A VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone system enables a business to use an internet connection to make voice calls rather than traditional landline systems. The technology converts voice into data which is then transferred via the internet.
Many businesses are choosing to adopt a VoIP phone system in order to reduce call costs and to improve efficiency and quality of their business communications. Here we explore the advantages of a VoIP system over a traditional landline setup.
Save Money with a VoIP System
One of the biggest attractions to VoIP for businesses has to be the cheaper call costs. This is particularly noticeable if your business makes long distance and international calls. Calls can even be free once you’ve paid for the internet connection and any mobile data you use. In addition to lower call costs, the installation of a VoIP system tends to be simpler, quicker and cheaper than a traditional system.
For example, if you choose a Cloud hosted VoIP system the only physical installation needed is the phones themselves as the PBX is hosted by the provider. This removes the need for the large upfront cost of installing machinery onsite. Plus, with a hosted VoIP system, you avoid the ongoing cost of updates and maintenance as this is all handled by the provider.
Convenience and Simplicity
A hosted VoIP system is basically a plug in and play setup. And, because it’s run via the internet, you can login to your VoIP phone system from anywhere in the world. As long as you have a strong enough connection to the internet you can access your system via your phone or headset without any impact on cost. For businesses with remote workers this can be an invaluable feature.
Adopting a VoIP system doesn’t mean losing access to your conventional, landline phones. You can use the two alongside each other. In fact, some businesses only use their VoIP phones for international calls and continue to use landlines for others. A VoIP convertor or telephone adapter will connect to any of your computers via USB so switching between the two is really easy to do. A VoIP system enables you to keep your own number wherever you are logged in so your business number always remains the same.
Hybrid phones enable you to use both landlines and the internet to make calls, but VoIP technology can also provide a range of other functions for your business. You can also use it for video conferencing so you can meet with colleagues, employees or even clients without having to leave your desk. For business people who travel a lot this is a particular advantage.
A VoIP system also makes faxing documents easy and simple via IP Faxing; this means you can instantly send and receive documents via the internet just like an email. And you still retain all the essential features of any modern phone system like voicemail, call hold, auto attendant phone menus etc.
Easy Installation and Maintenance
It couldn’t be easier to get a VoIP phone system up and running. Assuming you have a strong enough internet connection, you simply need to plug in your phones and the system is ready to go. There’s no wiring or installation of a PBX to pay or wait for. You don’t need to install any software and your provider will take care of all ongoing updates and maintenance.
Grows with Your Business
When a landline system with traditional PBX is installed it will be setup with the correct number of extensions / lines for your business. However, as your business grows adding new lines will be needed and, if employees leave, you may need to reduce them to avoid paying for unnecessary phone lines. This can be a costly and time consuming process with traditional systems, but with hosted VoIP this is far easier.
Simple Integration with Other Business Areas
As an internet based system, VoIP is very easy to integrate with other applications and technology you use such as email or Customer Relationship Management software. This should make communication far more efficient. In addition, some systems will transcribe conversations so you can keep notes for a customer’s file or for a future meeting with a colleague.
Things to Consider with a VoIP System…
- While the quality of VoIP calls is usually on a par with landline calls, it is dependant on the strength of your internet connection. For many of us, this can vary from day to day.
- VoIP is reliant on an internet connection so if this is lost your business communications will be down for a period of time. Most VoIP providers will advertise how much ‘downtime’ their system had in the previous year and it shouldn’t be any more than a few minutes in total.
- You can only get free calls when calling others on the same VoIP service provider.
- Setup and training will incur a cost plus the ongoing cost of your internet data usage.