Cloud communications are rapidly becoming the dominant choice for business communications. Cloud phone technology, in particular, is taking over from traditional landline or analog systems. Does this surprise you?
When Motorola announced their groundbreaking new invention in 1973 – the mobile phone – the world responded with skepticism. Most people believed it would be a passing fad.
The birth of cloud communications happened in 1995 with the emergence of the Internet. Even 25 years later, unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is still met with skepticism.
Yet statistics show that more businesses choose unified communications services every year primarily because of the economic benefits. Other advantages include the ability to access all services from anywhere, and greater control of protocols and processes.
Cloud communications simply make sense. Consolidating communication channels into a single unified platform streamlines everything:
- Text Messaging
- And more.
As this technology continues to evolve, here’s what we can anticipate in the near future of cloud communications.
1. Smarter AI
Auto attendants (also called virtual assistants) are a favorite feature of cloud phone systems. They optimize call handling and speed up communications as a whole.
Smarter, more intuitive AI will greatly improve the capabilities of auto attendants in several ways:
- Address basic questions, freeing customer service agents to spend more time resolving complex issues.
- Conduct real-time sentiment analysis to determine the emotional state of customers and prepare call agents in advance.
- Potential voice software applications such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology to translate voice or video calls in real time.
2. Better Networks
Mobile 5G networks are growing in popularity, so 5G for cloud communications is not far behind.
Call latency – sometimes referred to as mouth-to-ear delay – is the time it takes an audio signal (the sound of your voice) to reach its destination. High latency leads to delays and echoes caused by slow network links.
Current 4G networks have an average latency of 10 milliseconds, but a 5G network averages less than 1 millisecond. That’s 100x faster! So 5G networks will lead to greater speed and better quality of service for hosted phone users.
3. Increased Mobility
The number of households that use mobile phones exclusively increased by 50% between 2004-2018. This makes mobile integration a top priority for communications service providers.
Seamless transitions from an office phone to a mobile device are another benefit of cloud phone services. Softphone applications turn your mobile device into an extension of your office phone making it even easier to accommodate remote work.
Until now, a limitation of mobile integration was the inability for businesses to track conversations that happened on mobile. Today, this issue is being addressed as features like call recording, CRM integration, and caller ID become available for mobile applications, too.
This innovation gives businesses greater insight into how employees are interacting with customers via mobile devices. More businesses will adopt cloud communications as remote work becomes more popular and mobile limitations become a thing of the past.
4. Advancements in Office Integration
Few things are more annoying than constantly having to switch back and forth between applications every time you need to communicate. As unified communications grow, integration with other in-app communications increases.
You can expect to see more fully integrated in-app capabilities such as voice calls, conferencing, and messaging, along with CRM integration, ERP integration, and other enterprise software integrations – a single platform for all your business communications.
These advancements in office integration will lead to increased productivity and efficiency.
5. Escalating Shift from Traditional Phone Systems
In 2004, 90% of households used a landline phone, but as of 2018, that number was down to 40%. There is a clear shift from traditional analog systems to the advancing communications technologies of today.
There are three primary reasons for the shift to cloud communications:
A cloud phone system is an attractive option for businesses looking to reduce operating costs. The only hardware requirement is an IP phone for each user, making upfront equipment and set-up costs very low. There are no maintenance fees or long distance charges. Included with your cloud phone service are training, upgrades, and new features. All of this works together to save your business significant dollars over time.
Without the need for cumbersome infrastructure, a cloud phone system saves a lot of office space.
The ease of use and simplicity of the system are attractive to all businesses, but particularly those who desire greater control of managing users, features, and processes.
Remote access to user portals, mobile integration, and other application integrations also increase convenience.
It can be challenging for businesses to keep up with the quickly-changing environment of today’s marketplace. Cloud communications services make it easier to handle staffing changes. Cloud phone users can add lines, transfer extensions, and administer shifts in employee roles easily. Adding or removing features is simple and encourages businesses to adopt the services they need when they need them.
Make Cloud Communications a Part of Your Future
Cloud communications are not just a passing trend. Evidence suggests we can only expect the technology to produce even greater functionality, potentially leaving traditional analog users behind in productivity and efficiency.
The cloud is the future – and the present. Make cloud communications a part of your future by switching to a cloud phone system today. It’s time!
Contact a SelectCom specialist to find out how our phone solution can improve your communications system and reduce business expenses.