May 5, 2020
What are Cloud Phone Systems?

What are Cloud Phone Systems?

Read time:
4 Minutes

Cloud phone system are becoming increasingly common, as businesses move their communications to more modern technologies.

Cloud phone systems are often called many different names. They’re sometimes called VoIP phone systems, hosted PBXs, hosted VoIP or cloud VoIP phone systems. Although these names seem different, they’re all referring to the same thing.

But what actually are cloud phone systems?

For a long time, businesses have used ‘on-premise’ phone systems. These systems are also known as PBXs. However, over the last five years, PBX’s have become obsolete, as more and more businesses choose to move their comms to a cloud phone system.

What are cloud phone systems?

Cloud phone systems are software-based telephony solutions that are hosted in the cloud by a telecoms provider, such as Bytes Digital. Cloud phone systems do not require any on-site hardware, and are therefore easier and cheaper to install than traditional PBX telephone systems.

Cloud phone system
Cloud phone systems are hosted in data centres

Cloud phone systems are hosted in a large data centres, where they’re highly secure and maintained by a telecoms provider. When your business opts for a cloud telephone system, we give your business its own part of this data centre that is dedicated to your businesses calls.

Your cloud phone system controls all of your businesses call traffic, ensuring that every incoming and outgoing business call is routed to the correct user, whether they’re in the office, on the road, or working from home.

Because cloud phone systems are internet-based, they are very simple to connect to. Rather than having expensive cabling installed, your business just needs a WiFi or data connection. This means that any member of staff can remotely connect to your cloud phone system—no matter where they are.

How do cloud phone systems work?

Cloud based telephone systems use a technology called VoIP. VoIP stands for Voice Over IP. VoIP uses your businesses existing broadband line to connect your incoming and outgoing calls to your cloud phone system.

Cloud phone system diagram

Cloud phone system diagram

The best way to understand how a cloud phone system work is if we imagine the journey of a call through the system.

The call starts off on your employees phone. Whether that’s a soft phone or a physical deskphone. Once the user makes the a call, the call is sent via your broadband connection to your cloud phone system. It does this using VoIP.

Once the call reaches the cloud, your phone system sends it in the direction of the call recipient. The call then travels over the internet and the UK’s network to the recipient, who picks up the call.

Once connected, your cloud phone system keeps tabs on the calls duration and other call statistics, and also records the call if you have opted call recording. These can be viewed, downloaded and listened to at a later date.

That’s it really. Cloud phone systems are very simple. In fact, your employees won’t notice much difference between a cloud phone system and an on-premise telephone system. Calls can be made simply and easily, and will often be better quality than traditional landlines.

What are the features of cloud phone systems?

One main concern that we found is that some business owners assume that, because it’s a newer technology, cloud phone systems don’t have as many features as a PBX. We can assure you, that is not the case.

Cloud phone systems have evolved so rapidly over the past five years, that they offer more features than their traditional on-premise counterparts. In fact, here’s a few features of our cloud phone system—just to wet your appetite:

  • Voicemail to email
  • Transferring, holding & forwarding
  • Mobile apps
  • CRM integration
  • Call recording
  • Conference calling
  • Unlimited hunt groups
  • Unlimited auto attendants
  • 5,000 Free UK minutes
  • Desktop softphone apps
  • On-hold music & promotions
  • Video conferencing
  • Call queuing
  • Wallboards
  • Call centre applications
  • Instant messaging
  • Tablet apps

We could go on, but you get the point. Cloud phone systems are just as powerful and as feature rich as PBXs. In fact, they offer more features due to their flexibility and scalability.

What is the difference between a cloud and on-premise phone systems?

As with any newer technology, there are a few differences with cloud telephone systems when compared to on-premise PBX systems.

With an old, PBX telephone system, your business needs multiple telephone lines. But this is not the case with cloud phone systems. Because they use your existing broadband connection, you can run your entire business with only one broadband line.

Another difference is the hardware. Cloud based telephone systems require little to no hardware to setup. This means that your business can save money and time on expensive, outdated hardware and instead replace it with cloud-based alternatives.

What are the benefits of cloud phone systems?

The benefits of moving to a cloud telephone system are immense. But here’s a few of our top, most favourite benefits of switching to a cloud phone system.

Cost saving

Arguably, the biggest benefit of a cloud telephone system is the cost saving. Our cloud telephone systems start at £10 per month per user. That’s it. There’s no maintenance fee, no costly hardware to buy, we even include 5,000 UK minutes per user to get rid of those horrible call charges.

In fact, your business could save up to 90% when you switch from a PBX to our cloud telephone platform.


Another benefit is the maintenance. With a PBX, it is your job to maintain and ensure the smooth running of your telephone system. But not with a cloud system. All of the maintenance and running of your telecoms are taken care of, by us, for you.

ISDN Switch off

The reason many businesses are choosing to switch their communications is because of the looming ISDN switch off. In 2025, the UKs ISDN network will be switched off. This means that traditional PBX systems will stop working. Moving the to cloud gets your business ready for the switch off and adds that longevity and future-proofing that so many businesses are looking for in their technology.

What do you need to set up a cloud phone system?

Moving your business to a new telecoms provider can be a daunting task. There are so many options and setting up a cloud phone system seems like an impossible task. But there’s no need to worry.

Cloud phone systems require little to no hardware to setup. Essentially all your business needs to set up a cloud phone system is an internet connection, and a device to make the call on.

While many businesses opt for our free VoIP deskphones, these aren’t a necessity. For example, if your business had lots of teleworkers, or lots of on-the-road sales people, then you may opt for the free mobile app, or desktop app.

These apps bring all the functionality of a deskphone to your smartphone or computer. Or you can choose to mix and match, maybe you need three desk phones and 10 mobile apps—just let us know.

Cloud phone system devices
Cloud phone system devices

No matter how you configure your system, we’re here to help you through the whole process. As I say, it can be a daunting task, especially if you’re moving from an on-premise system to the cloud.

Give one of our team a call today for a jargon-free chat about switching to a cloud phone system. No fee, no obligation. Or visit out VoIP phone system page for more information.

If you have any questions, or would like some more information about how Bytes Digital can help your business, email hello@bytesdigital.co.uk give us a call on 03331 301 021.

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