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Cloud Communication Platforms: What It Means For Your Business

Cloud communication is an essential tool for organisations to stay connected with their employees, customers, and investors in this ever-evolving business landscape

With so many cloud communication platforms on the market, it can be daunting to know which is the right one for you. Fortunately, I came up with this buying guide that will help you understand the key features and functionalities of a platform, so you can make an informed decision.

Before I get into that, let us take a minute to define what a cloud communication platform is and why it is essential for your business.

What is a cloud communications platform?

A cloud communications platform is an integrated suite of software that makes it easy and efficient for businesses to communicate via:

  • Voice and video calls
  • Instant messaging/chat rooms
  • Document sharing
  • Conference calling
  • Collaboration
  • Other business-essential functions

It provides a cost-effective solution by allowing businesses to pay only for the computing or storage power they require rather than for more than needed.

More importantly, it is a phone system that uses voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) technology to make and receive calls over the internet. It allows users to communicate without the need for physical phones or other hardware, making it an ideal solution for businesses, especially those with a distributed workforce.

By using cloud technology, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution is a secure and reliable way for businesses to communicate with their customers, partners, and employees.

What it means for your company

In recent times, the growth of e-commerce, the shift to remote and hybrid work, automation, and the usage of artificial intelligence (AI) have surged globally.

Digital transformation is profoundly changing the way businesses operate. Companies of all sizes, from small to large, are now adopting digital tools to improve employee workflow and efficiency. As technology advances, employers and employees are beginning to realise the importance of making some work easier with technology and streamlining processes through digital technologies and platforms.

Hybrid flexibility is an increasingly popular concept, particularly in the realm of cloud communications. By combining the convenience of a cloud-based platform with the advantages of traditional systems, it is easy to see why this type of flexibility has become so desirable.

Which is right for you?

When you shift your business model to cloud-based communication tools, you must carefully select a communication stack that best suits your needs.

Cloud computing allows users to access communication services without needing to install and maintain hardware or software. It provides enhanced flexibility and scalability, making it an ideal solution for companies that need reliable and efficient communication solutions.

It can be tricky to make sense of popular cloud communication models with acronyms such as CPaaS and UCaaS.

Let me explain the differences between these two types of cloud communication stacks and how they can benefit your business.

CPaaS, or Communications Platform as a Service, is a cloud-based platform allowing companies to seamlessly incorporate communication features into their existing applications.

By utilising modules and APIs, CPaaS enables developers to create custom solutions that expand and evolve the capabilities of an application in real-time without having to create new back-end infrastructure.

Main communication channels:

  • VoIP calling
  • Text messaging
  • Conference calls
  • Social media messaging
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UCaaS, or Unified Communications as a Service, is an all-encompassing collaboration tool that allows teams to communicate with one another and their customers quickly, regardless of location.

It gives users access to team messaging, video conferencing, and cloud phone features within a single cloud-based platform, eliminating the need for additional infrastructure investments or complex setup processes. All that is necessary is internet access.

Main communication channels:

  • VoIP calling
  • Text messaging
  • Video conferencing
  • Team chat messaging
  • Social media messaging
  • Email

Key features to look out for in a cloud communication platform

If your organisation is looking for a new way to communicate, it is substantial to consider the choices available. UCaaS and CPaaS are both options that can be tailored to specific business needs.

UCaaS provides businesses with an overhauled communications solution without having to build their integrations, while CPaaS will allow companies to keep their existing workflow but integrate proprietary features. Those with security or scalability needs should favor CPaaS, if not, today’s UCaaS solutions offer a great deal of customisation.

Let us explore some of the features of a UCaaS platform:

Scalability potential and connect services

Unified communications (UC) is a way for enterprises to manage their remote communication needs. By deploying a UC platform, organisations can connect internal and external teams with access to popular messaging channels like SMS, email, Messenger, Line, and WhatsApp.

Furthermore, UCs can switch between PSTN and VoIP networks as well as from voice calls to chats quickly and easily, allowing staff members to use voice, chat, video, and conferencing capabilities in one unified system.

Security and compliance features

Customers and businesses need to feel confident that their data is secure when stored and shared within a cloud communication platform. Be sure the platform you select offers security features such as encryption, data backup and recovery, and data protection systems.

Also, for those in industries with strict regulatory compliance requirements, a solution that can meet global compliance standards, including GDPR, is vital.

Customer support

Customer support solutions are essential for efficient customer service. Cast around a platform that includes reporting and analytics tools, allowing you to get an overview of your team’s performance.

You should also look for features such as live chat, virtual call centers, voice mail, caller ID, and automated responses. These features will help you increase customer satisfaction, reduce wait times and improve communication between your team and customers.

Advanced call center features

Many cloud communication platforms come with advanced call center features such as call routing, click-to-call capabilities, VoIP integration, detailed analytics reporting, and more.

Explore a platform with just the right amount of features to suit your specific business needs. These features should help easily manage and monitor customer service calls, track volume in real-time, and store all necessary customer data securely.

Ease of use and cost-efficient

A platform that is efficient, cost-effective, and user-friendly can help your team get the job done faster with no downtime. You can use multiple tools in one place, making it easier to manage and save costs by not constantly switching applications.

Setting it up is hassle-free as it doesn’t require an IT team or complex coding – you could be up and running in minutes.

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Choose the best cloud communication platform for your business

Deciding the best mobile cloud communication platform for your business should involve more than just list-checking the features you need.

You should also consider the three following factors to select the most suitable platform for your company.

Carrier-grade performance and reliability

Carrier-grade reliability is a measure of:

  • Dependability
  • Performance
  • Redundancy
  • Availability of telecommunications networks or infrastructure

It is used for applications or networks which require high levels of uptime and security. To ensure the network remains available, carrier-grade components are necessary.

These include PSTN, VoIP, Ethernet networks, as well as carrier-grade hardware. With carrier-grade reliability, you can be sure that your communication systems will perform at an optimal level with minimal disruptions.

Seek out services that assure an annual uptime of 99.95%, with real-time service delivery, monitoring, and support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Combines digital and telecom channels

To maximise business transformation, cloud communication platforms should prioritise customer engagement through their chosen channels. That doesn’t have to just be digital — research shows consumers still appreciate being contacted via telephone or receiving SMS offers.

Therefore, the ideal cloud communications platform should not just connect traditional telephony and digital channels but also effectively transition between them — for example, from an offline conversation to an online chat or call.

Support a team member anytime

In situations when a single staff member is unable to adequately handle a customer enquiry, they have the option of adding in expert help. This could be their boss, a colleague, or someone else who is more knowledgeable about the matter.

Additionally, this individual can take over the conversation if needed. Jumping on calls is an excellent way for customers to get the best service possible. Doing so also allows for a better quality of service and resolution of customer queries.

So, explore platform features that include the capability for users to join an ongoing interaction or take over a chat, voice call, or video call.

Cloud communication – The path forward

Digitisation is ushering in a new era of remote and hybrid work, leading to the emergence of an innovative cloud culture. With digital solutions becoming steadily popular, companies are now able to conduct their operations from anywhere and at any time. This has opened up the possibility for workers to move away from traditional office structures and embrace a more fluid cloud culture with unlimited potential.

Cloud communication is an essential tool for organisations to stay connected with their employees, customers, and investors in this ever-evolving business landscape. It enables them to build intuitive relationships without worrying about physical proximity, technology, or any other factors. With the help of cloud communication, businesses can stay connected no matter where they are.

A cloud communication platform is a service that allows businesses to facilitate cross-team collaboration and customer engagement. By having the right cloud solution, businesses can take advantage of increased efficiency and improved customer satisfaction.

Source: e27

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