Small Business Advice

Cloud Voice explained

Jack Oneill

The internet phone is here to stay...

Cloud Voice, Hosted Voice, IPBX … it goes by many names, but one thing is certain: the internet phone is here to stay.

Whether it’s the cheaper calls, the dozens of call management features, the international presence or simply the novelty, thousands of businesses are flocking to Cloud Voice services, which topped 1 billion users worldwide last year.

It's also one of the fastest and most affordable ways of allowing your business to run remotely - a benefit that's especially vital in extraordinary times like these.

So what’s all the fuss about?

What is Cloud Voice?

Cloud Voice is also known as ‘Voice Over Internet Protocol’ (VOIP). Cloud Voice systems use IP addresses to let you make calls – just like how your laptop and mobile devices use them to access the internet.

How does it work?

When you use the internet, data – which could include images, video or audio – is being broken into “IP packets”, tiny chunks of data which are beamed over the internet through your broadband or fibre cables.

Cloud Voice works using the same principles: your Cloud Voice phone turns your voice into data packets and shoots them through the web, where they can be decoded back into audio on the other end of the virtual line.

If that seems complicated, remember that apps like Skype and Whatsapp have been doing this successfully for years.

The business benefits of Cloud Voice


Cloud Voice has a great track record of reducing business costs compared to traditional landlines.

Calls can often be cheaper, and international calls are almost always less expensive.

Installing, changing and updating Cloud Voice systems is similarly inexpensive. All you need to start is an internet connection and a Cloud Voice-enabled handset. And new virtual lines can be added and removed without the time-consuming installation and deactivation of physical landlines.


You can use Cloud Voice anywhere there’s internet, which makes it helpful for employees on the move.

That portability means that if you change business location, you can take your numbers with you at no extra cost. It also means that as you expand your business, you can keep the same VoIP system and simply add new users as it becomes necessary.


Cloud Voice has numerous call management features, such as redirecting calls when lines are busy, setting different redirect numbers for different times, and forwarding voicemails to email inboxes.

Though the sheer number of options presents an initial hurdle for the uninitiated, basic call management is indispensable to business owners trying to get clients on the phone, or team members trying to reach their colleagues.

Casual adopters immediately benefit for some simple call rerouting, and more sophisticated users can customise their system to spread incoming calls efficiently across company numbers.


Cloud Voice solves outage problems by having a call routing system – you can have calls routed to different lines if one is busy, or to mobile phones and landlines if all your VoIP numbers are unavailable.

And as it’s Cloud-hosted, all business contacts and call records are safe, even if your system is offline.

Call management features can also save employees around 30 minutes per day, by making it more likely that internal calls will get to where they need to. VoIP also enables more flexible work, which has been shown to increase productivity.

The Future

As with most technologies, the future of phones is online and in the Cloud. Stats across the board show that Cloud Voice adoption is on the rise, and will eventually replace traditional phones completely.

  • In 2008, 80% of all new PBXs were Cloud Voice
  • BT plan to be a Cloud voice-only telecoms company by 2025 – just six years away.
  • This change parallels changes in industries like television, which are slowly switching over to streaming services rather than satellite broadcast.
  • 45% of businesses were already using Cloud Voice in 2017 (Cavell - SIP & IP Trunking Market Report & Forecast 2016)

The phone network as we know it is now a legacy technology. It’ll be phased out as providers find it easier to manage a single, internet-only network. So it’s not a question of if, but when you’ll be switching your business to Cloud Voice.

How XLN can help

It’s 2020 and everything’s going digital. Why should your phone be any different? With cheaper calls than traditional landlines, a huge range of smart features and market-leading handsets provided for free, XLN Cloud Voice offers affordable and comprehensive VoIP packages for small business owners. Head over to the website to find out more: