Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Cloud Telephony

Welcome everyone to this expert interview. My name is James McNamara and I am here with 35-year Telco veteran Greg Eicke. Greg owns a dynamic company named Phones Now – where excellence comes standard.

James: 35 years Greg, you must have seen many industry and technology changes in that time…

Greg: When I stop and think about it, the change is monstrous. I started out working on the old style “wind-up” phones. Since then we’ve had industry deregulation, update to digital technology, integration of phone and IT systems and now cloud technology and the nbn.

James: Well Greg, it’s that last point you mentioned – cloud technology. Can you tell our listeners what a cloud phone system is?

Greg: Let’s start with the cloud.

Did you know why it’s called the cloud?

James: No why

Greg: Because nerds like me draw this fluffy thing trying to explain a complex data centre… it’s so much easier to draw a fully thing and call it a cloud.

James: ha hahahahah

Greg: There are 2 types of cloud phone systems, one is a basic unit that caters for up to 8 users. By basic I mean simple call routing and feature needs, these cater to a business usually with up to 8 staff.

James: so what about more than 8 users

Greg: James a business with say 10 users is dynamically different to that of an 8 user.

You see business needs change at that level. It becomes more complex and needs change where the basic cloud system will fail to deliver. This is where the Real cloud version comes into play. We have invested heavily here by installing the famous Panasonic phone systems in a data centre so business owners can gain access to the amazing features without the cost.

James: Greg for the small business owner, what are the advantages of a Cloud Phone system over a more traditional product?

Greg: James from a cost point of view the main advantage is a reduced initial start up cost. More so becoming a monthly cost rather than a capital expenditure.

From a feature and needs point of view the lower end of cloud systems with less than 8 users the benefits are available features which are normally otherwise out of reach for a micro business.

James what makes us different is we have invested heavily in cloud based Panasonic phones systems which means any business can have access to the legendary features without the capital expenditure. Currently we have users on our Panasonic systems spread from Melbourne to Brisbane and Perth. They love it.

James: What type of business is best suited to a cloud phone system?

Greg: That’s a good question James.

We can catorgorise this into 2 parts, one being size and the other needs.

Let’s look at size first.

Typically, less than 8 users can have access to all of the modern unified communication features for a fraction of the cost, which means they can use these strong features to propel their enterprise into the 21st century.

James a business with say 10 users has a distinct set of different needs over that of lower numbers.

Their needs change, more complex call routing, more complex messaging and voice mail needs alter their focus points. All smart business owners should be considering these options.

James, working remotely today is more and more common, this means any business at the forefront of growth would be a great candidate for a hosted phone system.

James: Are there any businesses that are not suited to a cloud phone system?

Greg: James, this is another good question. Arguably the answer is all business are suited, however, it is their primary needs that will govern on-premise opposed to cloud. For example, an on-premise based phone system would be suitable for an enterprise where direct integration with an existing on premise server based software is required. Having said that, almost all vendors are providing a cloud based solution so companies have an easy migration path from on premise to cloud.

James: What is the biggest challenge that a business would face updating to a cloud phone system?

Greg: James, the biggest challenge for most is “security”

Let me explain.

There are business owners who want to be able to touch their telephone or IT equipment and there others who have accepted the cloud is more secure than they could ever afford themselves. You see it is a common belief the cloud is insecure. This is not true, data centres today are more like maximum security prisons, where they are almost impossible to breach physically and softly”

James, I had a discussion just last week with a business owner who was vehemently against the cloud because it was insecure. As we chatted I noticed the phone system and IT server was in open view within the office. I asked the owner why he felt more secure with on premise equipment, he said “I can walk over and touch it”
Puzzled I said “but it has no security, what happens if someone breaks in, steals your server, where would you be?”

Would you be comfortable with your entire business underneath your desk, feeling secure?” I think not.

James: Are there many different brands? In your experience which is best?

Greg: There are lots of brands, and they are NOT all equal. Further to this of the really good brands, some are more suited to a large business with 300 handsets and some are more suited to a small and medium business – and that is the area my team knows extremely well.

Of all of the brands I’ve worked with in the small and medium business space, Panasonic is the leader in my mind – reliability, durability, features, value… we just can’t find a better overall offering for our clients

James conclusion: Greg, thank you for answering those common questions for us. Now if people need help with a cloud phone system how do they get in contact with you?

Greg: Call 1300 58 4000. That number is answered in Australia, by and Australian. Alternatively go to our website www.phonesnow.com

James: Thank you Greg, those contact details again quickly are 1300 58 4000 and website is www.phonesnow.com.