3 lesser-known benefits of cloud telephony

A greater return on investment is one of the benefits of cloud telephony.

Cloud computing is becoming increasingly more popular as businesses find that storing data and hosting applications within a cloud environment can help them save time and money in numerous ways. According to RightScale's 2015 State of the Cloud survey, approximately 93 percent of respondents have migrated some or all of their IT portfolios to the cloud. One of the most important applications businesses can host in the cloud is business communications technology.

Implementing cloud telephony solutions is one of the best things a company can do to save money in the long run and strengthen business processes in the short term, but there are other ways a voice-over-Internet-protocol system could be a great investment for your company. Here are three lesser-known benefits of moving your communications strategy to the cloud:

"Customer retention can be strengthened through the use of cloud-based phone systems."

1. Better customer service
It's well-known that employees who work from home or on the go are often more productive. In fact, people who work from home are more likely to get online earlier and stay on later – which translates to an increase in productivity. When Harvard researcher Nicholas Bloom conducted a study to see what the effects of working remotely would be on a contact center employee base, he found that those employees who logged in from the comfort of their own homes saw an increase in productivity of over 13 percent versus their in-office peers.

This productivity has an added bonus. When, for example, contact center employees are online for longer and are more focused on their work, they may be better suited to tending to the needs of the customers who call in needing support. Customer service, and therefore retention, can be strengthened through the use of cloud-based phone systems that allow for increased presence and communication across multiple channels. When customers can contact you with their preferred device, their service experience may be more enjoyable.

2. Great ROI
Along with increased customer retention, companies can see a better return on investment when they install a VoIP system versus traditional phone lines. According to a study conducted in 2014 by research firm Forrester, it takes companies approximately two months to gain a 182 percent ROI from using cloud-based phone services. In fact, utilizing only one company for all communications needs resulted in a savings of over $1.6 million over a period of three years, and customer-facing employees generated an increased revenue of more than $5.3 million – an additional $683,681 in profits.

3. Security and privacy
Business Cloud News reported that 69 percent of businesses in the U.K. use cloud-based applications. However, according to Business Computing World, a recent survey of U.K. businesses found that 52 percent had not considered moving their communications functions to the cloud, despite the fact that hosting data and applications in the cloud is becoming increasingly more prevalent. These companies claimed that concerns about security and control are the top reasons for keeping communications on-premises.

However, cloud telephony offers just as much, if not more, security as traditional systems. According to Tech Radar contributor Arif Mohamed, UC systems can encrypt the communications data sent across the network so that privacy is maintained at all times. Control can be augmented as well. With UC in the cloud, businesses can access voice, video and messaging tools from any device all while decreasing IT spend on things like equipment and routine maintenance. Along with this measure of control comes greater agility and the flexibility of a pay-as-you-grow environment.

Unified communications in the cloud offers security and control.Unified communications in the cloud offers security and control.

Companies should take advantage of these lesser-known benefits of cloud telephony by investing in an efficient, successful UC system.