Easy Office Phone, a North American provider of cloud-based business phone service, identified five misconceptions many organizations face surrounding cloud-based communications systems and their security implications. “Cloud-based phone service is an increasingly mainstream choice for business communications, yet some companies are still holding back,” said Adam Simpson, CEO and co-founder of Easy Office Phone. “We believe the hesitation is often due to inaccurate perceptions, and we aim to change that with our education-based approach.”
Here are five common misconceptions in cloud-based communications systems and security:
1) Voice Quality Might Be Affected: With a suitable Internet connection, digital phone service can actually deliver considerably higher quality and fidelity than a traditional copper landline. Voice reproduction is much more accurate and lifelike. Many users report that voices sound more natural and less “tinny” on a digital service.
2) The Technology Is Less Secure: After moving to a cloud-based phone service, you can actually enjoy much more secure conversations. With compatible hardware, all voice packets can be encrypted. In addition, with a private Internet connection, the path those packets travel along is also secured, making interception and decryption virtually impossible. By comparison, a traditional landline would be considerably easier to tap.
3) Scalability Is a Limitation: Cloud-based phone service is vastly more scalable than on-site systems. There is no need to install a physical PBX, so the initial deployment is rapid and simple. Adding capacity as needed is similarly painless, since cloud-based providers can activate additional lines remotely and within minutes, in contrast to needing an on-site service call to run more physical lines into an office for a PBX or telephone switch. In addition, flexible device and software options allow for the easy integration of new, remote, or part-time staff into their communications ecosystems.
4) The Cost of Switching Is Expensive: Getting started with a cloud-based service is very cost-effective. As previously mentioned, there’s no need for an on-site PBX, which means an initial savings of thousands of dollars. Initial setup is also less costly, since most cloud providers ship hardware pre-programmed for plug-and-play usability. Whether a company chooses to install the phones itself or hire an IT company, work time is minimal.
There is truth to the concern that equipment designed for analog systems may not be inherently compatible with a cloud-based solution. However, the majority of today’s legacy phones can be used with a digital service if a company obtains analog-to-digital adapters, which are less costly compared to purchasing new phones. Finally, with desktop and smartphone apps, companies can reduce or even eliminate the need for new hardware.
5) This Technology Will Be Obsolete in a Few Years: IP technologies are now well-established components of the telephone network and will soon become the mainstream standard. The FCC recently voted to begin testing the deployment of IP networks in place of existing copper-based infrastructure. Communications will soon reach a point where the adoption of IP technology will no longer be optional.
“With the FCC openly discussing the end of the traditional public phone network, the time to switch to a cloud-based communications service is now,” concluded Simpson. “It’s not just a marketing cliché – cloud-based service truly is the way of the future. Businesses will benefit from adapting now, rather than scrambling to catch up at the last minute.”
[From the Aug/Sep 2014 issue of AnswerStat magazine]