Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP is technology allowing businesses and people to communicate via phone through the internet rather than through traditional landlines. The advantage of this is that you can use a computer or phone equipped with VoIP capability to speak to anyone around the world at a fraction of the cost.
There are many benefits to using VoIP if you’re a business owner from cost savings to easy scalability. In this article, we look at the advantages of using VoIP and why you should consider switching to it for your business communication needs.
What is VoIP?
As mentioned above, VoIP is an acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol. Simply put, this means you can have phone service through the internet instead of a landline connection. If you have a robust internet connection, you can easily use VoIP as a mean of communication.
However, some people and companies use VoIP in addition to their traditional phone service because in most cases, VoIP rates are lower than those from other phone companies, and companies like having a backup or another option. Switching to this newer technology can be worrisome; especially for traditional companies.
VoIP Benefits for Business
Flexible and Mobile
One of the greatest advantages of VoIP for business is that it provides more savings through lower operating costs. VoIP providers often offer a suite of free features such as caller ID, call waiting, call transfer, and three-way calling, for which most traditional phone providers would charge extra.
VoIP technology offers businesses the ability to be more mobile. Users can take their VoIP adapters with them anywhere they have a solid internet connection allowing them to conduct telephone calls easily in new offices or when traveling.
This is a big advantage for people who work in the field or who travel frequently and are not tied to an office. It also allows you to get your phone set up quickly when moving to a new office location.
Because VoIP allows for telephony virtually anywhere one has access to a good internet connection, businesses can be more productive. Employees can multi-task without interruption and businesses can take the money they would normally spend on traditional phone services and use those funds for other purposes.
The ability to three-way call around the world with just a simple internet connection can help businesses save money they might have spent with flying employees out for meetings. As a business owner, you can reduce the need for travel for the most important face-to-face meetings.
VoIP in its early days didn’t always offer the best voice quality, however, that’s changed now that high-speed internet is ubiquitous. Today’s systems offer enhanced voice clarity and most people would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between a VoIP phone call and a landline phone call.
This increase in call quality makes it an attractive technology for businesses that don’t want to deal with the bugs and lag that plagued earlier systems.
VoIP, in most cases, offers more features than traditional telephone systems, which makes them ideal for businesses. While these features differ among VoIP providers, in general, the most common features you can expect besides voice calls are:
- Fax capability
- Caller ID
- Call Waiting
- Call Forwarding
- Call Blocking
- 411 Directory
Many business VoIP providers also offer advanced services like call transfer capabilities, speed dialing, and SMS. The best part about these features is that they’re often included in your VoIP packages so you have nothing else to buy.
Another huge advantage VoIP has over traditional landline telephone services is the cost. VoIP reduces the amount a company spends on telephone service by allowing them to move away from the costly and cumbersome infrastructure that comes with traditional phone service.
These long-established phone providers haven’t kept up with modern business day-to-day demands so many businesses are left with expensive add-ons. Anyone who’s used traditional phone service in a business environment knows how expensive it is when you factor in the cost to purchase devices on top of your monthly expenses.
VoIP services are mostly much less expensive and more flexible than traditional phone services, which makes them ideal for companies looking to cut costs.
Easier to Manage, Use & Troubleshoot
If you’re not a tech-savvy person, you will like using VoIP systems because they require little technical know-how to get them up and running. In fact, many systems are plug-and-play ready which makes them much easier to use and operate than regular telephone systems.
With a VoIP system, you don’t have any extra wiring to install. And, these systems are easily scalable too. When your business grows and needs additional components, they’re easy to add.
Troubleshooting and maintaining a VoIP system is much easier too since all the voice to digital signal transfers occurs in software rather than hardware. This makes it easier to maintain the system and diagnose problems from your office.
You run a business and rely on telephone service to make money. When the system is down, you’re out of luck and may lose hundreds or thousands of dollars.
A VoIP system is a great backup system to have in case your main telephone system goes down. And with VoIP being so cost-effective, there’s no good reason not to have it if you live in an area where phone service isn’t the most robust.
Or, let’s say you’re involved in a power outage and your main phone systems are down. With VoIP technology, you can be back up and running when you get to a place that has working internet connectivity.
More Affordable Hardware
We’ve already touched on the cost savings you get when you switch to VoIP over traditional phone service regarding your fees. But VoIP services often have more affordable hardware and software too.
In most cases, you already have most of the hardware you need with your computer and router. At most all, you’ll need is a handset or microphone and you’re in business.
So as you can see, VoIP has more advantages than disadvantages. However, before you chuck your current telephone service into the trash and opt for a VoIP system, make sure you have a robust internet connection to give you the high-quality calls you expect. If you have low bandwidth or you don’t have access to a solid high-speed internet all the time, hold off on VoIP until you’re in a better position.
Also, remember that to optimize your VoIP experience, consider dedicating one line to your VoIP phone and another line to your internet. Consider bookmarking this page for future reference when the time to make the switch.