Communication between a business and it’s consumers is one of the most important foundations of good customer experience. It’s in this way that, as a key element in providing this communication, the telephony system that is used can be seen as one of the most important pieces of infrastructure that a company can invest in. Updating and improving from a legacy system, one made up of outdated technology, to a system built on cloud technology provides multiple, quite significant benefits by addressing a number of issues that legacy systems often incur.
The top 4 reasons your business could benefit in a transition to a cloud-based system
Higher costs involved in legacy systems
Keeping costs low is important to any successful business and one of the largest detriments that can be seen by sticking to a legacy system is in the inherent cost that they can incur. There is, of course, the initial cost of the hardware however you can still be hit with recurring costs in maintenance, support, and inevitably upgrades.
This is one area where cloud solutions take an advantage. Cloud solutions offer lower upfront costs and, with updates and upgrades being able to be performed remotely, significantly lower costs for upkeep. Many organisations are upgrading to new systems with better functionality at the same or even lower cost.
Effect on Customer Experience
Despite the growth in digital channel, over 60% of customers still prefer to engage with an organisation through their call centre. Your telephony system is deeply connected to a customer’s experience when engaging with your business. This is the second reason companies should be ensuring their system is the most streamlined version it can be so that it meets those expectations that customers have. Legacy systems can have many things which negatively impact a customers experience such as line trouble, ageing hardware, and software dependencies which all effect the quality of the call itself.
Additionally, cloud systems have the option for mobile integration, remote provisioning and enablement allowing for significantly greater accessibility.
More potential for disaster/downtime on legacy systems
When designing any important system there comes a point where you have to consider the implications of a disaster. In the telephony realm one such disaster is in downtime. In the event of power outages or other causes for downtime, legacy systems will be completely out of action and will be unrecoverable without direct power. The adaptability of cloud solutions ensures that there is always a means of communication to ensure the continuity of business, something that legacy systems simply cannot promise.
Flexibility/Scaling potential of cloud-based systems
The business environment looks very different in a modern world, workers are no longer stationed at their desk all day, they are mobile, flexible, and often working remotely. With a legacy system, employees are restricted in their movement, unable to remain in an ever-needed agile environment. On the other hand, cloud systems offer significantly more flexibility, allowing workers to take and make calls, hold teleconferences, and transfer calls from their homes.
Another advantage of cloud-based systems is the reduced costs involved in establishing new workspaces. Previously, to get a new workplace set up would require high deployment costs for new equipment, new cabling, and professional installation. This problem is, quite simply, absent in cloud systems, which are easy to scale, and allow for rapid expansion at a reduced cost.
Proactive steps and key considerations to keep your business at the forefront
When transitioning away from a legacy system it is important to understand the primary goals and motivators behind the transition. Here are a few considerations you should answer and keep in mind in the lead up and during a transition.
There are a handful of essential questions you should be able to answer early on when assessing the needs of your business, simple things which will define your goals and what is needed to reach those goals. How many locations do you want? How and where do employees currently communicate and using what types of devices? And of course, how much do you want to spend on the new system? These are simple questions, but they are essential to execute an effective upgrade.
You should have a clear view of what you want to get out of the new system. What additional capabilities does your business need and what would help the business and employees flourish, mobile support? Video conferencing? Cloud file sharing? It is also important to know your timeline. How quickly do you hope to see the system up and running?
Once you’ve identified what you hope to achieve with the new system, it’s valuable to take a step back and assess how ready your business really is to support this upgrade. There are important capabilities that are essential to the successful implementation of cloud-based telephony systems which you need to consider. Is the bandwidth sufficient to support the system? Are all required employees connected to a stable internet connection? Is your Wi-Fi a high enough quality? It is important to know what your current set of capabilities is really capable of supporting.
So, what’s next?
Telephony systems are important, perhaps more important than many people give them credit for. For a business to maintain an advantage in a modern world the telephony system behind them must be up to scratch. If it isn’t, and they are stuck on outdated, expensive equipment they are putting themselves at risk and inadvertently damaging the experience of customers engaging with the company. These issues which plague legacy systems are all avoided by transitioning away from those outdated systems and towards an online, cloud-based system.
By Jim Magiras, our in-house project, sales and service specialist, with over two decades of experience across industries such as telecommunications, energy, tolling and contact centres. Jim leads high performing teams to deliver outstanding solutions, overseeing end to end programs of work that transform strategic goals into practical customer focused solutions.