What is the cloud and how does it work with hosted voice systems?

Hosted voice systems are sometimes referred to as cloud PBX (private branch exchange). While it might sound complicated, it just means you’re using the internet to make, receive, and manage phone calls, rather than having a physical system in your workplace.

Here, we talk you through everything you need to know about the cloud and how it relates to hosted voice, touching on the processes that make it possible and why it’s a great idea to integrate cloud PBX into your business.

What is the cloud?

To put it simply, ‘the cloud’ refers to the process of cloud computing, which is a way of storing and accessing data over the internet.

Rather than being stored on your own internal office server or on your computer’s hard drive, the information or application that you’re using is stored remotely. This means that the physical data is located on a server somewhere else in the world, and you gain access to it via the internet.

One of the most relatable ways of explaining the cloud is with the example of Google Docs and Sheets. Rather than having an application like Microsoft Word or Excel saved on your computer, you can simply open a browser and use the Google version of the application, which has very similar features and functionality.

You can save your documents, share them with others, and even access them from other devices by logging into your Google account. As you know, your documents aren’t saved to a folder on your actual computer. Instead, the data powering Google Docs is on a server somewhere else, and therefore you’re accessing the application via the cloud.

This is how it works in any scenario of cloud computing – you use the internet to gain access to an application and all its features, and the backend technology that powers and stores that data is located on a server somewhere else.

How does the cloud factor into hosted voice?

Hosted voice is a phone system within a business – just like any phone system, you can answer, make, and transfer calls. But rather than having the hardware located in your office or on your own servers, with a cloud PBX system it’s hosted on a server somewhere else and you access it through the internet.

This means you can use any internet-connected device (such as a mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or computer) to make and answer phone calls. All you need to do is download and log into an app. And you can have an entire business that’s connected on the same platform.

The actual system that does all the hard work is stored and maintained by a third-party, which will ensure that it’s resilient and secure, with specialised systems in place to protect your data and keep everything running exactly as it should.

How do I set up hosted voice?

It’s incredibly easy to bring hosted voice into your business. Because the provider maintains the equipment and operates the service for you, there’s no need to invest in any hardware or change your infrastructure.

All you need to do is choose a package based on the number of minutes that you want and any additional services you might require, such as call recording, parking, and contact grouping.

Typically, you’ll pay a monthly fee. Some providers will also give you the flexibility to review and change your package to adapt to your business needs.

To access these services, your employees can download an application onto their existing devices. This means there’s no need to invest in new technology or training, as they can use the phones and laptops they’re already familiar with.

Why should you choose a cloud-hosted voice system?

We’ve written a lot about the benefits of hosted voice and why cloud PBX adds value to a business, but we’ve summarised some of the key perks:

  • Great for flexible and remote working: Because it works over the internet, your employees can make and take calls anywhere there’s an internet connection, allowing for seamless communication regardless of location.
  • Resilient and secure: Your provider will make your security a priority, so you don’t need to worry about implementing data protection measures in house. It also means you can have business continuity and maintain operations if something goes awry on your physical premises.
  • Efficient and affordable: All you need to do is choose a package that’s tailored to your needs and enjoy the benefits of an efficient and high-quality service – there’s no need to invest in complex hardware and software and you don’t need to clear any space in your office.
  • Expand your services: The flawless call forwarding feature allows you to maintain communication across multiple locations, so you can provide great customer service even when you’re working out of different offices in different time zones.

While it might be a strange concept to get your head around, the cloud is a great tool that can allow you to bring your business to new heights. Implementing hosted voice into your business model means you can connect and communicate with co-workers and clients in a high-quality, fast, and affordable manner, without having to worry about hardware or maintenance. Find out more about hosted voice and how it works and explore the glossary of cloud PBX terms to better understand the features available.