7 Ways a Cloud Phone System Can Improve Your Bottom Line

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1 WHITEPAPER 7 Ways a Cloud Phone System Can Improve Your Bottom Line If you re like a lot of businesses, the only time you think about your phone system is when it s not working. But the set it and forget it mindset can cost you in more ways than one. The way we work and how a business interacts with its customers has changed. It s time to give your communications systems a second look. Learn how today s cloud phone solutions can help you reduce costs, improve efficiencies, deliver outstanding service and, in short, grow your business.

2 7 WAYS A CLOUD PHONE SYSTEM CAN IMPROVE YOUR BOTTOM LINE 2 Modern Times Call for Modern Solutions Thanks to rapid advancements in technology over the past decade, the way we work has changed dramatically. We live in a world where information is available anytime, anywhere and from a variety of devices. In addition to redefining how we do our jobs, today s information-driven society has also reshaped customer expectations. Nowhere are these changes more apparent than in the United States. Statistics provided by Pew Research 1 paint a picture of America s mobile adult society: 90 % have a cell phone 58 % have a smartphone 42 % own a tablet computer 32 % own an e-reader Another Pew study 2 that canvassed some 12,000 technology experts further noted, the growth of the Internet of Things and embedded and wearable devices will have widespread and beneficial effects by 2025 the opportunities and challenges resulting from amplified connectivity will influence nearly everything, nearly everyone, nearly everywhere. 1 Mobile Technology Fact Sheet. Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (January, 2014). pewrsr.ch/1mqouyt, accessed on Feb. 5, Janna Anderson & Lee Rainie. The Internet of Things Will Thrive by Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (May 14, 2014). accessed on Feb. 5, 2015.

3 7 WAYS A CLOUD PHONE SYSTEM CAN IMPROVE YOUR BOTTOM LINE 3 Your Phone System is More Integral to Business Success Than Ever Has your business phone system (sometimes referred to as a PBX or Private Branch Exchange) kept pace with the times? More importantly, is it capable of helping you meet tomorrow s challenges? If you see your business reflected in one or more of the symptoms below, chances are your current communications solution isn t up to the job. WARNING SIGNS THAT YOUR PHONE SYSTEM COULD BE DOING MORE HARM THAN GOOD Escalating Expense > Rising communication costs > Multiple vendors / contracts > Paying for features or lines you don t use > Maintenance or upgrade charges > Increased energy bills to power equipment & maintain environmental temperatures Time-Consuming Administration > Time or outside help required to perform simple tasks > Compliance concerns > Limited analytics due to manual or multiple reports > Cannot quickly scale to adjust to business needs One-Up Competition > They look (and sound) better than you Reduced Productivity > Phone issues that bring business to a halt > Your staff maintains the equipment and handles troubleshooting > Lack of integration with other business processes > Not all employees have access to the same features depending on their location or device > Cannot accommodate BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Poor Customer Service > Dropped calls > Long hold times > Inaccurate routing > Lack of self-service menus > Limited-to-no options for other channels (e.g., , web chat, text)

4 7 WAYS A CLOUD PHONE SYSTEM CAN IMPROVE YOUR BOTTOM LINE 4 Cloud Phone Systems Designed for the Times Chances are, you re already using cloud technology in other aspects of your business. Google Drive, Microsoft Office 365 and Dropbox are just some examples of cloud-based applications. The cloud simply refers to software and services that run on the Internet instead of equipment housed in your building. Since the documents, s, photos and other software that live in the cloud are available from any device with an Internet connection, you can access the information from anywhere. and related software including phones and network equipment for on-site installation, pay to have the local phone company or another telecom provider install phone lines, and then they activate features on your desk phones or computers. After initial set-up, you are responsible for overall maintenance, upgrades, reliability and security of the on-premise system. You may also elect to contract with the provider or a third-party to provide continued maintenance services. Most on-premise systems involve an upfront purchase of the respective network hardware and software licenses. Hence, most businesses account for these transactions as a capital expenditure (CapEx). With the physical requirements and installation of on-premise systems, businesses must plan for future needs and thus, usually buy more units than current demands dictate to accommodate predicted growth. A cloud-based phone system offers unique benefits that a traditional on-site system cannot. A brief explanation of various phone system alternatives is provided below to make it easier to understand how a cloud phone system differs from other offerings in the market today and the benefits it can offer. On-Premise vs. Hosted vs. Cloud ON-PREMISE On-premise phone systems have been around for decades and are common in many businesses. In this scenario, you purchase the needed hardware HOSTED Hosted solutions are yet another option to meet business phone system needs. In this scenario, your software and hardware is hosted and managed by a third-party provider. The hosted provider is responsible for the overall management of the telecom infrastructure, its integrity and security, and may also produce and/or support the software that lives on the server. You then pay to use and access the hosted system. With a hosted solution, substantially less infrastructure is purchased and maintained onsite. Since there are typically minimal hardware

5 7 WAYS A CLOUD PHONE SYSTEM CAN IMPROVE YOUR BOTTOM LINE 5 purchases beyond phones or perhaps a business-class router, hosted communications solutions allow businesses to operate under an operating expense model. You pay only for what you need at the time of purchase and can add new licenses on the fly, which can help to moderate cash flow and reduce long-term total cost of ownership. And, unlike premise-based systems where the infrastructure hardware has a predicted lifespan, hosted solutions with a good provider can also offer greater longevity. CLOUD A cloud solution takes the benefits of hosted communications to the next level. A true cloud phone system offers several distinct advantages beyond a hosted solution, specifically increased scalability, improved disaster recovery and in some cases, additional feature flexibility. The difference is all based on the infrastructure. With a cloud solution, customers data and applications run on the provider s network, versus running on a specific server at the hosted vendor s data center. A reputable cloud provider s network will include geographically diverse, redundant data centers, with multiple servers within each data center. Customer traffic runs on multiple servers ABOUT CLOUD SECURITY & RELIABILITY A reputable cloud provider should have the network infrastructure and best practices in place to ensure maximum security. The provider should also employ industry standard encryption, firewall configurations and intrusion protection systems to ensure security of your data. When it comes to reliability and uptime, look for a provider with redundant, geographically diverse data centers, who also has direct relationships with multiple Tier 1 Internet and Tier 1 telephony carriers. Also, ask about how they can support your business continuity needs and how your services would be impacted in the event that something does go awry. Reputable providers not only will offer 24/7 monitoring and support by an on-site infrastructure team, but will guarantee it with a Service Level Agreement (SLA). simultaneously, with no one facility handling more than a certain percentage of overall network capacity at a given time. The true cloud infrastructure enables the provider to scale capacity and move resources around the network either dynamically or manually to properly account for customer needs ensuring that if your call volume increases your solution can scale with it. In addition to allowing the cloud provider to quickly adjust to fluctuations in resource demands, a strong cloud infrastructure can also deliver a higher level of business continuity support. In the event of a server failure or other network disruption, customer data can be immediately transferred and rebalanced across the network to prevent or reduce downtime.

6 7 WAYS A CLOUD PHONE SYSTEM CAN IMPROVE YOUR BOTTOM LINE 6 Now that you ve got the background, you can better understand how a cloud phone system can benefit your bottom line. Check it out: 1 REDUCED COSTS > No on-site equipment means no upfront capital expenditure > Reduced maintenance & upgrade costs > No need to power & cool equipment translates into lower energy & HVAC bills 2 3 PAY ONLY FOR WHAT YOU USE > No need to speculate and overbuy equipment to account for future growth > Add extra licenses or access as needed, in hours to days, instead of potentially weeks ECONOMIES OF SCALE THAT DELIVER ENTERPRISE BENEFITS > Access to advanced infrastructures monitored by your provider s dedicated teams of experts > Maintenance & upgrades handled by the cloud provider > Improved reliability = increased business continuity 4 5 EASIER ADMINISTRATION > 100% online management > Manage your phone system from any device, anywhere > Easily add or change users and features within minutes COMPLIANCE SUPPORT > Cloud provider carries the majority of the load to ensure compliance standards (e.g., PCI, SOX, HIPAA, TCPA) > Provider can often provide a more rapid rollout of new features that address regulatory standards while helping you ensure conformity across your locations

7 7 WAYS A CLOUD PHONE SYSTEM CAN IMPROVE YOUR BOTTOM LINE IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY > Easy access to phones plus a reliable network, allow for maximum productivity wherever you are > Your entire staff, no matter their location or device, has access to the same features and functions > Third-party integrations = streamlined workflows FOCUS LESS ON YOUR PHONES & MORE ON YOUR BUSINESS > Deliver outstanding customer service > Capitalize on revenue opportunities > Improve your bottom line Summary Your phone system plays a critical role in business operations and the experience customers have with your organization, so it s time to give your current system a second look. Migrating your phone system to the cloud can help you keep costs down, give your team the time needed to focus on growing your business and prepare your organization to meet the future of business communications head-on. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Paul Gregory has an extensive background in private equity, business development, engagement management and asset management. He currently leads Corvisa s SMB sales and business development, and is responsible for long-term revenue strategy. Paul Gregory Chief Revenue Officer In his previous role with Novation Companies the parent of Corvisa Paul developed and implemented business plans to bring new technology products to market and led efforts to identify, research and recommend new investments and initiatives for Novation and its subsidiaries. About Corvisa Corvisa provides businesses with a single source for cloud communications solutions. As the only provider of a true product-plus-platform offering, Corvisa combines powerful contact center software, business phone systems and connectivity services with the unmatched flexibility of our Summit development platform. Backed by carrier-class network reliability and a passion for delivering unbeatable support, Corvisa is making cloud communications better.

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