Can cloud calling solutions really deliver greater flexibility and control?

See how cloud calling could help improve your productivity

by the AT&T Business Editorial Team

If your business is reaching the end of your current telephony solution’s lifecycle, you may be wondering if a cloud alternative might be a better choice.

You’re not alone. As cloud technology and capabilities improve, more businesses are taking advantage of flexible, cost-effective cloud solutions for telephony. Analysts predict that up to 90% of IT leaders will no longer buy new on-premises Private Branch Exchange (PBX) equipment beyond 20211 (PBX is an organization’s private telephone network that connects with outside telephone lines). Unlike conventional PBX hardware, cloud-based calling solutions don’t need replacing every 7 to 10 years, which potentially extends their life expectancy.2 Cloud technology’s greater durability and service life means that businesses can expect to reduce phone costs by up to 90%.3

But how do cloud-based phone solutions work, and what sort of benefits can you expect?

Traditional PBX vs. cloud: Gain more control and flexibility for improved productivity

Conventional offices use phones connected to networks to allow users to make internal office calls and local, long distance, and international calls. These configurations may require a significant initial investment in hardware such as phones, which feature a limited lifecycle, plus additional fees for services from providers. Basic PBX services don’t include video conferencing, but only provide voice communication. Furthermore, customers of this type of traditional arrangement don’t have as much flexibility or control over their phone service.

Cloud-based calling solutions are different in a few major ways. Cloud-based calling solutions can help businesses integrate multiple forms of communication into a single package, including richer formats such as video, which supports natural, spontaneous interactions between participants for efficient, productive collaborations.

Once a phone service is moved into the cloud, it benefits from other cloud-based network resources. These can help streamline and optimize your network performance—and enhance work efficiency. For instance, cloud calling solutions can link VoIP with existing collaboration and network resources such as Software-defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) to give businesses more control over their infrastructure. With SD-WAN, businesses can help ensure that voice communications receive network priority to provide more consistent call quality.

Because cloud-based calling solutions work with other cloud-based tools, they support greater control and flexibility over voice communications. Instead of relying on the provider to provision new devices, cloud-based calling solutions let businesses handle many routine functions themselves.

Businesses looking at budgets might consider cloud-based calling for potential savings. You can get hardware and equipment on a subscription basis—reducing initial expenditures. Instead of buying the equipment up front, businesses can pay a flat fee to keep their equipment current and maintained.

Go beyond calling with support for deeper video interactions

In addition to highly reliable, enterprise-grade phone service, cloud-based calling solutions open the door to an array of other cloud collaboration tools providing richer interactions.

These more advanced collaboration resources can operate as the backbone of a remote worker solution. For example, with cloud telephony solutions, your teams can have video conference calls and take advantage of advanced meetings solutions. All this promotes team efficiency, productivity, and unity.

Cisco Webex Calling with AT&T

A cloud-telephony service, Cisco Webex Calling with AT&T integrates virtually seamlessly with wider Cisco-based solutions, on-premises legacy systems, or cloud-based telephony.

It gives you and your teams access to the benefits outlined above. So, virtually wherever your employees are collaborating from, they can connect with each other, clients, suppliers, and customers reliably.

The solution provides all the features of a sophisticated phone and video service, including access to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), without equipment to house and manage. It’s all cloud-based, backed by the AT&T global network. Plus, mobile users can access features such as single number reach, voicemail, video services, and the ability to move between devices during a call almost seamlessly.

Further, businesses can directly access administrative features via portals to control and adjust performance, which results in more efficient solution management.

Video conferencing supports spontaneous brainstorms and group presentations while providing access to shared assets. It’s an excellent solution for bringing employees together in a virtual workspace to hash out ideas and coordinate a final implementation.

Webex Calling with AT&T features:

  • Optional concierge service with initial account set up included
  • Advanced 9-1-1 services
  • Auto attendant to help ensure all calls are answered and routed
  • Call recording integration for automated audio capture
  • Receptionist client for call controls, call queuing, and directory options
  • Call pick up, call park, and call queue for greater call control
  • Authentication services for Webex Meetings, Webex Teams, and Webex Calling
  • Microsoft integrations across Office 365

Use case: aging Voice over IP infrastructure

Suppose your business is facing an overdue overhaul of its end-of-lifecycle VoIP phone system. You’re confronted with the option of either replacing all hardware and renewing your existing service agreement or moving telephony into the cloud and obtaining hardware through a subscription model. You decide to integrate calling with the many available cloud collaboration tools available in Cisco Webex Calling with AT&T. With its more encompassing feature set, your employees enjoy flexible calling options from wherever they’re working. And with built-in compatibility with Slack and Microsoft Teams, your staff can join the conversation and make meaningful contributions from the device of their choosing. Unlike your former solution, you now have a single-pane-of-glass Control Hub to monitor and manage your devices, services, settings, security, and analytics.

If you’re looking for ways to support remote workers, potentially save on your telephony solutions, and enhance productivity, cloud-based communication and collaboration platforms offer a tremendous amount of promise for you.

We’re here for you

Are you a small-to-medium business wanting to better support your workforce, customers, and locations? Contact us today. We have professionals who can demystify the technology for you and get you up and running with emerging technology and other solutions for your business.

AT&T Business is here to help small businesses in a big way. Our Tech Demystified series can help you decide what products and services will work best for your business. To learn more, visit Webex Calling with AT&T or contact your local sales representative.

1 Cisco, “What can Cisco Webex Calling do for my small business?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Nextiva, “30+ VoIP Statistics for Growing Businesses”

4 Based on comparison of carrier owned & operated networks.  No AT&T on-net coverage in select countries, including Canada. Details: https://www.att.com/international/. Destinations covered: att.com/globalcountries