The cloud, or cloud computing, is all the talk in today’s business markets. Beyond that, cloud usage is also huge in the consumer market. From using iCloud to Google Home and Gmail in your personal life to offering advanced cloud-based services to meet your customers’ business needs, chances are you interact with the cloud in some way each day. And if you’re not there already, you should start moving in that direction now.
But taking a step back, we would like to explore some of the overall benefits of the cloud from a pure IT infrastructure standpoint--and the benefits of offering voice hosted in the cloud (VoIP). As an MSP, all the concepts below are great selling points for SMBs as you work with them to provide guidance for all their networking needs--and as you help them migrate services to the cloud.
So tell me about the cloud
The cloud has been around and gaining traction for the last 15~20 years. Advances in computing power and networking have made the cloud feasible for any size business. It has been the perfect storm of computers, networks, and high-value applications that have come together to create an environment that has allowed the cloud to take off. But this is all abstract--below you will find some definitive points that highlight the advantages the cloud brings to businesses.
- Cost savings - cost is not everything, but it’s important to businesses watching the bottom line. Cost savings can translate to low or no capital expense (CAPEX) when moving to the cloud. Cloud computing is typically an operating expense (OPEX) that businesses can fit into a monthly or quarterly budget.
- Speed to market - SMBs with limited IT resources and budgets can quickly deploy new productivity applications internally and go to market with new offerings sooner when taking advantage of cloud computing
- Scale and flexibility - businesses grow and contract for many reasons, including seasonal flexing or as part of the overall business cycle. Either way, the cloud allows businesses to quickly add or delete capacity as needed.
- Focus on the business - SMBs are typically great at coming up with business ideas, taking them to market and monetizing, but not as great at building out IT infrastructure. The cloud allows businesses to ramp up quickly with the product and internal software without having to focus on the core IT infrastructure.
- Mobility - business today is on-the-go. The cloud allows employees to access files at the office, on the road, or at home with ease.
- Increased collaboration - Multiple employees at remote locations can access single source files to achieve business goals.
- Business continuity - The cloud should be part of every business continuity plan. By having applications and data in the cloud, companies have a head start on keeping these items safe.
Why voice in the cloud
The list above gives just a general intro to the cloud for all purposes. The same list applies when you are adding business voice communications to the conversation. Any SMBs still using old key systems or legacy PBXs will see a quantum leap to more advanced features and functionality when moving their voice to the cloud. For VoIP communications systems, the cloud offers more power and flexibility than a premises-based system. The cloud simplifies the deployment of voice communications, provides cost efficiencies, and takes features and functionality to the next level.
- Cost effective - cloud-based voice services shift the cost structure from a large initial investment, ongoing maintenance and support costs to a streamlined, monthly subscription. In addition to a straight-forward monthly cost, cloud-based voice typically has low to no upfront costs.
- Features - there are a wide range of features, including voicemail to text, auto attendant, conference calling, mobility features, and more with cloud-based voice. Additionally, new features and updates are seamlessly introduced through the cloud.
- Get insights into usage - SMBs can get detailed metrics for call time, call volumes, and many other data points to effectively manage their business.
- Focus on your core business, not the phone system - the same as outsourced IT, SMBs can have an effective communication system to focus on business needs -- rather than worrying about maintaining the phone system.
- Easy to setup and use - simplicity is the key when rolling out new services to SMBs. Do they have someone to help them get it going, is it fairly easy?
There are many advantages with cloud computing for your customers across all areas of the business. Adding voice services to the mix broadens your portfolio and provides another service to get deeply integrated with your customers.
Contact our channel team (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get more details on adding our VoIP solution to your MSP portfolio. Also, check out this link to our partner launch kit.