Over the past few years technology has taken huge steps forward in not only advancements but its accessibility to the wider community. During the COVID crisis many businesses have had to re-evaluate their telecommunication platforms to facilitate working from home and allowing their staff to continue to work in an efficient manner. Unfortunately, traditional phone lines have not faired well when there has been a need to create flexibility or scale.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) gives businesses an alternative to the traditional landline. Using the Internet VoIP helps small and large businesses alike to benefit from greater flexibility and exponential cost savings as a business develops in complexity and structure.
What Is VoIP
Voice over Internet Protocol uses the internet to connect calls, and no longer relies on the conventional infrastructure.
VoIP devices / handsets are still very similar to the handsets found in the home or at the office. However rather than converting to an Audio Signal, the audio is converted to Digital Data for transmission via the internet. The information is then reconfigured back to audio on the receiving end. As most homes and businesses have a sufficient internet connection, from the point of view of the people on the call there is no difference.
By transferring data via the internet, it now means that being tethered to a static location is no longer a limiting factor. Landline numbers can easily be accessible to staff that travel regularly via a mobile app. Businesses can utilize multi-communications platforms with integrations such as with Microsoft Teams. And companies can set up and change more complicated routines to divert calls to different internal lines as required.
Here are 5 of the major reasons business are looking at swapping to a VoIP system.
- Mobility and Flexibility
- Additional Features
- Reduced Costs
- Future Proofing
Mobility and Flexibility
It is clear to see that business needs are changing. Never more so than over the past 12 months where many members of staff have been asked to work from home. With the latest developments in the technology creating a “virtual office” can be easily achieved.
A VoIP system makes it simple to move locations with the minimal of hassle. An employee simply needs a secure internet connection, and they are good to go. With a variety of options that include plugging a Deskphone direct into a router through to a Softphone application on a Desktop computer, staff can make and receive calls on the office lines. This level of flexibility is seen as business critical in many business sectors, such as sales and service departments. Where the business operations are dependent on the ability to communicate with the end clients.
Traditional telephone systems can be expensive to grow in line with an expanding business. There can be a lot of upheaval and expense when adding lines to a system. This gets even more complicated when a business operates across multiple sites.
This is not the case with VoIP. A business can easily and quickly grow phone lines, and just as simply when there is expansion across sites. As the service is based in the cloud, you are able to add and remove lines as needed, without the need to purchase additional services in anticipation of what may be needed. Complicated call routing and IVR’s (Interactive Voice Response) can smoothly be implemented as staff are added or to facilitate business department changes.
VoIP telephony offers a whole host of affordable solutions for businesses. Along with traditional handsets, employees can choose the added functionality of making and receiving calls from a Softphone application on a mobile phone or laptop computer. Enabling business employees to benefit from all of the additional Features of a VoIP system whilst out of the office or working from home.
Call monitoring and call recording make it simple for businesses looking to support and train staff using phones for speaking with clients. Offering the opportunity to review calls or listen in to them and give live support and development.
With a VoIP system it is simple to add and amend new features without the need for large cost investment or upheaval to the business that would result when upgrading a traditional system.
In general, traditional landlines are still a costly service. Starting with higher line rental costs, if a business makes a lot of international or premium rate calls these costs can very quickly stack up. Then once you start adding business features such as call queues and IVR’s the investment can be significant.
VoIP allows you to have all these communication functions online. By using Cloud services set up and administration becomes far quicker and easier. With a line potentially being available in hours rather than weeks with a traditional landline. By running over the internet, the costs of communication cross boarders also dramatically reduce.
With most VoIP providers the supplier will also offer maintenance and service agreements as part of the agreement. This means that you do not have to hire additional staff to oversee the system, or these IT professionals can be far better utilized in more business income generating functions.
Technology is improving at an exponential rate as is Telecommunications. When using an online platform as updates and improvements are launched, these changes can be made as simply as updating the software on a mobile phone. Meaning a business can not only utilize these features with ease but there would be minimal if any additional costs incurred.
VoIP presents the opportunity for small business to have access to telecom features previously reserved for larger companies with larger budgets. Including but not restricted to –
- Call Queue
- Hold Music
- IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
- Voicemail to Email
- TPS Checker
- Customizable Recordings / Welcome Messages
- Complicated Call / Pick up routines.
- International Numbers
VoIP systems have come on leaps and bounds over the past few years, in many ways dramatically surpassing the traditional phone system in function and convenience. But for many businesses it is as simple as a VoIP system can offer greater services and a fraction of the costs.
If you would like to learn more about VoIP please get in touch with the team at Merchant Brokers.