By Lars Nordhild Rønning, General Manager, RingCentral UK and EMEA

For any number of reasons; many businesses have delayed upgrading their legacy telecoms system. Consequently, you may be living with a costly, out-of-date phone system that lacks the capabilities and flexibility to support rapid growth or business agility. Or you may be dealing with the worry that you’re failing to deliver the efficient service customers expect.

Moving your phone system to the cloud can save on expenditures such as phone line monthly charges, mobile calling and technical maintenance. With workforces now typically dispersed across multiple locations and staff becoming more mobile, a more flexible technology is needed. Our research revealed that we are now much more open to working in locations other than the office, with 93% working from home for part of the week and 76% working while travelling. As the standard ‘9 to 5’ working day becomes a thing of the past, cloud-based telephony is helping businesses ensure that productivity, business costs, customer service and employee satisfaction isn’t compromised.

Here are 5 fast tips on how to successfully take your business to the cloud:

1. Identify the case for change

The on premise PBX has served companies well for a long time, but the world has changed around it. If you’re like many companies, the problems of supporting an aging on premise PBX have become painfully obvious. The cost and complexity of keeping the hardware alive makes it more of a liability than an asset. Your current PBX may also lack the flexibility and advanced features to keep pace with a mobile and distributed workforce. Businesses with a growing footprint need a phone system that can tie together dispersed workforce irrespective of where they are based. If the above points are ringing true with your current business model, all can be resolved by making the simple move to a cloud-based phone system.

2. Select a proven infrastructure

It’s important to select a cloud phone solution that meets your business requirements. Elimination of IT and budget risks is one of the main reasons businesses move to the cloud, removing the need to buy, implement, maintain and upgrade a complex PBX system It’s also important to consider future risks because, in addition to cutting your costs, cloud solutions can eliminate hidden future costs as you grow—whether they are new features, a telecom server at a new location, or the need to add new lines or cards when you on board new employees.

3. Make full use of a trial

Getting to know an infrastructure that works for your business is crucial in making the transitional step to cloud communications. Making full use of free trials allows you to discover the specific features most suitable for your business. It’s this phase that allows you to identify what you truly require from a cloud-based system and the potential impact on your business. Whether you’re looking to simplify multi-location management, grow your workforce or reduce infrastructure management headaches and costs, there is a cloud-based system out there that can cater for your business needs.

4. Use implementation resources

However obvious this seems, it’s vitally important that companies make the most of implementation and training resources provided by your supplier to guarantee the smoothest transition possible. Shortcuts, tips and general ‘know how’ help administrators customise the system specifically for the organisation which leads to increased business efficiency.

5. Train end users

Cloud systems allow all employees to access the system through a web portal or mobile app, meaning you no longer have to deal with third party maintenance technicians or wait for them to make adds, moves, or changes. For example, users can change call routing in a few seconds using their smartphone or tablet. The working environment and employee habits have changed over the years, and technology has adapted to meeting ever-changing requirements. To really feel the benefits that new technology can have on the workforce, customers and costs, businesses need to take the leap into innovative cloud technology.