Why Accountants and Businesspeople LOVE Cloud Unified Communications

Cloud Unified Communications: Gold Coins in cloudThe world is full of companies who will gladly help you engineer a tornado to leaf-blow your lawn. But when it comes to running the unified communications of an organization, it pays to keep it simple, especially when it comes to managing expenses. Increasingly, the money folks—owners, managers, and chief financial officers—are looking at their PBXs and local phone services as business-hobbling money pits. And they’re turning to business VoIP and virtual PBXs to pave them over.

6 Ways to Simplify Billing and Save With Business VoIP

Here’s why these folks are turning to business VoIP to save money, simplify accounting and manage communications expenses better.

1.They realize that sometimes, making do with what you have is costing you more than switching.

For example, Neal Alberda, Replicon’s global director of IT says that when his company ran the numbers, what looked like an adequate phone system was draining away company resources—every month.

“Our previous PBX actually worked well,” says Alberda, “but we had to maintain a voice gateway at every location. Device costs were high because we had to buy expensive phones whenever we hired new personnel, and reconfiguring the system every time we moved or added a user was time-consuming.”

2.Predictable bills mean peace of mind—and better control of company finances.

Most business owners agree that it’s not just how much you pay, but knowing how much it is going to cost in advance. Business VoIP providers—like 8x8—can provide one bill for all communications services, and make it accessible online. This means less chance of hard-to-cover overages after the damage has already been done.

“The most rewarding feature of 8x8 is that it is very cost effective and we never have to worry about our phone bill sky rocketing,” says Flora Ramirez, legal assistant at Maginnis, Pullian and Young.

3.One-bill consolidated statements help control expenses throughout a company—especially organizations with many far-flung offices.

Companies with many locations—particularly international or regional companies—often have trouble getting a handle on expenses when each office manages its own phone system, Web meeting software, fax service, and even contact centers. Business VoIP systems that operate globally can help consolidate billing and administration.

“We have five locations in Southern California,” says Darren Canada, owner and branch manager of a Raymond James business.

“Prior to hiring 8x8 for our communications needs, we had five different phone bills from four different providers in our various locations: Verizon, Cox Cable, Time Warner and AT&T. The 8x8 platform allowed us to consolidate our phone service to one provider, with one phone bill—and more than a 50% reduction in our cost.”

The coolest part, says Canada, is that those cost savings came with new capabilities. “That was just the beginning. Our offices are now interconnected with intercom, separate extensions, robust voicemail system, voicemail to email, convenient auto-attendant, and many more features that have enhanced the quality of customer service, increased our productivity, and made our lives much, much easier,”

4.Better reporting and tracking capabilities make billing and documentation easier for businesses that bill for time.

Business VoIP services that make it easy to run reports in house are often invaluable for firms that bill for the time of consultants, attorneys or anyone else who bills by the hour.

“The call log feature is excellent,” says Steve Elliott, associate at Davis, Eoff & Elliott LLC. “It allows me to track my time, ensure accurate billing and provides me documentation of calls made and received. I have used this feature endlessly since I became a customer.”

The reporting and tracking capabilities also help in planning expansion in a more rational, economical way.

“It helps accounts payable to track usage by different departments and see where we might need additional phone lines or services added,” says Bill Christy, who works in accounts receivable at Mangrove Employers.

5.International call costs are easier to control with business VoIP service.

International calling is easier to control, too, says Keith Russell, President of Euresys.

“I do a lot of international travel, and making international calls on a Wi-Fi network with the 8x8 mobile app means that I’m saving on international roaming charges,” says Russell. “Moving to 8x8 lowered our monthly phone bill by about 80%!  8x8 enables my staff and me to be more efficient with our time while saving a significant amount of money for the company.”

6.Reduce capital expenditures to meet financial goals.

Sometimes, companies need to meet financial goals for lowering capital expenditures, and 8x8 business VoIP fits into such directives.

For instance, when the worldwide recession hit in 2008, steel manufacturer Artco consolidated some of its offices to cut costs. Thousands of dollars’ worth of unused PBX hardware ended up sitting on CIO Damian Brennan’s office floor.

“It literally sat on the floor!,” Brennan says. “Our PBX hardware wasn’t scalable, so some of our capital investments went to waste because we didn’t have the people to use all those new phones,” he explains. “We realized that by moving our communications to the cloud, we could better align our costs and pay for what we need. It would be a much better investment going forward.”

So if your company is going for high growth and trying to cut expenses, business VoIP might be a good way to cut expenses AND get the communications and collaboration features you need to expand. That’s why the people who pull the purse strings like it so much.

To learn more about the financial wins that business VoIP makes possible, check out this whitepaper on cost savings.

Lisa Stapleton

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Lisa Stapleton is a marketing manager at 8x8. She holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, an MA in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a bachelor's degree in applied math and physics from UC Berkeley. [...] Read More >

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