One hundred and forty-five years on from the first telephone patent by Alexander Graham Bell, and the telephone remains an iconic mainstay for business communications.

But the telephone has come a long way since the 19th century. From the candlestick models, to the rotary dial version, touch tone and cordless phones, and more recently mobiles and smartphones, the telephony world has truly evolved.

And today, cloud brings opportunities that enable businesses to communicate 21st century style.

Many businesses are moving their entire telephone systems to the cloud, doing away with the on-site infrastructure that a traditional phone system requires, and of course the associated expense of the initial setup, ongoing maintenance and potential upgrades. In addition, as hardware becomes out of date, it becomes increasingly expensive to maintain.

However, there are voice cloud solutions that will integrate with existing on-premises systems – and so even businesses wanting to continue using an existing PBX system, handsets and phone system features can do so seamlessly.

Cloud voice solutions are available in various plans, creating flexibility to allow any business to take advantage of the benefits offered. Solutions can come complete with calling minutes included, or as a without-calling option, enabling businesses to source a telephony carrier of their choice – or use an existing PBX system.

Cloud voice solutions support a wide variety of devices. For those businesses wanting to continue with the classic desktop handset, no problem. But it’s worth noting that headsets are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in busy open-plan offices and in businesses where employees are on the move regularly. Businesses can choose devices to suit their needs, and mix and match for individual employee preference.

Another major benefit of moving telephony to the cloud is the ability to integrate with regularly used office tools. Instant messaging is a growing business phenomenon and bringing together chat, file sharing, and calling into one platform gives workforces the ultimate unified solution, helping to enhance productivity. Businesses can also take advantage of all the features offered by a modern system – from call flipping to call parking, one-touch calling, and voicemail to email functionality – plus the ability to call from anywhere, at any time – no exceptions!