Most services associated with operating expenses are going virtual these days. Which is good news for businesses who are considering Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Even though this technology has been around since 1995, advancements in service and functionality are accelerating to keep up with demand. What was once considered less than great quality and limited management options is now a long-gone opinion of the past. Businesses that choose to virtualize their phone systems enjoy far more benefits than sticking with landlines or even cell phone plans. Which is why the switch to VoIP is surging. Here are some of the biggest benefits that we see every day.
This goes for all business sizes, not just large corporations. Most small business begin to see savings within a few months of set up. To start, calls between two or more computers using the internet are generally free. Yes, free. This means that communicating between colleagues and departments doesn’t cost a dime as long as it’s done using your VoIP service. Some call types (like those from a computer to a landline) can have costs associated, but they are significantly lower compared to traditional cell phone services or landlines. This goes for long-distance and international calling as well. And since your users can have their office extension route to their smartphone, your company doesn’t have to pay for and manage multiple networks and data plans. VoIP handsets are even less expensive than traditional telephones that have the same functionality.
Easy to Set Up, Manage, and Maintain
VoIP systems are completely configurable. In most cases, they can be set up exactly how you need them to be instead of relying on a traditional hardline or cell phone service to dictate how you can use it. From there, simple web portals control everything associated to managing and maintaining your solution. The interfaces are intuitive and easy to understand, which make onboarding your administrators quick work. From there, they can quickly add and remove users, and even reconfigure when necessary. Of course, an MPS like Help Desk Cavalry can always jump in and make any changes needed, but we find that many clients appreciate the control that self-service affords them.
Compared to traditional phone connections, VoIP security can’t be rivaled. VoIP employs advanced encryption protocols which make your calls—what’s said and information about the calls themselves—completely private. Information is stored on the Cloud which your administrators can access anytime through the web portal. Call recordings can be captured according to your type and frequency preferences (if at all), and also accessible with a few clicks.
Excellent Call Quality
It may be hard to believe, but the advancements mentioned in the opening paragraph also provide better call quality than traditional landline service. This is because most VoIP services employ noise and echo cancellation tools that help reduce additional sounds which may be drowning out the speaker. Traditional landlines don’t offer this type of sound manipulation so the caller must rely on the advancements of the phone hardware their using. Generally speaking, VoIP service allows for a broader range of human-hearable frequencies while intelligently dampening noise that can cause interference, regardless of the type of hardware you’re using.
There’s a lot more than just making and receiving calls. Many complimentary services are typically bundled in (depending on your service provider), such as instant messaging, presence information, teleconferencing, video conferencing, and receiving voicemail and faxes via email. Adding these services further reduces your overall costs and management time. And since all of the data associated with these additional tools is privately owned and accessible via the same Cloud as your call data, understanding the full picture of your communication technology is easy.
Portability and Access
As long as you have internet access, you can use your VoIP system from anywhere in the world and from any smartphone personal device. But what happens when the power goes out and your internet connection goes down? In that case, calls can always be forwarded to mobile phones and other devices which ensures that calls are not missed. Voicemails can be checked from almost anywhere (even from a landline), so getting important messages won’t be delayed.
VoIP provides small businesses with more advanced caller self-service tools like phone trees, programmed office and holiday hours, and automatic forwarding tiers. So if someone calls your business, they can route themselves to the correct department or employee quickly. If that employee is away from the office, the system can automatically forward the caller to the next person in the queue. That way the caller gets help regardless of the original extension that was called, and your employee doesn’t return to dozens of voicemails.
One of the biggest benefits that affects cost is the ability to scale up and down as your staffing needs change. This can be a huge help for seasonal industries like landscaping, agriculture, hospitality, etc) where labor force swings with changes in demand. And since the administrative tools offered with VoIP systems allows for configuration, it’s easy to maintain control over how much you need and when you need it. Even for companies that hire at a steady pace, the flexibility to change the services you use and the number of workers who use them keeps overhead predictable yet open.
As with everything, there is always another side to the benefit coin. The drawbacks include possible latency due to available bandwidth and interruptions due to power disturbances. While these are experienced from time to time, their costs to business operations never outweigh the gains in our experience. And VoIP services are always advancing their algorithms, so these problems will slowly become obsolete.
VoIP technology is now at a stage where small businesses no longer need to wait for the bugs to be ironed out or for the cost savings to be reliably proven. The last 25 years of virtual phone systems are amounting to unmatched dependability, accessibility, flexibility, and inclusive features. Moving to a VoIP system now ensures that your company starts saving money now while positioning it to profit from advancements as soon as they become available. If you have any questions about VoIP systems or how one could benefit your company’s unique needs, just contact us. A quick conversation can help you understand what it actually takes to move your communications to the next level.