Cloud telephony brings the technology of Wi-Fi and Internet based communications to telephony services. Simply, a Cloud based phone system is a relatively new term that means a phone service that is delivered through the Internet. In this terminology, the “cloud” is the Internet. A synonymous term would be Internet Phone System.
The word “system” in cloud based phone system implies a group of phones working together, though it sometimes is used to mean the system of interconnections to make a single phone work over the internet. Since it usually means a group of phones, a cloud based phone system or Internet phone system, then, typically mean a business phone system.
The innovation of Cloud Telephony is that you can utilize existing infrastructure and internet capacity without the capital outlay on servers or equipment to run the system and you can take advantage of the latest in secure cloud hosting and delivery, hosted messaging and collaboration brings the benefits of leading enterprise messaging solutions without the investment in implementing and maintaining a traditional infrastructure and data centre usually associated with new telephony set-ups.
The advantages of using messaging and collaboration is well known, the challenge is to implement in such a way as to provide easily accessible systems and manage these effectively to gain maximum return on investment.
Before the advent of VoIP, phone systems were all based on the public switched telephone network (PSTN) – the copper wires that made up the global phone network. It was still possible to have a cloud based phone system in the PSTN cloud, but the real use of the term came as part of the growing trend toward cloud computing and cloud services toward the end of the first decade of this century.
The main requirements of a cloud based phone system are the ability to deliver calls over the Internet, route inbound calls to the correct workers inside a company, and provide telephony applications like voicemail and call recording.
Do your homework and research well before signing up with a fledgling cloud telephony provider. With technology changing and developing constantly, watch the innovations and ask yourself how your plans for your telephony installation over the next three years might marry up with the inevitable development of cloud services.
Learn and take the time and opportunity to explore the technologies – primarily SIP – that will enable your cloud services to operate in your chosen and eventual scenario. The technology is already well established in most local implementations, so use them to your advantage and this will enable you to expand at your own pace within this new, vibrant, changing medium for telephony.
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