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All-In-One Cloud Communication Solution Benefits

All-In-One Cloud Communication Solution Benefits

All-In-One Cloud Communication Solution Benefits

In today’s pascom knowledge post, we will look at Cloud Communications, why they have become essential to businesses and business communications, what benefits they offer and any potential disadvantages of opting for all-in-one solutions compared to multi-provider solutions.

What are All-In-One Cloud Communications?

All-in-one cloud communications solutions include all the business communication tools needed by workers daily and make them available directly in a single native app for desktop and mobile. What’s more, an all-in-one solution will include options to integrate into other essential business applications and make them available directly via the desktop and mobile apps. This grealty improves performance and reliability as all the tools are natively included in one application, removing any potential integration weaknesses.

Furthermore, being cloud-based ensures that your business communications are securely accessible from anywhere, providing workers with extra flexibility to access the tools not only when needed, but also where needed. Moreover, just like our pascom ONE, all-in-one cloud communication providers will also include Fixed-Line (Landline) business telephony and business telephone numbers within their service offering.

All-In-One Business Communications vs Unified Communications

Unified communication solutions integrate the essential everyday tools that workers need into a single, easy-to-use platform, thus reducing the time wasted by employees switching between multiple communication applications. Instead, employees can access all their must-have communication tools with a single click on their desktop and/or mobile. The benefits of such solutions are as well-known as they are far-reaching, from improving employee productivity and increasing output to allowing management to optimise business processes.

However, many businesses still look at unified communications as a way to combine all their existing platforms via an On The Top (OTT) application and somehow integrate this mix-match with the existing infrastructure. While this may be appealing in the short term, particularly in terms of your business’s digital transformation, there are several longer-term downsides to such an approach. For example, in terms of cost, ongoing maintenance and stability. This multi-vendor approach to UC means that your solution not only entails a cost per solution provider but also it means that your solution stability is reliant on the seamless integration of each provider and a single change could potentially break the whole system.

A classic example of how these issues can manifest themselves can be found in the world of telecommunications and business phone systems. Most businesses will have a business phone system and a business landline number, both of which will probably be sourced from two different providers.

Simply put, this means that you have two different invoices to pay, creating additional work for your accounts. Moreover, both providers will likely have different invoicing models creating cost efficiency calculation issues. Then there is the technical aspect; when something goes wrong, each provider will likely say the other is at fault.

This is where the All-In-One Business Communications model and solutions such as the pascom ONE cloud phone system come into play.

Benefits of All-In-One Business Communication Solutions

As is clear from the name, All-In-One Business Communication solutions deliver all the day-to-day communication tools required by businesses and their employees in one native solution. As a result, all-in-one solutions offer many advantages and benefits over multi-vendor solutions.

1. All-inclusive features

All-in-one solutions such as pascom ONE deliver all the everyday communication tools out of the box. To name just a few, our feature set allows users to call, chat, share and meet directly in one single app on their desktop and/or smartphone. That means no more time wasting switching between apps as you and your colleagues will have all you need to stay connected in one place.

Compared to some all-in-one solution providers which offer modular systems with add-ons at additional cost, pascom cloud communication solutions are truly all-inclusive. As the list below shows, every feature and even our hosting, support and update services are included within the user subscription. In fact, the only additional costs relate to our telephony minute charges / flat rate minute bundles and our higher coverage Service Level Agreements.

  • Desktop & mobile apps
  • Instant Messaging
  • Team Messaging (Group Chat)
  • Video & Audio Conferencing
  • Online Web Meetings
  • Screen sharing
  • File Sharing
  • Presence Management
  • Business SIP Trunking1
  • Inbuilt Softphones
  • One number concept
  • Call Hold
  • Attended / Unattended Transfers
  • Centralised phonebooks
  • Outlook / Apple Integration
  • Voicemail & Voicemail-2-E-mail
  • Digital faxing
Contact Centre
  • Automatic Call Distribution
  • Call Queuing
  • Call Recording
  • Music on Hold
  • Prompts
  • Skills based routing
  • Analytics
  • Microsoft 365
  • Microsoft Exchange
  • Microsoft Teams
  • tomedo®
  • CRM via client actions
  • ….

Call, Chat, Share & Meet

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2. Eliminate App Fatigue & Increase Productivity

One of the major issues affecting the modern workplace is the sheer volume of apps that employees use daily. This phenomenon is known as App Overload or App Fatigue and is becoming an increasingly challenging issue for businesses to overcome. Sometimes, using multiple apps is unavoidable, for example when being invited to a video conference by an external party. However, businesses must ensure that their internal and outbound communication is unified and accessible via a single solution and there are several good reasons for this.

Firstly, overloading employees with a seemingly never-ending number of business apps not only creates frustration but is also incredibly inefficient and extremely wasteful in terms of time and resources. The more apps you have installed the more memory that is required to run them and the more time is wasted switching between them. Worst still, if employees are allowed to dictate which apps to use, the less cohesive the system will become. For example, employees will invariably lose an overview of where information is stored and which app to use when communicating with other parties.

Secondly, through having a centralised platform for all your business communications channels, maintaining and updating all your business contact information is much simpler. In turn, this saves IT managers time and resources as they only need to maintain one data source. Furthermore, not only are employees no longer switching through numerous apps, but they will also have access to so-called “clean data”, meaning that the data is accurate and current, allowing them to offer quicker, more professional and more personal customer service.

Get Rid of App Fatigue

To overcome these issues, businesses need to consider which applications they use regularly and try to unify them in a centralised application. In the case of business communications, this will be telephony, video, chat, file-sharing and web meeting applications.

Next, businesses need to focus on providing applications that have a consistent look and feel (User Experience) across all the devices that use as this ensures the exact same workflows across all workspaces.

Finally, the user experience doesn’t only have to look good, it must be good otherwise the chosen app won’t actually solve the user’s problems and therefore won’t be used, at least not to its full potential.

Thankfully, platforms such as pascom ONE and our desktop and mobile applications, deliver all of the above and more in one solution.

3. Improve Data Security & Reduce Risk of Shadow IT

Similarly to App Fatigue, the security risks posed by shadow IT are potentially catastrophic. By having too many apps, you expose your business to potential security risks either through having to manage security on multiple applications or through the increased potential for human error.

Worse still, if employees decide to ignore company policy in favour of simplifying their workflows, they will start using their own apps to communicate and share sensitive business information. This will result in not only the loss of control over the information, but also you will have zero ability to ensure data security - this is what’s known as Shadow IT.

With an all-in-one solution that is user-friendly but also fully featured, it is easier to ensure data security as your employees will be more willing to use your business’s infrastructure and applications as opposed to going rogue on uncontrolled apps.

Benefits of Provider Consolidation

1. Compatibility

In a multi-vendor solution, an update to one component could lead to compatibility issues with other components of the solution.

As mentioned above, this is often the case when choosing multiple vendors for your phone system provider and for your fixed-line services (landline telephony). If one provider releases a new update, this update may contain changes to anything from new encryption, security protocols, and deprecations to something as simple as an IP address change. In the worst-case scenario, the consequence will be that tge phone system is unable to register with the telephony provider, plunging your business into darkness as customers are no longer able to reach you.

All-in-one cloud communication solutions significantly reduce any potential downtime caused by integration failures as all the components of the solution are developed, hosted and maintained by a single provider, and every aspect of the solution is rigorously tried and tested for quality assurance purposes.

2. Cost Savings and Transparencies

One of the stated goals behind unifying communication channels into a unified communication solution is to optimise efficiencies - something that UCC solutions are very effective at. All-in-one cloud communications solutions go even further by eliminating the need for multiple providers for multiple solutions. Therefore, where your business previously had multiple monthly and/or annual invoices to pay, going all-in-one provides greater transparency over your costs, simplifying and optimising the accounting and reporting processes.

3. Improved Supplier Relationship

Having a single solutions provider means that your business is well-positioned to benefit from an improved supplier relationship. For example, should you require technical assistance, with an all-in-one cloud telephony solutions provider, such as pascom, your business will have access to a dedicated support team that acts as your single point of contact for any support-related issues. Compared to all-in-one solutions, support for multi-vendor solutions will often require you to contact multiple providers, to open and track numerous support tickets, all of which wastes valuable time and effort even before a solution is found.

Furthermore, opting for an all-in-one solutions supplier often provides you with direct access to the vendor in terms of new feature requests and so on. For example, at pascom, our support forum includes Feature Voting tools and our pascom DIRECT live stream provides an excellent platform for our end-users to interact with us and provide direct feedback.

Potential Disadvantages of All-In-One Solutions

Of course, there are always potential risks and disadvantages of any solution type and while there are plenty of benefits of all-in-one solutions, there are also some downside that you should be aware of.

1. Vendor Lock-in

Some All-In-One business communication solution providers lock you in to using only their business SIP trunking services. While having all your services from one supplier is mostly a good thing, it is not always. When it comes to Business Fixed-Line Telephony charges, sometimes having the flexibilty to choose another provider is great as it means you can enjoy greater cost-saving and customer experience benefits.

For example, if your customer base is split over a few countries, it might be useful to add providers who have lower tarifs for those countries to save on outbound telephony cost. What’s more, wouldn’t be great for your customers to be able to call you on a local rate number as opposed to paying international call charges.

Beyond this, what happens if your business grows internationally, but your chosen provider is unable to support your growth with fixed-line numbers and tarifs - then you will have to look again.

Solutions like pascom ONE overcome this issue by offering the best of both worlds. Yes, we can host your phone numbers for you, but if your business also operates in a country not offered by pascom ONE, then you still have the freedom to choose the provider that best suits your needs.

2. Occasionally Slower Innovation

Innovation is essential for improvement and development. Choosing Cloud Based solutions providers will generally ensure that you are benefitting from solutions that are on the cutting edge of technological innovation. However, all-in-one solution providers do have the disadvantage that their solutions are wide reaching in terms of functionality. Therefore, they are sometimes slower compared to a solutions provider that focuses purely on one area.

Generally speaking though, this isn’t acctually a case of slower innovation, but a more methodical go-to market approach that allows all-in-one solution providers to incorporate the very best of recent innovations into their solutions.

Yes you might have to wait a little bit, but your patience will be rewarded long-term thanks to having a well-rounded, complete yet future proof solution.

pascom hosted PBX - start upgrading your business communications today

Final Word

All-in-one solutions offer considerable advantages over multi-vendor solutions. However, before choosing your vendor, it is vital to perform a thorough assessment of your current infrastructure, what is working and what’s not, what can be improved and what you actually want to achieve, only then will you be able to choose the solution that is best for business. When it comes to business communications, there are many providers to choose from, but few offer such a complete package in a truly all-in-one solution as pascom ONE, meaning it is important to know what to look out for when choosing your solution, which is the topic of our next post, so be sure to check back soon!

We’re here to help

If you have any queries about Fixed Mobile Convergence, the pascom phone system, the pascom app features and how they can help your business prepare for tomorrow’s workplace, then we’re here to help. Just give us a call on +49 991 291691 0 and get started with our free cloud phone system edition.

1 pascom ONE business SIP trunking is currently only available in Germany and Austria. Other countries require an additional SIP trunking provider.