How to Have a Productive Meeting

The concept of unproductive work meetings is pervasive across many industries, but meetings can be an integral part of workplace productivity when handled properly. To get your employees excited about meetings instead of dreading them, follow these simple guidelines for how to have a productive meeting.

Identify your goals

If you don’t have goals for your meeting, then why have one? While your goals don’t need to be huge, they should be specific and actionable. For example, if your goal for an upcoming project meeting is to introduce the project plan to everyone on the team, be sure to include all aspects of the plan, such as deliverables, deadlines, assignments, and contingencies. By thinking through the specifics of your goals for the meeting, you’ll be better equipped to preempt any questions your team members will have and help them feel like they can leave the meeting and get to work.

Set an agenda

While you may have a mental agenda in advance of your meetings, setting a written agenda is crucial for maximizing productivity. Once your agenda is on paper, you can more easily see if your plan for the meeting is reasonable to cover everything in the time allotted. Your written plan can also help you spot anything you may have left out and verify that your meeting topics flow well. Ideally, you should have this written agenda prepared 24-48 hours in advance of your meeting and distribute it to meeting participants the day before. This will allow attendees to prepare thoughts and questions in advance, and it also demonstrates to attendees that you value their time enough to plan ahead.

Schedule questions at the end

Nothing derails meetings faster than a snowball of questions that are only tangentially related to the topic at hand. To avoid this rabbit hole, start your meeting by respectfully asking attendees to save all questions for the end. You can preface this request by reminding team members that you value their time and you want to keep the meeting on track. You can also offer to follow up with attendees after the meeting for any additional questions.

Include a “conflict valve”

Depending on the goal(s) of your meeting, it may be necessary to have an open discussion with your attendees in order to make decisions. These discussions can sometimes evoke heated debates or unresolvable conflicts. Plan for this in advance by preparing a “conflict valve” to diffuse the situation and move the meeting forward. A conflict valve is similar to a time valve – it’s a step you can take (or remove) in the moment to adjust to an unexpected direction or conflict that arises within the meeting. If, for example, a budget meeting resulted in conflict surrounding which departments would be affected by next quarter’s necessary budget cuts, your conflict valve may be to request email input from all meeting attendees. This will help you avoid time-consuming debates within the meeting and show your team members that you want adequate time to review and consider the matter fully. While your conflict valve may not always involve requesting more time to reach a decision, you do want to anticipate conflict in advance and have a plan for resolving it efficiently to keep your meeting on track.

Ask for feedback

One of the best ways to learn what works for your team is to ask those sitting across the table from you. Many people won’t volunteer feedback unless it is specifically requested, so take some time to ask your coworkers for honest, open feedback on how to have a productive meeting. While there are many ways to request and collect employee feedback, experiment with various ways that resonate with your team. When you start to receive useful feedback, show your team that their opinions are valued by implementing the feedback and continuing to make your meetings more productive.

By following these simple strategies, you can improve participation and commitment among your team in workplace meetings. By showing respect for their time and planning in advance, you will garner their appreciation and make your meetings increasingly more productive.

cloud phone services

Cloud Phone Systems for Beginners: Part 2

Hopefully, you have read our first part of Cloud Phone Systems for Beginners so you are all brushed up on what a Cloud Phone System is and the advantages of incorporating them into your business. Since communication is such a vital aspect of conducting business, moving your phone systems to the cloud is a natural fit for improving business operations. Now, you should be ready for the next step – embedding a cloud phone system into your business.

Requirements for Using a Cloud Phone System

To install and operate a cloud phone system, businesses will need access to a high-speed internet connection and either some specialized IP phone equipment or IP to analog adapters. A high-speed internet connection is required for cloud phone systems to guarantee that end users will receive the system uptime and service quality promised by the provider. Since a cloud phone system is run over internet data lines and not traditional phone lines, internet speed can affect the quality of a cloud phone system.

Businesses will also need adapters or specialized IP phone equipment for calls to function over internet lines. Fortunately, these adapters are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, making it easy to convert to a cloud-based system using your current business phone equipment.

Helpful Features of Cloud Phone Systems

In a highly competitive business environment, companies need features that can meet changing business demands. Cloud phone systems offer all of the same features available through traditional landline business phones and many new features that can help companies expand their offerings and create a dynamic experience for their customers.


Cloud phone systems are much better equipped to support remote workforces and mobile teams. Cloud-based voicemail and work from anywhere features help users stay in the loop while working remotely and provide the flexibility to forward local lines to mobile phones when users are out of the office.

Customer Service

Businesses can support large customer service infrastructure using cloud phone systems. Features such as a virtual receptionist, call monitoring/recording, call transfers and routing, and on-hold music can provide the functionality and customer experience of a large call center without the necessity for expensive infrastructure.

Remote Workforce

Teams operating in different locations can stay connected using a cloud-based conference bridge and online meeting rooms. Cloud phone systems go above and beyond the functionality of traditional phone systems by offering online team collaboration tools for project management and workflow.


Since cloud phone systems are relatively low maintenance, businesses can operate with a lean support team. Reputable cloud phone systems provide 24/7 support, online training materials, and a simple cloud-based user interface for managing the system at a moment’s notice. Business leaders can also do a much better job at managing communications costs, since cloud phone systems do not require installation and maintenance of a new phone line every time a new employee comes on board.

Cloud Phone Systems for Beginners

Cloud Phone Systems for Beginners: Part 1

Businesses are increasingly looking for ways to take advantage of cloud technology. Using the internet has transformed the way that businesses operate, and customers have come to expect the ease and efficiency with which cloud solutions allow businesses to operate.

Since communication is such a vital aspect of conducting business, moving your phone systems to the cloud is a natural fit for improving business operations. A cloud phone system offers many new features and advantages not available through traditional business phone systems, and moving your business phone systems to the cloud is easier than you might expect. To learn more about cloud phone systems and how they can benefit your business, read about the basics of cloud phone systems below.

What is a Cloud Phone System?

Cloud Phone Systems are integrated phone systems for businesses that function much like traditional landline phone systems, but they provide many additional features by taking advantage of call routing via an internet connection. Cloud-based phone systems are often referred to as VoIP systems, or Voice over Internet Protocol.

With cloud phone services, the end-user experience will look and feel much like any other business phone system, but companies can benefit from significant cost and resource savings through easier setup and management of the system. Managers and business owners can maintain a cloud phone system through an online portal, allowing them to make system updates immediately. Furthermore, since the system is connected to the cloud, there are several features available that can improve operational efficiency, reduce operating costs, and improve customer service.

Advantages of Cloud Phone Systems

Compared to traditional landline phone systems, cloud phone services offer several advantages for businesses of all sizes.

  • Automatic updates – IT staff are not burdened with managing complicated in-house phone equipment and maintaining system updates. The cloud-based phone service provider will run all necessary bug fixes and software updates automatically from the cloud, freeing up your internal staff to focus on more important issues.
  • Scalability – As your company grows, you will likely need additional phone extensions for new employees and more features to support your business objectives. With a traditional phone system, that can mean costly installation charges and line access fees, but with a cloud phone system, you can easily add and remove services and lines from an online portal as they are needed.
  • Reliability – Since the software that supports a cloud-based system is run on a remote server, a reliable cloud phone service provider will have backups in place to keep the system running smoothly during any weather instances or technical issues. This structure allows them to guarantee a 99.999% system uptime, which is equivalent to only 6 minutes of downtime per year.
foundational pillars of a strong startup

5 Foundational Pillars of a Strong Startup

If you’re in the startup phase of an entrepreneurial venture, you know there are many moving pieces and many aspects of your business to consider. While it can feel overwhelming, there are some aspects of your business that are more important than others. To make sure the time and resources you invest in your business are used wisely, explore these 5 foundational pillars that are critical for building a strong startup.

  1. Sound financial management skills

    While founding your company with a solid cash outlay can increase your chances of success, starting with a lot of cash won’t matter if you can’t manage your money well. Making poor financial investments or failing to plan for revenue downturns can leave your business on shaky ground. Make sure you have a good financial plan in place that includes strong money management habits. If you want to start a business but financial management isn’t your strong suit, consider contracting your business finances out to an accountant or firm with a good head for numbers.

  2. A dedicated leadership team

    With any startup, there will be challenges and unexpected setbacks. Dedication will be important for your key leadership team to help weather those storms. If your team abandons ship at the first sign of distress because they aren’t adequately prepared for these challenges, your startup may be short-lived. While your leadership team doesn’t need to be deep, you will want to have a few core team members who can help you generate new ideas and act as a soundboard for the future direction of your company.

  3. A solid business plan

    If you’ve heard that a business plan is only needed once you are looking for angel investors, you’re shortchanging yourself and putting the success of your startup at risk. The process of compiling a business plan helps to ensure you have solid systems in place and helps you think through aspects of your startup that you might not have considered otherwise. A solid business plan should include, at a minimum, a competitive analysis, marketing plan, SWOT analysis, and a 3-year financial projection.

  4. A marketing mindset

    Marketing is about communicating value to the people who are willing to listen. Starting your company with a marketing mindset is understanding this definition of marketing and how companies can provide and communicate value to a target audience. While you may have a new or creative idea, it won’t necessarily result in a viable business unless you can market it successfully. Start by understanding your target audience and what they need, then work to explain how your product fills that need using the language your target customers would use. When communicating value to these customers, be sure your marketing message is clear, succinct, and differentiates your offering from that of your competitors.

  5. Time management strategies

    In the early stages of your startup, it can be very easy to spend considerable time working “in” your business instead of “on” your business. Unfortunately, spending time on low return activities can be a death sentence to a fledgling company. As a business owner, you will need to strategically manage your time to ensure that you are investing in activities that will have long-term, growth-oriented results. Depending on your business goals and where you are in the business lifecycle, your time management strategies will focus on different aspects of your business, but remember to stay focused on tasks that can’t easily be delegated to others. To ensure you are managing your time well, initiate a weekly time tracking system. At the end of the week, evaluate how much time you spent on activities that pushed you towards your designated goals.

By ensuring that you have key resources in place for each of these 5 foundational pillars, you will give your start up the best chances of long term success. Evaluate each of these areas in detail and develop a plan to fill in the gaps for any resources that are currently lacking in your business plan.

future of cloud solutions

The Future of Cloud Technology in Business

Thanks in part to improved telecommunications infrastructure and efforts such as the Connect America Fund, cloud technology is rapidly evolving. As more individuals and businesses come to rely on high speed internet, cloud-based solutions will become an increasingly integral part of business operations. The recent emergence of 5G technology has also pushed the needle, allowing cloud-based service providers to develop more robust offerings while still providing near-instant product delivery.

Research by Bain & Company reveals that demand for cloud technology accounted for 70% of IT market growth from 2012-2015, and it is projected to remain steady at 60% of continued market growth through 2020. By combining newer automation technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) with cloud-based services, business owners can improve operational efficiency using cloud technology in new and creative ways, including:

  • Automated customer service – Chatbots, automated phone assistants, and other customer service automation support are already available through many SaaS offerings, but will continue to improve in their ability to efficiently address a variety of customer service issues without the need for human-to-human interaction.
  • Inventory and logistics control – Cloud technology will continue to improve efficiency in labor control, warehouse space, and logistical operations in large manufacturing firms and warehouses.
  • Centralized HR and payroll processing – Cloud-based HR systems eliminate the need for an on-site HR professional at every physical location. Instead, businesses with multiple locations can process payroll and other HR functions through a centralized hub by pulling data from each individual location through the cloud.
  • Biometrics – Emerging companies like 23andMe use the power of cloud computing to process DNA and genomic analyses. Police departments and other forensic organizations are also using cloud-based biometric programs to conduct case research and coordinate cross-departmental tracking efforts. 
  • Medical records – As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, healthcare providers were required to utilize an electronic medical records system by January 2014. As the process of tracking, updating, and securing patient data continues to develop, cloud-services will adapt to meet this need.
  • Phone services and virtual communication systems – VoIP service providers and other internet-based communications services are being increasingly utilized by businesses to cut costs and improve operational efficiency.

As more businesses continue to embrace cloud technology and demand a wider variety of product and service offerings, cloud-based providers will work to remain competitive in an emerging marketplace by taking advantage of future developments in cloud computing. 

productivity hacks

Productivity Hacks for the Work Week

Starting the work week with a mountain of paperwork and a mile-long to-do list can leave you feeling overwhelmed before Monday’s lunch break. Feeling unproductive for several weeks in a row can set you up for burnout and missed work opportunities. Fortunately, there are several simple hacks that you can implement this week to turn our productivity around before quitting time.

Utilize distraction blocker apps

If you work in front of a computer for any part of your day, it can be tempting to pop open your social media feed or read through an interesting news article, especially when you’re feeling mentally blocked. Studies show this temptation is prevalent in the workplace – most people use only 60% of their available work time, primarily as a result of distractions such as email or online browsing. These simple distractions eat up more time than you realize and can compound your lack of focus. Avoid the temptation by utilizing distraction blocker apps, such as RescueTime. These apps block designated applications or websites for a specified time period, allowing you to clear your mind (and your desktop) of fruitless distractions.


Even if you don’t typically practice meditation outside of work, indulging in mindfulness at the office for just 5 minutes can help your productivity levels. A study in Psychological Science shows that intensive meditation can enhance brain function leading to greater focus, even during mundane tasks.

Schedule appointments with yourself

While there is probably no shortage of meetings already on your calendar, including some appointments with yourself can improve the effectiveness of your schedule as a productivity tool. Block out designated time to work on larger projects, schedule break times, and build in “quiet” time for deep thinking or personal development. By scheduling out any unused blocks of time in your calendar, you can use your schedule as a visual queue to help you stay on task and seamlessly transition between activities.

Eat the frog

In his book “Eat That Frog!”, Brian Tracy recommends an important productivity hack. If you have to eat a live frog, you should eat it first thing in the morning. In other words, to avoid procrastination, get a jump start on your biggest, most challenging, and least desirable task at the beginning of your day. This will leave you with a sense of accomplishment once the task is finished, and you’ll also feel relieved and unblocked for the remainder of the day knowing that your most difficult task is behind you.

Establish a nightly routine

Many people have a morning routine, but establishing a nightly routine can also have a significant impact on your weekly productivity. This doesn’t involve brushing your teeth and changing into pajamas before bed; your nightly routine should include the tasks you commit to doing before quitting work for the day. These items might include reviewing your calendar for the next day, cleaning off your desk, or getting to inbox zero. Whatever your personal routine, committing to it faithfully will set your next work day up for maximum productivity.

Delegate non-essential tasks

Trying to handle every task personally will kill your productivity. Free yourself up to do important work by delegating non-essential tasks, such as personal household chores or low-value work responsibilities. To identify which tasks you should pass off, try the following:

  • Value your time on a per-hour basis. If, for example, you can earn $30/hour at work, you might value your time at $30/hour.
  • Identify tasks that you would consider delegating. Build a list with a considerable number of tasks that you could pass off to others, either through outsourcing or through rearranging priorities on your current team.
  • Calculate the hourly cost of outsourcing or delegating each task on your list. If, for example, an item was “mowing the lawn”, it may cost you $50 to hire a landscaper and 2 hours to mow the lawn yourself. This translates to an hourly cost of $25/hour to delegate.
  • Pass off any tasks that are cheaper to delegate than your personal value. Honor your worth; if you can make more money than it would cost to delegate a particular task, delegate it and focus on higher-value activities instead.

Complete a social media detox

In addition to being a distraction at work, social media is often a mental distraction throughout the week. Feelings of boredom, sadness, happiness, curiosity, or frustration can all compel people to take to social media and share thoughts or mindlessly scroll through the stories of others. If you find yourself constantly turning to social media, complete a social media detox for one week to break the habit of constantly pulling up your social feeds. Research shows that a one-week social detox can improve sleep patterns, decrease feelings of stress, enhance mental clarity, and increase productivity. Even without those added benefits, heavy social users may save up to 30 hours per month by cutting out social media.

By focusing on simple changes that can improve your productivity, you can reap many benefits beyond increasing your work capacity; you will likely experience more creativity, improved mindset, and a newfound sense of enthusiasm for your work.

evolution of the cloud

Evolution of Cloud Technology in Businesses

With buzzwords like “Artificial Intelligence” and “Internet of Things” taking center stage in many technology-based news outlets, it can be easy to assume that cloud technology is old hat. However, many of today’s emerging technologies would not be possible without the evolution of cloud-based devices and services.

For business owners, understanding this evolutionary process can mean the difference between wasting tech dollars on inefficient equipment and making smart investments in cloud-based technology that will stand the test of time.

What is Cloud Technology?

Cloud technology uses the power of the internet to offer individual users and businesses the opportunity to access both hardware and software systems remotely. Without cloud technology, businesses would have to invest heavily in developing and maintaining localized software applications to run the business, as well as the physical infrastructure required to support those applications.

With cloud technology, businesses can piggyback off the infrastructure of larger companies by accessing their programs, storage space, and networking power through the internet. Businesses can access public or private clouds, or they can utilize a hybrid of both. Public clouds are available to anyone over the internet who is willing to meet the registration and fee requirements set by the service provider. Examples of public clouds would include Facebook or Gmail. Private clouds are typically set behind a firewall with access restricted only to internal company users.

A brief history of cloud technology in businesses

While social networks and cloud-based email providers seem commonplace today, the history of cloud technology extends back less than an average human lifespan. Below are several of the main highlights along the evolution of cloud technology:

  • 1969 – J.C.R. Licklider helps to conceptualize and develop the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, or ARPANET, which was a primitive version of the internet that allowed multiple users to access computer resources from different physical locations.
  • 1972 – IBM develops the concept of virtualization with their Virtual Machine (VM) operating system.
  • 1997 – “Cloud Computing” was first defined as a term by Professor Ramnath Chellappa; companies then began offering cloud computing services to businesses in the late 1990s.
  • 1999 – Salesforce was founded to pioneer the Software-as-a-Service business model for software applications.
  • 2004 – Amazon Web Services (AWS) was launched publicly, offering on-demand cloud-based programs and services.
  • 2006 – Google launched Google Docs services, allowing users to create, store, and share documents in the cloud.
  • 2007 – Netflix launched video streaming services, allowing users to access movies and other video content without the use of physical DVDs.
  • 2011 – Apple launched its iconic iCloud platform, giving users access to a variety of content and services remotely.

Modern Cloud Technology Services

Cloud tools, hardware, and services are already a routine part of many modern business operations. The cloud-based product licensing and delivery model is commonly broken down into several sub-categories:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) – Businesses can subscribe to and access software applications via the internet.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) – Businesses can utilize this service to develop their own custom applications for internal company use.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – Large cloud technology providers offer virtual infrastructure, such as servers and data storage, to smaller businesses that are lacking in physical infrastructure.
  • Desktop as a Service (DaaS) – Businesses can access virtual machines and virtual operating systems through the cloud.
  • Backup as a Service (BaaS) – Instead of hosting localized backups of important company data, businesses can utilize a BaaS offering to manage cloud-based backups.

Although the above sub-categories represent the most common cloud-based services, additional nomenclature and associated categories are constantly evolving. Some more recent cloud services include Managed Software as a Service (MSaaS), Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS), Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), and Information Technology Management as a Service (ITMaaS).

As more businesses continue to embrace cloud technology and demand a wider variety of product and service offerings, cloud-based providers will work to remain competitive in an emerging marketplace by taking advantage of future developments in cloud computing. 

Cyber Security Tips for Businesses

With the increase of computer-based operations for many businesses, a strong cyber security strategy is an extremely important part of your operational plan. Although investments in security may not seem like they contribute to your company’s bottom line, failing to consider security risks and taking appropriate action to avoid them can have disastrous and costly consequences for your business. To ensure your business is well protected before an incident occurs, consider the following cyber security tips for businesses.

Install software updates routinely

Software updates may seem like a frequent annoyance, but they serve a very important purpose in keeping your business data safe. Hackers are constantly coming out with new viruses, and software updates often include important patches to close the loopholes that hackers exploit. It is important to keep any software used by your company up to date, including:

  • Antivirus software
  • Operating Systems
  • Firewalls
  • Web Browsers and plugins
  • Business applications and software
  • Cloud-based communications software

Installing these important updates will minimize the opportunities for hackers to access your system externally.

Utilize Two-Factor Authentication

Two-Factor Authentication, or 2FA, refers to a security measure where employees must provide two different means of verifying their identity before they can access critical business systems, such as email accounts or company databases. Typically, a user will log in with their username and password as the first authentication factor. Then, they will utilize a second security measure – a fingerprint scan, security token, or a push notification sent to the user’s verified cell phone – to complete the verification process. This added layer of security helps to minimize unauthorized access to important company systems and can easily be changed as employees join or leave the company.

Set company-wide security standards and adhere to them

In larger companies with fragmented departments, getting everyone on the same page about proper security standards can be challenging. The first step is to start with a documented set of security standards that can be easily referenced by employees, then implement a communication plan to ensure all employees are following these standards regularly. The completed cyber security standards plan should include the following:

  1. Quarterly training for all employees on proper cyber security measures

    In companies with dedicated network security personnel, the security team sets and manages proper security standards for the company’s network, but those standard operating procedures are not always thoroughly communicated throughout the rest of the organization. To maintain a high level of security, it is important that all employees are properly trained on a regular basis regarding cyber security standards.

  2. A list of potentially harmful websites that are blocked on company computers

    Blocking all potentially harmful websites on company servers can severely hinder business operations and decrease employee morale. For example, the company’s marketing department will likely need to access common social sites like Facebook or Instagram in order to fulfill the company’s marketing objectives. However, some websites have very little use in the normal course of operations for the company and could present a considerable security risk if left unchecked.  Have your company security team evaluate the most dangerous websites and create permissions settings on the company network that block those sites from being accessed on the company network.

  3. Password standards for all employee accounts and devices

    There are a variety of ways that hackers can access company accounts and systems, but one of the most preventable ways is through unsecure passwords. All employee accounts and devices that are accessed on the company network should have highly secure passwords that are changed frequently (typically about every 90 days). During the employee training process, it is important to communicate how employees should handle passwords internally. Your company should institute password policies, such as:

    • Never write down a password.
    • Use different passwords for different company accounts and devices.
    • Passwords should be a specified length and include at least 3 different types of characters.

All company passwords should also be managed by a secure password management program that allows security personnel to force password changes if systems or accounts are compromised.

Leverage the cloud

If your company doesn’t have a designated security team, managing all the aspects of a proper cyber security management program can be overwhelming. Fortunately, leveraging cloud-based programs can help minimize the workload on your team. Reputable cloud-based service providers will install system updates regularly on your behalf, and they also utilize highly secure platforms to protect their customers’ data. Many cloud-based services also have built in integrations with other frequently used business systems, which allows a company to transfer data efficiently without having to use a local data warehouse that requires additional security measures.

Utilizing these tips can help your business avoid security compromises that can be time-consuming and costly. The key to an effective cyber security strategy is in understanding how threats can occur and working proactively to avoid them before they happen.

benefits of cloud solutions

Benefits of an Integrated Contact Cloud Solution

Although moving your contact center to the cloud may seem like a daunting task, the benefits likely outweigh the costs. Localized contact center solutions are inefficient, inflexible, costly, and damaging to the customer experience. Working with a reputable cloud-based provider can get your contact center operational quickly so you can reap the following benefits:

  • Scalability – As your call center grows, your business can easily add on features and services need to expand your operation without planning for a large expenditure outlay. Cloud systems also allow for easy addition or removal of devices, allowing companies to handle seasonal fluctuation in communication volume with ease.  
  • Better Cost Control – With many cloud solutions, you only pay for the services you need, which allows for better cost control of resources. Investments in hardware and software are minimal with a cloud solution, and system maintenance and security costs are reduced significantly.
  • Increased Engagement – In a recent market study conducted by Customer Contact Week Digital, increased digital engagement was reported as the #1 priority for contact center professionals in 2019. Customers expect to speak with a live person who can help address their concerns as quickly as possible, and cloud-based solutions can help achieve that goal through efficient call routing and fewer dropped or mishandled calls.
  • Customization of the Customer Experience – By integrating with a variety of customer management and data programs, cloud solutions enable businesses to better understand customer needs and adapt their processes accordingly. Automated programs can further enhance the customer experience by documenting communication attempts, initiating follow up, and sending digital resources to the customer based on a predefined set of rules.
  • Improved Quality and Responsiveness – Cloud-based solutions facilitate remote workforces and instant communication with supervisors or other agents for assistance when needed. These features create happier workers, who in turn provide higher quality service to customers. Call management features also provide greater responsiveness by routing calls correctly and efficiently.
  • Enhanced Security – Cloud solutions are more reliable than localized systems, and cloud service providers handle important security measures and product updates on your behalf. This makes for a more secure environment without the need for additional IT staff.
  • Flexibility for your Team – Contact center agents enjoy flexible working hours and remote locations, but they also appreciate the flexibility of a cloud-based system that can simplify the work required to properly care for customers. Integrated interfaces provide access to cross-functional data, which allows them to understand a customer’s entire experience and saves time.

Utilizing an integrated contact cloud solution will give your company a competitive edge in handling customer service issues. Exploring these benefits and how to best harness them for your business will help you to identify and develop memorable customer experiences to meet your clients’ changing needs.

voip vs traditional phones

VoIP Phone Solutions vs Traditional Services

If you are currently looking for phone service options for your business, you can install a VoIP solution or a traditional phone solution. Both options meet certain needs, but many businesses are finding that VoIP technology has improved beyond the capabilities of a traditional phone system. To help you select the best system for your business, review the side-by-side comparison of VoIP and traditional phone services below.

What is VoIP?

VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol, describes the use of internet lines to provide phone services. Many businesses are moving to VoIP because it provides increased functionality and improved quality over traditional phone services. Since VoIP services are provided via internet lines, the quality of the internet connection should be a major consideration when evaluating the switch to a VoIP system.

Equipment Requirements

Since additional equipment typically comes with additional cost, business owners should understand the equipment they will be required to purchase with any phone service. Additionally, registering for any phone solution without the proper equipment can cause considerable frustration and could result in lost business due to communication down time until the proper equipment can be obtained.

  • For VoIP Phone Solutions

    Making and receiving phone calls over internet lines requires a special line adapter. Fortunately, this adapter is relatively inexpensive (<$100), and installing the adapter is a simple process that does not require installation by an experienced technician. A VoIP system will also require access to a high-speed internet line, which may require additional equipment.

  • For Traditional Services

    Basic phone service can be provided with little upfront equipment cost, but businesses with specialized needs may need to purchase additional equipment. Since traditional phone setups cannot natively offer services such as intercom systems or call routing, businesses who need these features must purchase specialized devices that can cost thousands of dollars.


In addition to costs for equipment, each phone solution will have costs associated with the monthly services provided. Since ongoing monthly costs have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line, business owners should evaluate which long term costs will be more economical based on the services needed.

  • For VoIP Phone Solutions

    There are many variables that can affect monthly costs for any service, but VoIP systems typically cost approximately $20-25/month per line. This estimated cost includes a variety of features, installation, and monthly maintenance fees, but any additional costs of a required internet connection are not included.

  • For Traditional Services

    As with VoIP services, monthly costs for traditional phone services can vary considerably by the provider and geographic location. The average costs for business lines are typically between $60-90/month per line. Traditional business phone systems also typically incur a large up-front installation charge, which can be over $100.


Businesses with a customer service focus often have unique needs in a phone system for handling large call volumes. Even for companies without a large customer service focus, phone system features can streamline business operations and improve efficiency.

  • For VoIP Phone Solutions

    Since VoIP systems function over an internet connection, providers can typically offer a wide range of features that support business operations. Many features are included in the monthly cost and do not incur additional charges. VoIP phone systems offer the standard features provided by traditional phone services, but they can also offer:

    • Mobile portingVirtual automated attendants
    • Online portal for managing features and lines
    • Scalability to add more lines without incurring additional installation charges
    • Anonymous call rejection
    • Call monitoring and routing
    • Voice to text transcription
    • Call recording
  • For Traditional Services
    • Most traditional phone service providers offer a standard suite of features that appeal to many users, such as call waiting, call forwarding, call blocking, and voicemail. Features that are specific to businesses, such as call analytics and business integrations, are typically not offered or are extremely costly.


No matter how inexpensive a phone solution may be, it is ultimately worthless if it isn’t reliable. Uptime, or the percentage of time that a solution is working, is an important metric for business owners to consider.

  • For VoIP Phone Solutions

    For reliable VoIP providers, system uptime typically measures 99.999%. This translates to less than 6 minutes of downtime in an entire year. Most VoIP providers have redundancy built in to their system to minimize downtime and keep services running for all clients, even when issues occur within one area of the system. If users are experiencing issues with VoIP service, it is more likely related to the quality of their internet connection and not the service itself.

  • For Traditional Services

    While traditional POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) lines are reliable, the uptime metrics can vary greatly based on geographic location. Construction, weather, and other variables can affect telephone uptime, especially when the local provider becomes overwhelmed with many users experiencing issues at the same time. Furthermore, the rise in internet-based services and cell phones has caused a significant decline in the number of traditional phone users. Because of this trend, telecommunications companies are choosing to invest in cellular and internet-based infrastructure instead of improving POTS systems.

How to Switch from Traditional Services to VoIP

If your business would benefit from the cost savings and flexibility of a VoIP system, switching from a traditional provider can be a simple and straightforward process. Outline the details of your business needs so you can easily communicate the number of lines and features needed to properly support your employees. Find a reputable VoIP provider who offers a good support system and will help you through the transition process.