Have you heard about the Cloud, but not quite sure what it is? Afraid of looking foolish by asking your coworkers what it is? Well, don’t sweat it. We will help you understand exactly what the cloud is and why it’s important.
What is the Cloud?
If people are talking about “the Cloud” it’s safe to assume that they aren’t talking about the weather. What they’re referencing is the use of the Internet to store information, access software, or any other form of information sharing over the Web.
An easy way to understand this is by thinking about the popular streaming service Netflix. When you use Netflix, you are able to view TV shows like Stranger Things, Breaking Bad, or Friends via the Internet. You don’t have to physically pull out a disc and put it into a DVD player, instead, Netflix has all of those shows on a server somewhere and lets you access them remotely by Internet connection.
Why does this matter?
Well here is the thing with cloud-computing technology, it makes services available to entrepreneurs and budget constrained businesses that were once reserved for large enterprises. Now, they are able to affordably access these same services. It allows consumers to backup photos, videos, and music online so they can access them anywhere they go. Basically, this allows us more access to information and services anywhere on the globe. If you have an Internet connection, you can access it.
Businesses can especially benefit from these services because it allows them to minimize costs for a variety of different products. What used to cost companies tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of dollars, can now be done for a fraction of the price. As you can imagine, this helps to free up some budget space because you no longer have to deal with buying, storing, and maintaining hardware. Doing this allows for other important improvements or processes that can help them to be that much better at what they do.
How do Telecom and the Cloud Relate?
Obviously, the Internet and the Cloud have changed how we do everything. Your business phone system isn’t an exception. Cloud-technology has enabled telecommunications to migrate to the Internet as well. This means that you no longer need to have the costly hardware for your business phones to stay connected to the rest of the world. Like Netflix, Hosted VoIP and Unified Communications providers host all of that hardware off-site, on their servers at a datacenter. You then can access it over the Internet. As long as you have an Internet connection you can make and receive phone calls.
In addition to being more cost-effective, Hosted VoIP allows businesses to access more features than ever. By moving your business phone system to the Cloud, you will no longer have limits due to what your hardware can or can’t do. You will have access to all of the specialized features of your service provider. Features like unlimited auto attendants, voicemail boxes, extensions, and conference bridges, give your business the tools it needs to effectively communicate and connect with your clients. All of this is possible because the Cloud allows you access to these products.
What to expect in the future…
The world is quickly realizing the power of the Cloud and cloud-computing. Not only has it brought us entertainment through services like Netflix, but it has also created powerful business tools to improve workflow—like Hosted VoIP. In the next several years, expect to see more and more services to be hosted remotely in the Cloud. Now, when you hear someone mention the Cloud at the water cooler, you’ll know what they are talking about. Read more about Jive and Hosted VoIP in our article, 3 Reasons Why Your Business Should’ve Started Using Hosted VoIP Yesterday.