anywhere in the world where there is a Wi-Fi connection and the call quality is always very good. The system allows us to connect and transfer calls easily with staff who are out of the office."
Pinnacle is another UK organisation reaping the benefits of adopting a cloud telephony system. Like Daker Estates it relies on effective telecommunications for delivery of its service to customers, as well as for internal management of the business. With a workforce that accesses its business systems on the move and remotely across multiple office locations, or from home, it is critical to the business that staff can access data on the move, and from a range of devices and locations.
Pinnacle – whose business is providing software solutions from 12 offices across the UK and Ireland - identified cloud telephony as a way to fully integrate its CRM and telecommunications systems and, after trialling a limited system, chose an NCONNECT solution and now sports a more cost-effective communication as well as more efficient systems integration and greater functionality.
It's clear that savvy businesses are quickly realising that cloud telephony is ripe for the taking, especially if this means ditching traditional landline phone systems (called PBXs or IP-PBXs) and all the costs and complexity that accompany them.
Businesses need to consider cost savings, functionality, quality, ease-of-use and the right partner when choosing a cloud telephony solution. That way you won't just join the cloud revolution, but achieve considerable savings and enjoy transformational business performance. At IP EXPO Europe, NCONNECT will be demonstrating how businesses can use and benefit from cloud telephony. For further information, please visit stand DD23.
Rami Houbby is managing director UK at NCONNECT.