Ask any successful entrepreneur, and they will tell you that every business needs to have an efficient communication model to succeed.
For this reason, businesses are constantly competing for the best communication tools in the market. This demand is driving the evolution of communication channels and technologies. As the nature of work evolves, so does the need for more agile, flexible, and even portable communication solutions.
One less appreciated but highly efficient communication platform that can do wonders for a modern business is VOIP. Voice over Internet Protocol is not a new technology; it has been around since 1995. However, as internet speeds and infrastructure have evolved, so has it. It is now increasingly becoming a go-to solution for businesses looking for affordable and secure communication.
From chat platforms to video conferencing, modern communication tools such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allow colleagues to conduct business from anywhere in the world.
Despite how far VOIP technology has evolved over the past 25 years, it still has some major drawbacks that you must know if considering it. This post will explore how VOIP works and its unique benefits. If you are asking yourself, “how can I make VOIP and my business help me save money” read on to get an answer.
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What is VOIP, and How Does It Work?
At its most basic, VoIP is a type of phone that delivers voice calls as packets of data over internet broadband. This technology converts the phone call signal into data for transmission and again back to voice at the other end. This means that your business’ calls are transmitted over the same channels like emails and documents.
VoIP makes it possible for staff anywhere to make calls from a desktop or laptop computer, VoIP phone, or any other device that supports voice data.
The adoption of VoIP was slow when the technology was first invented in 1995. Back then, the cost of VoIP equipment was prohibitive, setting up the system was difficult, and alternatives were getting cheaper.
VoIP is increasingly becoming associated with business telephony today for three reasons:
- Modern VoIP software is agile enough to run on browsers and various platforms.
- VoIP solutions offer greater functionality and more value than landlines. Most devices today support both voice and audio calls.
- It cuts operations costs. Since business is all about minimizing expenses, switching to VoIP helps businesses cut communication costs.
More small businesses are choosing VoIP as a preferred way to communicate because of the many benefits it offers. We have seen businesses fundamentally change the way they communicate with customers and suppliers as the market becomes more competitive.
A communication system that allows businesses to communicate from anywhere gives some an edge over the competition. Smart entrepreneurs are turning to VOIP solutions because they are centralized and professional systems. No business can afford to let client calls go unanswered in this economy.
To appreciate the power of this tech, and understand how it would work for your business, you need to know its top benefits and drawbacks.
Pros of VOIP to a Small Business
1. VoIP Increases Staff Mobility and Flexibility
On top of the list of why your business needs VoIP is how seamlessly it integrates with various software systems. If you already have a digital platform that manages other facets of your business, integrating VoIP will be easy. For instance, you can make it work with remote conferencing or file sharing and email systems.
The flexibility that most other phone service providers promise cannot match a VoIP service provider offers. Staff will be able to make unlimited calls on-the-go and even place long-distance calls without worrying about roaming charges.
2. VoIP Software Application Features
Several features have become so common that they are standard in any phone system. VoIP telephone systems offer all these features and a lot more, depending on your system. Many business owners worry that they may not be able to hold or forward calls, send text messages, or use auto-attendant menus with VoIP. They are mistaken.
VoIP phones come with all the features you would expect in a modern phone. These include call transfer, call hold, call hunt, conference calling, call recording, and many more. The critical point to remember is that the right VoIP service should provide you with all the features and capabilities your business needs.
3. Built-in Backup Plan
There are many VoIP phone service providers in the market, each offering uniquely packaged products. As with any product, the features and add-ons should guide you in choosing the best product. When shopping for a business VoIP system, always select one with a built-in backup system to check redundancy and minimize call dropping.
When evaluating VoIP systems, call continuity features are very useful for business calls. They are called backup plans because they automatically forward calls to a designated mobile device should the internet service fail.
The complexity of built-in backup in VoIP systems makes them a unique feature that can make or break a business deal. Not all VoIP provide it.
4. Portability and Remote Capabilities
A VoIP phone system will work as long as you have internet access. No matter where you have set up your business, you can always receive and make calls from multiple devices if the internet connection supports VoIP. If your business involves staff traveling over large distances or in remote areas, you particularly need VoIP.
VoIP phone systems rely on internet connectivity. As such, they are very accommodating to businesses of different types and sizes. Adequately set up VoIP systems are not only affordable but also highly scalable.
Today’s VoIP devices are designed to be smaller, power-efficient, and highly portable. With such a system, workers can make calls right from their smartphones or tablets to clients or the office.
5. Cost-Effectiveness and Scalability
Setting up a traditional landline or telephone exchange system can be quite costly for a business. However, installing and managing a VoIP system is becoming much cheaper as better devices enter the market.
The real cost-saving for businesses will come when they start using VoIP for business calls. Calls made between two computers on the internet are generally free of charge. With a VoIP system, staff will communicate internally for free and call clients at very low prices.
Based on statistics by Score, businesses that switch from using traditional phone services to using VoIP save as much as 60% in communication costs.
Cons of VOIP as a Small Business Phone Service
1. No internet No VoIP
The most obvious downside of VoIP is that it works for as long as there is a stable internet connection. If the internet is out or unreliable, VoIP will not work.
2. Power Interruptions Causes VoIP Communications Interruptions
An interruption of power supply to a VoIP device will cause an interruption in communication. Naturally, power interruptions may be few and far between, but even minor issues can have major impacts on VoIP. Most businesses invest in power backup devices to ensure their VoIP systems are not interrupted by blackouts and brownouts.
3. Network Latency Issues
A VoIP phone system’s effectiveness may be narrowed down to the reliability of power and internet connection. Many businesses suffer poor VoIP services because of network latency issues. Low latency issues in network lines cause lagging in calls, voice delays, dropped calls, and other hosts of problems.
Conclusion: Does Your Business Need VoIP?
When you tell the story of VoIP and my business, it should be how the communication platform enables your business to compete with industry giants effectively. VoIP is for entrepreneurs who are setting their businesses up to compete beyond the local scale. If you are an ambitious entrepreneur, the simple secret to managing business communication may be a VoIP phone system.
A more direct approach to getting started is to talk to a professional and get advice personalized to your business. Ohio.net is one of the only VOIP providers in the market with over one hundred years of telecommunication history. Contact them to learn more about their VOIP phone service or get specific answers and advice.