In spite of the increase in online consumer spending, phone calls continue to be the number one form of communication between businesses and their customers. Very few businesses can be successful without an effective communication system. No matter the size of your business, you are going to need an affordable system for making and receiving calls. In this blog we look at how VoIP phone systems manage to be such an affordable option. So, cheap voip – is it too good to be true?
Until VoIP technology came onto the scene, the only option was purchasing PBX systems to handle business calls. Compared to analog PBX systems, hosted VoIP services are incredibly inexpensive. A traditional PBX system may cost a company anywhere from $800 to $1,000 per user. On the other hand, you have VoIP providers advertising packages starting from $20 per user. It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
If you’re not familiar with VoIP technology, cheap VoIP calls sound like a gimmick. How are VoIP vendors able to offer such cheap plans for business clients? There are several reasons for it. Rest assured that cheap VoIP is real and your business can benefit enormously by switching to VoIP solutions.
A VoIP phone line is different from a traditional landline
Everyone knows that VoIP phones are different from traditional landlines. But how does that make VoIP cheaper? Generally speaking, new technology is expensive until the industry becomes mature. But VoIP calls and systems have been inexpensive since day 1.
A traditional landline relies on the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) to carry calls from one user to another. The PSTN uses physical lines made of copper. The more distance a call has to travel, the more expensive it is to make. The physical infrastructure network is expensive to set up and maintain.
Unlike landlines, VoIP calls don’t need a separate network. What happens is that the call is converted into digital data packets and sent over the Internet much like email or documents. It means VoIP service providers don’t have to set up a complex network from scratch. It is one of the primary reasons for VoIP calls being so cheap from the outset.
VoIP calls are free or cheap
Business calls are generally of two types – calls made within the organization and calls to outside entities (mainly customers). Consider internal calls amongst employees for a moment. For a business that uses VoIP, these calls don’t leave their data network at all. Even if your workers are sitting in different offices, the entire call travels over your network only. Essentially, these calls are free. Your vendor will not charge you for making them.
As far as external calls are considered, VoIP calls are much less expensive than regular landlines for a simple reason. They don’t touch the PSTN except for small distances. So your vendor will charge you nominal prices to cover their costs. It essentially means distance doesn’t matter. It’s the reason why international calls are so much cheaper on VoIP than landlines.
To sum up, calls that don’t leave your network are totally free. For the rest, the price per call is very cheap. So your monthly bills should fall quite dramatically after switching to VoIP.
VoIP doesn’t need expensive hardware or initial investment
Apart from the cost per call, traditional PBX systems were expensive because you needed to purchase expensive hardware. It required a substantial investment from businesses which meant that smaller organizations couldn’t quite afford them.
Setting up a similar IP-PBX system (that can handle VoIP calls) is also expensive but still cheaper than analog systems. However, the really cheap plans you see are very different from the systems you think of.
These providers deliver phone services to clients over the internet. You don’t have to purchase any equipment or set up the hardware in your office. The vendor takes care of initial setup, ongoing maintenance, and periodic upgrades.
All you have to do is purchase IP phones that can transmit VoIP calls. In some cases, a business might have to upgrade their internet speeds or beef up the network infrastructure but there’s not much else you need for VoIP.
As you can see, VoIP calls are cheaper than landlines on the two important factors:
If that was the end of the story, large companies wouldn’t be switching to VoIP as they can afford traditional voice solutions. While small and medium businesses switch to VoIP for cost savings, VoIP phone systems offer many other benefits for business organizations. Those benefits make it worthwhile for businesses – regardless of size or type of industry – to upgrade to VIP as soon as possible.
A VoIP phone system is scalable
A traditional PBX system is equipped to handle a set number of calls depending on how many trunks they have. A single trunk has 23 voice channels, which means you can have 23 simultaneous calls in the office. If you need more capacity, you have to add another trunk. It means you’re confined to multiple of 23 when adding capacity. What if you need 35 calls only? You’re stuck paying for 2 trunks lines.
VoIP on the other hand physical trunk lines, though they go by the same name. The lines connecting your business to the vendor are virtual and they’re not limited by the number of channels at all. You can purchase exactly the capacity you need at the time you require. You don’t have to commit to purchasing a minimum number of lines or channels at any time. A business can start off with a few channels and add lines when growth necessitates it.
In other words, your phone system can scale according to your needs, not the other way around.
A VoIP phone system is flexible
Apart from being scalable, VoIP phone systems are extremely flexible as well. That means you can tailor the system to fit your exact business requirements. Your employees do not have to find workarounds or ways to make the system work according to their needs. This flexibility is visible in several areas.
For one thing, you can purchase the exact number of channels, numbers, and other resources you need at any time. So a startup or entrepreneur can begin with two lines and add more as they grow.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to predict future expansion. You do not have to commit to buying a certain number of resources in advance. A business can add five lines in the first year, two lines after 3 months and even remove numbers if they’re not using them anymore.
Companies also have flexibility in the number and type of features they use as well. Your company is not limited to a set menu of features in each plan. Some vendors provide most of the essential features in the base plans while premium features require an upgrade fee. VoIPstudio takes it a step further. Clients have access to all features, there are no specific feature plans per se.
Pricing is also flexible with VoIP. You can choose from unlimited plans or large minute bundles. Select specific bundles to frequently called countries. You make the decisions according to your requirements.
Voice calls are just one part of the overall communication system for businesses. Most organizations also need conference calling, video calls, instant messaging, voicemail, and other subsystems. Most VoIP providers will offer an integrated experience that incorporates multiple channels into a consistent environment. You don’t have to buy separate tools and create an ad hoc solution that may not work all the time.
Your employees can seamlessly switch between different mediums without skipping a beat. Users can convert a regular call into a conference session by adding participants. They can switch to video when you need to show something. Businesses have replaced in-person meetings with video conference calls to save on expenses.
Apart from a cohesive experience, VoIP also integrates with other enterprise tools. By connecting phone calls to CRM systems, users don’t have to switch between apps. They can make calls from inside Salesforce or any other system. You can use data from one tool in another to improve productivity and speed up decision making.
Thanks to mobile apps, VoIP makes it possible to enable remote working for businesses. Your employees can work from home, a coffee shop or a hotel just as they effectively as from your office. Your customers will never have to know anything has changed behind the scenes. You can extend your office whenever and wherever your employees can work.
Does all this sound like it’s too good to be true? At VoIPstudio we make both personal and business VoIP phone systems affordable for all. Cheap VoIP is a reality, not an elusive dream. Sign up today for a 30-day free trial and see for yourself!
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