15 Questions to Cut Costs with Cloud Communications

August 24 2022  

Key questions to ask when investing in cloud communications

 

With any major investment in your business, there’s two main questions you need the answers to:

  • How much is it going to cost?
  • Is it going to be worth the cost?

The same is true when looking to move your communications to the cloud. Generally speaking, as the world moves away traditional PSTN-reliant telephony, swapping to cloud communications is a necessity in order to future-proof your business. Furthermore, the needs of the modern workforce, such as moving to hybrid working and a variety of communication channels to complete duties, are all met with cloud communication solutions. However, when it comes to analysing the move to the cloud for your business, knowing how you’re going to see the return on your investment will be at the forefront of your decision-making process – so you need to know the specifics.

So we’re going to go through some key questions you can use to analyse the costs of your current system and how cloud communications can cut those costs.

Ready? Let’s go!

 

Cloud Communications Connecting Your Locations

Cloud communications consolidates multiple systems into one platform that all of your teams can access, regardless of their location. With these questions, you can analyse the relevant costs for moving your communications over to the cloud to facilitate multi-office communications.

 

1)  Are new desk phones required or can existing models be used?

If your existing desk phones can be adapted for cloud telephony, integrating them within your new system will be easy and incur no extra costs. However, if they can’t, then this is an extra cost that will need to be considered, unless you plan to implement your new solution using softphones (laptops/PC/mobile devices accessing your phone system via an app).

 

2)  Are softphones with a mobile app eliminating the need for physical phones?

If your cloud solution operates via an app, you can eliminate the need for buying new handsets and utilise your existing laptops, mobile devices and PCs to use your new solution.

 

3)  Can staff securely use their personal mobile devices?

Enabling your staff to take and make calls through your business phone system via their personal devices, whilst not revealing their private numbers, can protect your business from disaster. Should something happen to your office space, your team can still easily get in touch with each other and your customers.

 

4)  How much time needs to be invested into onboarding a user into your system?

Time is money, as they say. Asking potential providers about how much time implementation process takes is a key question to assess how much time your team may have to spend away from their normal duties to get to grips with your new system.

 

Enable Flexible Working with Cloud Phone Systems

Cloud communications enables your team to take their office phone system with them. Key questions to analyse the costs and savings of implementing a cloud communications solution to facilitate flexible working include:

 

Will adding cloud communications to your network require additional bandwidth?

If your current connectivity solutions are not up to the task of taking your communications to the cloud, then a new solution will need to be found before you invest in a cloud solution. Obviously, this will then increase the cost of implementing your new solution, so will need to be taken into consideration. Finding a supplier that can provide both a new connectivity solution, as well as your new cloud communications platform can be beneficial, as you may have access to better deals and also simplify managing your contracts as both solutions are from the same vendor.

 

5)  What is your current video meetings and messaging solutions?

If you’re still relying on traditional PBX, chances are you either aren’t implementing video meetings or you’re relying on another solution alongside your phone system to provide this service. When it comes to using multiple solutions to provide everything you need, you’re faced with multiple contracts to juggle, which becomes complicated and can lead to overspending. Utilising a cloud solution that integrates video calls and meetings as standard, means you’re only managing one solution, but have the benefit of all the features you need.

 

6)  Can all staff communicate with each other and your customers from anywhere?

Your staff having access to high quality communication from both the office and from home, ensures that your customer always has a reliable response when they contact your business. Relying on PSTN-based solutions means that it can be tricky for your teams to get in touch with each other and your customers without separate solutions to facilitate this.

 

7)   What level of international calling is required for the roles within your business?

Even if you have international calls included within your PBX telephony package, they can still incur a significant cost. Analysing how much your team utilise international communication, can give you a good idea of the international call capabilities you will need within your cloud communications package, so you’re only paying for what you use.

 

Improved Security with a Single Cloud Communications Platform

Security is a vital consideration when it comes to implementing any new solution. With cloud communications, a high-level of security is part of the solution, as standard. If you’re relying on different communication solutions, monitoring the security status of each one can be costly. Analyse the cost of your current system with these questions.

Managing different solutions can be costly when it comes to monitoring and auditing their security. Identifying the current cost of monitoring your communications security will give you a good starting point when you’re hunting for the right cloud communications solution.

 

9) How much are you currently spending monitoring the security of solutions from multiple suppliers, compared if you sourced your solutions from one provider?

Once you’ve got a good idea on what you’re currently spending, you will be able to clearly see how much time and money you will save when you switch to a cloud communications solution, where all of the security for your communications is sourced from one provider.

 

Integrate Your Existing IT Platforms into Your Cloud Solution

Microsoft Teams is one of the most popular platforms when it comes to facilitating communication between teams across different locations and working from home. With internal communication the platform works really well, however, when it comes to supporting talking and collaborating with customers and suppliers, additional capabilities need to be integrated, such as:

  • Switchboard
  • Contact centre
  • External digital communication channels, such as SMS and chat apps

 

Here are some key questions to help you analyse how integrating your existing Microsoft services within a cloud communications solution could help cut costs.

 

10)  What are your licencing costs to provide voice services for Microsoft Teams users?

Depending on your situation, adding on voice services to Microsoft Teams licences may prove to be more expensive than investing in a communications platform that integrates Microsoft Teams within it. From both an implementation and cost perspective, cloud-to-cloud integration with Microsoft Teams tends to be more efficient than basic direct routing.

 

11)  Would a platform with the ability to include both business communication and contact centre in a single integration save time and money?

Weigh up the cost of using Microsoft Teams for your internal communications and other add-on services for external calls compared with integrating your existing Teams licences into a new cloud communications system.

 

Improve Your Customers’ Experience

Having access to the rich data cloud communications provides, brings a wealth of insights that can:

  • Provide a clear picture of your customer’s journey.
  • Identify how you are utilising your customer service and IT teams’ resource.
  • Help to make key decisions that improve your customer’s experience, boost your reputation and encourage new customers through the door.

Ultimately, your customers staying with you and recommending you generates money, so a solution that benefits the customer is usually a good investment, as long as you pick one that doesn’t increase your outgoings.  To analyse what you need from a cloud communications system to benefit your customers, use these questions:

 

12)  Would instant visibility into complete staff directory help switchboard/contact centre agents to handle call capacity and reduce wait times?

If you’ve got lots of people calling into your business, the natural move may be to increase your staff. However, with intuitive call handling and cloud communication features allowing your team to find team members to help deal with your calls, you can still provide a high-quality customer experience without the cost of hiring more people.

13)  How useful would it be to have a report that demonstrated how you use your IT resource?

With cloud communications you have access to rich analytics, such as how you deploy and use your IT resource. With this information you can find out if you’re using this resource strategically to meet your needs and amend usage accordingly.

 

14)  Would analytics and reporting drive efficiency, improve costs and enhance customer experiences?

Data from cloud communication platforms can show you areas that need to be improved within your customer journey, as well as give an idea of how your team works. This will enable you to streamline business operations, so your team can work more efficiently and save time.

15)  How would better insights on your customer’s journey benefit your business?

Understanding what experience you are providing for your customers within every step of their journey with you can help you to identify any issues within their experience and make key decisions to improve their journey. From reducing wait times to your customers being directed to the person they need with minimal transfers, having rich insights enables you to use your existing technology and personnel better for an improved service without extra costs.

 

A Cut Above the Rest – Cloud Communications from 8×8 and Elite Group

Answering these questions will give you a good head start on your journey to find the best cloud communications solution for you.

Partnering with a knowledgeable provider is the next step and when you’re ready, we’re here to help with a powerful cloud communications platform from 8×8.

With a communications platform from 8×8 and Elite you can cut the costs of relying on multiple vendors to provide all of the features you require for effective communication. Whatever your needs are, we can help you by creating a tailored, flexible, powerful, cloud-based solution from 8×8 that integrates:

  • Contact centre
  • Voice
  • Video
  • Chat

Alongside a cost-effective and feature-rich solution from 8×8 you have access to:

  • Expert support from our highly-trained team
  • A named, dedicated account manager to look after your contract
  • Speedy support and answers to your questions from our First Contact team
  • A wide product suite spanning IT, Business Mobile, Connectivity and Unified Communications, so you have everything you need to transform your business technology in one space!

Contact us today to see how we can support moving your communications to the cloud, improve your business and cut costs.

Find out more about analysing your cloud communications needs with our free eBook