It’s not an all or nothing proposition – you can use some cloud services and stick to on-premise solutions for some things, so there’s no harm in being selective in what you choose to adopt.

One area where cloud services can help any sized business is telephony. Cloud telephony solutions save money, increase flexibility, and offer a range of tools and features far beyond any on-premise or mobile solution can provide.

If you’re looking for a sign that it’s time to start moving to hosted telephony services, here are a few good indicators:

#1 My business telephony costs are spiralling

As your business grows and you take on more staff, costs always increase. When you add the new mobile phone contract for each employee to the cost of an extra person’s calls, you can find the costs can really start to add up. Especially if your fees mean that you’re not only paying for outside calls, but also for employees to talk to one another.

Don’t forget the cost of purchasing the phone system in the first place, and then the charges for maintaining (or even upgrading) your PBX or switch.

Cloud telephony services offer cheaper call costs, with many local, national and mobile calls included in the package, and good rates on international calls. There are no big capex requirements, and maintenance and rental are generally extremely competitively priced.

#2 My workforce needs flexibility

The advent of technology has enabled businesses to work in much more flexible ways than in the past – no longer do we need our employees to be in the office at all times; working from home is more and more common, and more people work from remote locations than ever before.

Using the cloud makes it simple and cost-effective to manage a business with a remote or multi-site workforce – from software that allows staff to access their data from anywhere, to telephony that assigns the same number to a user no matter whether they’re at home, in the office, or on the road. One Number Anywhere means you don’t need to make sure your contacts have multiple numbers to reach you – you’ll always be reachable.

Cloud telephony services allow your teams to connect, distribute and transfer calls quickly and easily, whether they’re in the same location or not.

#3 My business is growing

Traditional phone systems don’t have much flexibility in them to scale up and down – when you purchase the system you have the challenge of working out what capacity you need now and what you might need in the future. Too little and you’ll face big costs as you grow, too much and you’ll be paying out for more than you need.

With cloud telephony, the solution scales as you grow, allowing you to add users as and when you need to, without having to pay for redundant capacity. You’ve got the freedom to grow as quickly or slowly as you want to.

You also don’t have to worry about increasing your in-house resources to manage a larger telephony system – downtime is no longer a concern and support is simple. If you have a problem with a traditional system, you have to work out whether the issue is with the line or the system, and then deal with the appropriate provider. With cloud hosted telephony, you only ever have one provider to deal with, and they’re considerably faster to respond to faults or issues.

#4 My telephony requirements are complicated or varied

Do you have some employees who simply need a desk phone, others who need multiple devices, and others who need to record calls or use marketing messaging while callers are on hold?

Cloud telephony allows you to take full control of the services you use, and control which users have access to which services. You can ensure every member of staff has the tools they need, without having to pay for all services across your entire workforce.

With the full control that cloud solutions provide, you can manage and administrate your own system quickly and easily from a web-based interface. You don’t need to talk to your provider or your IT/network department to add users or change permissions, or wait for changes to be implemented; you’re in control.

If your requirements are complicated by having multiple locations, you don’t have to invest in multiple systems and expensive hardware, and you don’t have to worry about whether or not those systems will work with the ones you already have – with cloud hosted telephony, you know that your system will work everywhere you need it.

Make the sensible choice

According to industry research, over a million people already use cloud-based telephony for business, mainly because of the massive benefits it brings – lower cost to start, lower ongoing costs, increased capabilities, scalability, and flexibility.

Hosted telephony works for small businesses who want a cost-effective solution that offers enterprise-level services. It works for medium businesses with a workforce that’s not confined to the office. And it works for large businesses with multiple locations and a diverse and active team. It’s the sensible choice for any business.