VoIP and the Cloud – “Pay as you Go” (No Wastage)Posted on: 2018-09-21 | Categories: VoIP Services
Cloud technology has made its way into every industry out there and even transformed a few beyond recognition. Today, most people carry at least one or two devices that rely on the cloud to deliver services. Over the last couple of decades, many software applications have become services that rely on the cloud instead. Need to purchase tax preparation software, a video editing program or even a text editor? You’ll find there are dozens of cloud-based services that will deliver the features you need to any Internet-connected device you own.
Enterprise PBX Systems
Enterprise voice communication systems have not been immune to the cloud transformation. Long gone are the days when you needed rooms full of equipment and dozens of staff to maintain the phones. Whether you are a small startup or a multinational corporation, cloud-based VoIP services can connect you to the rest of the world.
Hosted VoIP services that rely on the cloud offer many benefits over on-premise deployments. You can get started with a hosted VoIP service in a couple of hours, as long as you have SIP compatible phones (or analog phones and adapters) and robust network infrastructure. Most vendors will give you a free demo that can last anywhere from two weeks to even 60 days! The fact that these phone services are delivered all over the cloud also means that you don’t have to purchase expensive equipment or spend money on periodic maintenance. The vendor takes care of security, quality of service, maintenance, delivering new features, and troubleshooting problems.
Getting Rid of Contracts
Cloud-based VoIP service providers have also adopted different business models to suit client preferences. You can purchase calling minutes in advance, opt for unlimited plans or choose a combination of both. Organizations that don’t make a lot of long-distance calls prefer unlimited local calling plans while others will choose alternatives. One of the things that the industry has chosen to eschew is contracts.
Most businesses are familiar with long-term contracts, especially for phone services. When was the last time you could purchase new phone lines or numbers without paying hefty upfront fees and signing a multiyear contract with a traditional carrier? Contracts do offer some benefits to companies – you’re able to lock in current prices for the foreseeable future and are assured of a certain level of quality for the same duration. But over the years, businesses have realized that the disadvantages outweigh the few benefits.
The Pay-As-You-Go Business Model
Cloud-based VoIP service providers follow a pay-as-you-go model (also called one month rolling contracts) that offers more benefits than the old contract-based model. Pay-as-you-go means that you don’t have to waste time in planning for future growth. Startups and small businesses face a lot of risks when planning for the future – you never know if the company is going to be a runaway success or failure over the next couple of years.
What happens if you estimate 5% growth for the next 12 months but end up expanding much more rapidly? Your phone contract may specify exorbitant fees for having extra lines. The reverse situation can also happen. What if growth is slower than predicted and you don’t need all the lines or numbers you are now stuck with? In most cases, your only option is to keep paying for all those unused resources.
The pay-as-you-go model solves these problems in one fell swoop. You don’t have to pay for resources that you no longer use. The flipside of the coin is that should your business expand rapidly, you’re always able to add lines at any time. It’s not just lines and numbers that you can change as you wish. You can even enable and disable specific features, paying for them only when you turn them on. Suppose digital faxing is an optional feature that requires additional payment under your pricing plan. Instead of having to pay for it over the entire contract period, you can enable it for the few months or weeks you need. Such granularity allows startups and small businesses to save quite a lot of money as opposed to contracts.
The Freedom to Switch
The lack of contracts also offers one more important benefit – the ability to switch vendors at will. Innovation and competition in the VoIP industry mean vendors frequently release new features and change prices. With the contract, you won’t be able to switch to another vendor without paying early termination fees and other such charges. That’s assuming that you can even end the contract early without resorting to legal action. With pay-as-you-go, companies won’t have any problems changing providers. So go ahead and take advantage of that new low price or exciting feature!
New technologies change not just processes and workflows but also lead to economic changes. And it’s about time your business benefits from those changes!