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Technology

Myth-Busting Concerns Around Cloud-Based Telecom


by Darach Beirne

3 common misconceptions enterprise leaders face when considering migration to cloud-based telecom.

©Nadine_C/iStock/Getty Images Plus

The adoption of cloud-based communication services is prevalent among businesses, as these solutions facilitate connection and innovation, while also reducing costs. Cloud adoption has been on the rise for the last decade; however, usage exploded in 2020 as the workforce largely went remote. Finance teams turned to cloud-based collaboration tools to continue operations at-a-distance and many decision makers leveraged cloud telecom solutions to provide customers with alternative ways to interact in real-time.

As more companies and finance departments consider moving to the cloud to build competitive advantage, many still have questions about some of the issues they have historically associated with cloud-based communications services. Below are three common misconceptions enterprise leaders face when considering migration to cloud-based telecom. Under each myth, we set the record straight so decision makers can feel confident in their IT purchase decisions and embrace the technology.

Myth #1: VoIP audio quality is subpar

This is a common myth that many are concerned about. Historically, sound quality on VoIP and hosted phone systems presented issues for customers if the configuration of the business’ internet service provider (ISP) network was not configured to prioritize voice traffic. If the ISP is configured incorrectly, latency – or a lag in transmission, impacting quality – can occur. Thankfully, cloud-based carriers and service providers have addressed this problem. They now provide dedicated bandwidth to support cloud hosted-PBX (Private Branch Exchange – aka the network used within a company) with high speed and low latency to ensure quality. As a result, poor audio quality has become obsolete and cloud service quality is far superior to what it used to be.

Myth #2: Landline connections are more reliable

Incorrect. In fact, today’s cloud-based communication service providers and carriers can resolve network outages faster than legacy providers due to their unique ability to reroute IP-based traffic. For example, when a company with a landline connection experiences a local access or network outage, they have to call the phone company and wait for a fix (sometimes for hours), which can cause strain to operations and the bottom line. A company with a cloud-based connection, however, benefits from technology known as adaptive call routing. This means that calls can quickly bypass the disruption by getting routed to an operating network so the business (and its customers) can resume normal operations and continue forward. Similarly, if a bank or finance department is receiving a high volume of calls or experiencing degraded service, adaptive call routing can reroute the traffic over another secure partner network to ensure capacity, uptime and quality.

Myth #3: IP phone systems are less secure

Not true! Security is only as good as its weakest link, and a business communications platform is only as safe as its design. Often, the horror stories told about VoIP vulnerabilities stem from improperly configured networks. To keep sensitive information out of the hands of fraudsters, the entire network must be secured, including Internet phone lines. As with personal or corporate banking, a customized approach to security is the best strategy. Below are a few best practices businesses can take with the help of their cloud telecom provider:

  • Ensure software and firmware are up to date
  • Frequently change passwords
  • Establish secure connections protocols like SSL for all access to any point in the network from anywhere.

Tips on evaluating providers

While cloud-based communication solutions can give businesses and finance teams enhanced access and control over their telecom services, not every business has an in-house IT department or a software development team. That’s why it’s important to work with a carrier that can assess current needs and provide the right level of IT and telecom support. As with any technology purchase decision, it is important to carefully evaluate options and vet providers on the market. Below are a few tips on how to find the right provider based on individual needs.

  • Determine business telecom needs. A good question to ask is: “What business objectives are we trying to achieve now and in the future that could impact our carrier selection?” Understanding the business’ and customers’ needs is an important first step in finding a provider.
  • Evaluate service offerings and support. Remember, not all telecom carriers offer the same level of technology or services, and these services may not be relevant to a business. For example, a business might prioritize mobile banking, payment reminders and debt collection tools, so it will be critical to partner with providers that offer those solutions. Providers can assist with selection of products and solutions that align with specific business needs.
  • Look for scalability. In a rapidly evolving market, it’s important to have flexibility to grow or shrink as needed. Providers offering scalable solutions will allow the company to stay nimble and quickly respond to changes.
  • Cloud-based communication applications are not a one size fits all solution. Consider telecom providers that offer the option to tailor or customize their products and services. This control will help improve interactions with customers and ensure the company isn’t paying for more IT support then they need. Partnering with a provider that supports customization will reduce the risk of feeling overburdened or underserved.

Considering the above points will help companies select the right cloud-based telecom provider. Be it a small business or a large enterprise, cloud telecom providers should offer a highly reliable service that is unique to business needs and scalable.

With a better understanding of common misconceptions about the cloud, finance decision makers can feel more at ease with their IT and more in control over their cloud deployments. Cloud telecom is a powerful tool that can support financial operations both internally and externally and maintain connection to key stakeholders.

Darach Beirne is vice president of customer success at Flowroute, now part of Intrado.