Cloud phone systems the answer to keeping employees (and customers) globally connected?

Cloud phone systems are easy to use and agile enough to scale as the business grows, regardless of location or platform.
27 August 2021

Cloud phone systems are easy to use and agile enough to scale as the business grows, regardless of location or platform. (Photo by ERIC PIERMONT / AFP)

The digital age and increasingly efficient online technologies have been tearing down physical barriers, including in the workplace. Digital tools have helped businesses to expand their operations into more countries, acquire more revenue channels and grow their teams to better serve individual markets.

Online-based services can easily be made available in numerous regions, because the internet. More often than not, the internet knows no bounds and entry into certain markets has been made doubly easier with the advent of smartphone applications, or apps, since global smartphone penetration is estimated at 78% in 2020 – meaning even most of the developing world has access to mobile internet and all its many possibilities.

As long as a mobile version of your service makes sense, it can be added to the App Store or Google Play Store and be instantly accessible in countries where you might not have a physical presence. But on-ground teams are sometimes critical, especially as operations grow and necessitate more hands-on handling.

But as teams spread, communications can be stretched thin, and staying in contact with both employees and customers in various territories can become a challenge. Such was the case with fitness app ClassPass, where on-the-go users can log in to the app from anywhere in the world and be directed to the nearest partner gym.

But with such a distributed scale of both operations and services, ClassPass IT manager Randy Tanenhaus had to figure out what was the least painless and friction-free communications mediums to connect with both staff and frequent-traveling gym rats.

Tanenhaus was one of a two-person IT support team tasked with supporting around 400 employees worldwide, and his staying connected issue was compounded by fast-growing ClassPass constantly adding new territories. In a traditional sense, each expansion would need additional contact numbers for staff, and more contact centers for customer service.

Faced with the hurdles of maintaining communication channels while regularly adding new regions which would have their own unique issues, a cloud phone platform seemed like the most reasonable solution. Cloud phone systems can enable smaller businesses to manage communication services in a less costly, more streamlined, and flexible manner – but with the fully integrated business tools such as customer relationship management (CRM) plugin, instant messaging and videoconferencing that more costly PBX systems might supply for contact centers.

Not only are cloud phone systems easy to use and agile enough to scale up or down as the company’s services expand or contract, according to needs, but new or premium functions such as AI-driven Virtual Assistant or Auto Attendant features can easily be deployed.

Web-based customer portals can allow IT staff to manage their system more efficiently, along with digital-only benefits such as call analytics, plus full visibility of a customer’s account history with the company. And being a cloud-based phone system, cloud solutions can easily integrate with other cloud-hosted applications, enabling remote employees to have the same accessibility to the full suite of features, regardless of country, as though they were right in the office.

ClassPass’s Tanenhaus settled on the Dialpad cloud phone system, which is convenient to set up, with no need to purchase or set up physical devices in each new country, and the software was fully accessible regardless of location. “The biggest driver was the sheer list of countries — the fact that we could expand where we were going to expand, and Dialpad basically had it all,” Tanenhaus said.

Dialpad applies browser-agnostic, platform-agnostic features so that functionality like videoconferencing video can be accessed and viewed regardless of device, be it mobile app, computer app, or any web browser. Switching between devices is also not an issue, employees can use the same business number on any of these platforms.

“Now that it’s all softphone-based, it’s five minutes and done to set up a new hire, grab a number, and go,” commented Tanenhaus. “To set up new offices, within a week, we’re good to go for a whole brand new location.”