Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a system which manages voice calls over an internet connection, rather than through a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) or landline. It’s a system that has a great many advantages over its predecessors – so much so that the use of conventional telephony systems by businesses in the US has fallen off by almost half over the course of recent years, with more and more companies making the switch to VoIP.
But what advantages does VoIP offer, and why is it preferable to a PBX setup, or a series of lines connected to the public switched telephone network? What special features can VoIP enable for your business, and how should you go about making the switch when you’re ready?
The key advantages of VoIP
One of the main advantages of VoIP as a system for handling voice calls is price. Termination rates for VoIP calls are extremely competitive, meaning that switching to a VoIP system will usually save you money, particularly if your business makes a lot of international calls. Better yet, with VoIP you’ll have an unprecedented level of insight into phone usage throughout your company. Your costs will always be clear, and you’ll only pay for what you need. VoIP means an end to inefficient and confusing billing systems.
Additionally, after initial setup costs, the expense involved in scaling a VoIP system is minimal; companies can simply purchase extra handsets and adjust their plan rather than dealing with the expense of installing or rerouting physical lines. That’s not to mention the time and money saved on maintenance. When things go wrong a conventional telecoms company might take days to organize an on-site repair. With VoIP repairs are usually quick, and can sometimes be conducted remotely.
VoIP also simplifies call forwarding. When away from their desks employees can easily arrange for calls to be forwarded to their personal devices, or to another person in their department. Each employee is contactable using only a single number, which doesn’t change when they’re on the road or away from the office.
What is more, VoIP does all this while maintaining excellent call quality. A properly set-up VoIP system delivers crystal clear voice calls without delay or distortion.
The advanced features of VoIP
Because call data is routed via an internet connection, VoIP allows businesses both small and large to take advantage of a number of advanced features. As well as easily being able to transfer calls from one phone to another, users can set up intelligent call routing and easily deliver callers to the most relevant contact for their query.
Other features enabled by VoIP include simple voice and video conferencing, and the ability to forward voice messages to an email address to be listened to anywhere and anytime. If required it’s simple to manage which phone rings when a given number is dialed, or systematically pass a call from one phone to the next until it’s answered. For businesses using VoIP these features translate into less wasted time, and fewer lost customers.
Making the switch to VoIP, like any change that may revolutionize the way you do business, can feel like a daunting task. But, given the advantages that VoIP can offer most businesses, the decision to switch is one that shouldn’t be delayed.