By Gary Pryor, Sales Director, 8x8 Solutions

For many small to medium sized businesses, the thought of moving critical business processes to the ‘cloud’ is disconcerting and one which is quickly filed under ‘to think about’.

Not thinking seriously about how the ‘cloud’ can improve business’ mobility and agility, which increases productivity and efficiency, reduce operating costs and significantly raise customer service levels is a big mistake. You can be pretty certain that your competitors will be thinking about it and some may well already be reaping the benefits.

So what’s holding businesses back from taking advantage of a move to the cloud? For many it’s the fear, uncertainly and doubt (FUD) about what this actually means and how to do it.

So let’s quickly dispel the FUD! The cloud is simply the Internet and a move to the cloud allows you to make your business processes available to whoever you want, wherever they are, whenever you want.

What’s more, you don’t have to worry about how you actually do it. You can outsource the whole thing to a cloud-based managed service provider with a proven track record of delivering secure Internet connectivity, enabling the provision of a robust and reliable quality of service.

Let’s look at the benefits of moving one of your most critical business processes to the cloud — your telephone system.

How often have you felt that your telephone system doesn’t perform as well as it should and you would like more features and functionality — perhaps an auto attendant, ring groups, a corporate directory, advanced call forwarding, etc.

Well, by moving to a hosted (managed) business VoIP (voice over IP i.e. the Internet) service you can enjoy the business telephony features that large FTSE 500 companies have come to know and expect, on a pay as you go basis!

Because VoIP uses the Internet as the delivery mechanism local, long distance and international calls are more cost effective. As the phone service and all of its features are hosted in the cloud it can be possible to save up to 90% of the start-up costs of traditional premise-based hardware PBX systems and 50% of monthly phone bills.

To start reaping the benefits of cloud communications all you need is an Internet connection and a trusted cloud-based service provider who will work with you to make sure that you choose the cloud communications solution your business needs. A solution which meets the internal and external business communications requirements of your business today and importantly those of tomorrow.