Blog | Feb. 8, 2024 | 5 min read 5 Benefits of Hosted Voice Phone Systems TwitterFacebookLinkedInEmailMessengerIt’s no secret that digital tools have transformed the business environment over the past several years. Video meetings are the new norm as people enjoy the increased flexibility of remote or hybrid work. While landlines were once all the rage, hosted voice phone systems provide an increasingly sought-after digital alternative that adjusts to the shift. What is a Hosted Voice Phone System? Unlike a traditional phone line, a hosted voice phone system is a telecommunication solution located outside of a user’s environment and can be managed by a provider. Since many hosted voice systems are housed in the cloud, they allow institutions to experience the variety of benefits the cloud delivers. Hosted voice systems can replace aging phone systems that require exclusively on-premises hardware and eliminate the need for dedicated voice circuits, which only support onsite phones. Further, hosted voice systems provide benefits and features that traditional phone systems cannot, such as flexibility and increased collaboration. Are you looking for additional information on cloud technology and its benefits? Check out our white paper. How Does a Cloud-hosted Phone System Work? Traditional landline phones convert a user’s voice into a frequency transmitted along a wire. By contrast, hosted voice systems convert a user’s voice into data transmitted through the internet. So, hosted voice systems do not require a user to have a traditional telephone service or wires. With a hosted voice system, your users can opt for the device of their choice, such as a desktop phone, software-based phone and mobile application to make and receive calls and other communications like text messages or voicemails. Hosted voice systems enable users to make and receive calls on the device of their choice. Why Embrace Cloud-based Communication Systems? For financial services and countless other industries, cloud adoption has accelerated in recent years as cloud services transform business operations and IT. As institutions navigate an increasingly complex environment of regulatory requirements and strive to meet customer demands, the cloud provides reliable, accessible and compliant IT infrastructure while optimizing costs. This holds true for cloud-hosted phone systems, as they reduce expenses associated with on-premises hardware and maintenance. The pandemic also showed the importance of resilient, effective communications for financial institutions. As institutions continue to support hybrid workforces, cloud-based communications systems are a good option for keeping employees at multiple branches or locations connected. Many hosted voice systems also include mobile apps for cell phones that enable remote workers to stay connected as though they were in the office. 5 Benefits of Hosted Voice Systems In today’s business landscape, employees can work in-office, remotely or a combination of both, so your institution should have technology that supports flexible and efficient communication. Below are some distinct benefits hosted voice systems provide financial institutions. Cost efficiencies: Whereas traditional phone systems often require investments in hardware and infrastructure—and ongoing maintenance—cloud-based phone systems allow your institution to avoid purchasing onsite hardware or software. Cloud-based systems also eliminate the costs of managing vulnerabilities in aging systems, from software updates to labor. Increased collaboration and integration capabilities: Modern institutions demand flexibility to support in-office, remote and hybrid employees, and customers expect strong integration between voice and collaboration platforms. To support these expectations, hosted voice systems offer features that keep institutions seamlessly connected with customers or members, including integrations with platforms like Microsoft Teams. Scalability: One of the primary advantages of cloud-based technology is the flexibility to scale services up or down as your institution’s needs or goals change. For example, your institution can easily add or remove users to your system as needed—all without significant hardware investments. Enhanced security and compliance: With traditional phone systems, the burden of security often falls to the individual institution. And it’s often difficult to recruit and maintain security-focused roles in today’s competitive workforce. By partnering with a hosted voice provider, your institution can reap the benefits of their security investments, such as end-to-end encryption to ensure call security and privacy. This approach also allows your institution to leverage your provider’s security and compliance expertise. Highly available and reliable: Since hosted voice systems are cloud-based, they readily support business continuity. Many providers rely on geo-redundant data centers, so if one data center experiences a power outage or other unexpected incident, there is always an available backup. This ensures institutions experience no downtime, which can be difficult to achieve with traditional, on-premises systems. Hosted voice systems provide financial institutions with several benefits, including scalability, enhanced security and flexibility. Features to Look for in a Hosted Voice System The current business environment requires near-constant communication and connectivity. When choosing a hosted voice system, ensure your platform has functionalities and features that support your institution’s needs and enable you to stay connected with your customers or members. Here are several beneficial features to consider when evaluating a hosted voice system: Voicemail with email integration: When you receive a voicemail on your hosted voice system, you will also receive an email alert with the audio file. This allows you to access voicemails from a mobile device or computer, eliminating the need to call into your voicemail. Voice-to-text transcription: This feature allows you to record and transcribe a voice or video call, so you can easily refer to the transcript. Text/SMS/MMS to office number: Texting from a hosted voice system uses a virtual number to communicate, allowing you to send and receive texts via the internet. Mobile application: With a hosted voice system, you can download a mobile app that functions similarly to a phone. A user could make and receive calls via the app, enabling flexibility if working outside the office. This feature is also beneficial from a security perspective, as a terminated employee would lose access to the app and all data contained within it, including voicemails and the ability to make calls. Enhancing Communication with a Hosted Voice System Hosted voice phone systems help institutions stay flexible in an evolving digital world while delivering all the benefits of cloud technology. Download our white paper to learn more about why institutions are embracing the public cloud. Read the white paper Sean Martin is director of Product Strategy, CSI Business Solutions Group for Managed Services. He has worked to establish cybersecurity programs for financial institutions for over 15 years. Previously, Sean has served as Network and Security Operations Manager, Product Manager, and various engineering roles since 2001. In his role, Sean identifies and implements solutions designed to maximize security and profitability for financial institutions. Sean speaks regularly on a variety of financial technology issues, ranging from managed services to IT security best practices.