Switching your small business over to a Voice over IP phone system might be one of the best business moves you can make, because of the tremendous potential for increasing employee productivity and saving money on communication costs. While you might be reluctant to divest yourself of the land lines you’ve used for ages, the potential for increased productivity and cost savings provide a powerful incentive.
This potential is so high that you really would be doing your company an injustice if you don’t look into it, and consider adopting this type of system at the earliest opportunity. For those who are still undecided, and would be interested in some useful information about Voice over IP telephone systems, the information below may provide some worthwhile insights.
Comparison with Traditional Phone Systems
There are some dramatic differences between the traditional phone system and Voice over IP systems, starting with how calls are transmitted. A traditional system uses a phone line which was probably installed ages ago, whereas Voice over IP systems send all calls over your company’s Internet connection.
In a traditional configuration, most companies purchase their phone system, whereas with modern VoIP systems, monthly leasing is more common. Ownership of a traditional system also meant that you had to take care of all system maintenance and any upgrades when they were needed, whereas in a leased and hosted system, your provider manages all that for you.
In an old-style system, whenever you needed to set up new extensions or voicemails, you would have to call the phone company to help get that implemented. When you have an arrangement with a host service provider, you will likely have an Internet portal that puts you in control of managing all those new lines and extensions.
Since VoIP systems use digital signals, and your old landline phones are configured for analog signals, you will need to have all of your phones replaced. However, the good thing about that is that you probably won’t have to purchase all those phones that you need, and instead you can just lease them, right along with your total monthly leasing agreement.
Instead of an enormous upfront investment, you will instead only be responsible for a relatively low monthly fee, and whenever upgrades are necessary, that will be transparent to you, because it will be handled by your provider. Scaling up is also extremely easy because of this, and you won’t have to make any extra purchases or installations – your provider will handle all that for you.
Your Service Quality Depends on Your Internet Connection
One crucial point that you need to be aware of is that the kind of service that you get from your Voice over IP system will be dependent upon the quality and bandwidth of your Internet connection. If you have a large number of people on phones at any one time, you’ll need a sturdy Internet connection to accommodate that.
A poor Internet connection can severely degrade your phone service; this is something you can consult with your provider about because the best equipment in the world is not going to give you any better service if you have a subpar Internet connection.
Your provider will be able to tell you how much bandwidth you need from your Internet connection, based on the number of employees you have, and the volume of traffic you have at the office. That makes this critical issue one of the very first talking points you should have with any telephone service provider, when you’re thinking of switching over to a Voice over IP system.
VoIP Systems are Easily Transferable
By “transferable,” it is meant that for instance, employees can install a particular app on their smartphones which will enable them to receive calls that have been forwarded to their cell phones or tablets. The significant benefit of this is that all those calls are then considered to be in-network, which results in a much lower cost for the call.
If you have employees who work remotely or from home fairly often, this is a must-have feature that will save you a ton of money. Since many employees these days bring their cell phones and their laptops or other mobile devices to work, any of these devices can easily be included in the network by installing the same kind of app on them.
Low-cost Advanced Features
While just about every land-based system can only offer the same set of features to companies they do business with, VoIP systems can provide a lot more in the way of features, and at little cost. For example, most VoIP systems can forward calls and emails or voicemails to virtual receptionists or mobile devices; they can have specific forwarding rules implemented, and can have customizable call screening. Because Voice over IP is itself so flexible and so capable, more business features are being added all the time, and they’re all being made available to clients of providers at the same surprisingly low cost.