Most businesses today are comfortable with cloud computing. Companies are moving everything--from their data to email to business applications like ERP and CRM--into scalable, flexible online cloud services. But for some reason, many companies have been slow to move their enterprise phone systems into the cloud.
Perhaps there is something comforting and nostalgic about desk phones that makes them hard to get rid of. After all, they are familiar communication tools. Plus, you’re dealing with a fixed cost. The phone closet is already set up—and can be a bear to take down. So in a sense, it is easier to stick with the tried and true.
But take a look around. Those phones sitting on everyone’s desk—is anyone actually using them? Consider Motorola Solutions. Before the tech giant moved to Dialpad, the company did an analysis and found that its employees were using their desk phones hardly at all. The company found that 50 percent of the users at its main office only used their desk phones about 10 times a month. The desk phones were so underused that an average call was costing the Fortune 500 company nearly $12. That’s a lot for one phone call. And it doesn’t even include things like initial IT investments, maintenance, and support.
In fact, at Motorola, most people had given up on the desk phone and were using their cell phones for almost all of their business calls.
“Pretty much the only time we used our [desk] phones was when we got onto these long conference calls. That’s when you really didn't want to get on a mobile,” said Aspi Havewala, the company’s director of digital innovation.
Motorola eventually yanked out the desk phones, the PBX, and even the employees’ Ethernet ports from its headquarters. It went all-in on the cloud, moving its phone system to Dialpad and connecting everyone with a robust Wi-Fi network. The results included greater flexibility, easier setup for new users, massive cost savings, and employees who started using their business phone numbers again.
Yet given the facts, when it comes to embracing cloud-based phone systems, most businesses still remain on the fence. They may be concerned that VoIP audio quality is substandard, that the technology is difficult or costly to implement, or that nothing can beat “Ma Bell.”
The truth is, the benefits of cloud communications far outweigh any potential drawbacks. Generally, the call quality difference between VoIP and a land line is indiscernible. You don’t have to deal with any infrastructure, because that’s all up in the cloud. And as long as you have a Wi-Fi or a wireless data connection, you’ve got a phone you can count on.
Taking all that a step further, the Internet has the capability to make office phones even more powerful. For instance, Dialpad is deeply integrated with Google for Work, so when you’re calling (or chatting with) someone, you can pull up your latest Gmail messages with that person as well as any Drive documents or calendar appointments you share with them. And you can do things like switch between devices mid-conversation just by pressing a button.
Whether you are working at Starbuck’s, from home, or off-site at a client location, your office phone should be where you are. You already do almost everything else in the cloud—why not move your phone system to the cloud?