Should my Business Switch to VoIP?Posted on: 2016-06-13 | Categories: VoIP Services
Every time a new technology comes along, enterprises are faced with two alternatives – upgrade or keep going with their existing tools. Upgrading early on can give organizations a competitive edge to advanced functionality or improving productivity. But it also comes with costs as early adopters often have to pay more for services. They may also experience quality issues, glitches, bugs and other problems.
Businesses have begun switching to VoIP as the technology has been in common use for the better part of a decade. When VoIP was first introduced, there were quite a few stumbling blocks for enterprises especially with regard to call quality and reliability. The inexpensive cost of service was not sufficient to sway most organizations.
However as the technology matured these obstacles were smoothed away. VoIP call quality improved to the extent that most people cannot tell the difference between a VoIP or a regular call. This is precisely why most consumers may not even be aware that their phone operator has changed the infrastructure to VoIP!
In addition, vendors have introduced many new features made possible by the fact that VoIP utilizes IP technology. Many of these features cannot be provisioned on landlines because of limitations in the underlying infrastructure. As the experience of moving to VoIP became easier, more and more businesses have upgraded to the newer technology standard. The enterprise VoIP market is set to experience double digit growth in many countries around the world.
Nevertheless there are still many organizations that do not use VoIP:
- They operate in a heavily regulated industry that precludes use of hosted services for voice calls, primarily for security and privacy reasons
- They do not have access to high-speed Internet connections or lack bandwidth to support voice on the data network
- Their existing PBX infrastructure is working fine and still has plenty of useful years left
- Some features (such as 911 calling) are missing in VoIP
Even if your organization does not find any of the latest VoIP features to be compelling enough to switch, you should still be considering the upgrade for a few reasons. Perhaps the biggest push for VoIP lies in the fact that the PSTN infrastructure is showing its age and operators are not investing in making repairs or upkeep. Sooner or later, VoIP will replace the PSTN as the de facto standard for voice communication which will make it harder for organizations to get landline service.
Even if your current voice system does not have any issues, it is going to become harder to maintain as time goes on. As issues arise, they cannot be quickly solved as there will be fewer people who understand these systems. Finding parts and/or hiring technicians to repair the older generation PBX will become more expensive and time-consuming. It is better to replace it with VoIP sooner than later, especially because of the cost savings involved.
Access to emergency services via 911 has been a point of contention between VoIP vendors, clients and federal agencies. Nowadays even hosted VoIP providers are compelled to offer E911 either because it is mandatory in some areas or because the competition is offering that feature. Although it requires a little work in that users have to update their location within the database, it ensures that the service is available when required.
The issues with access to high-speed Internet are slowly being improved as well. While it may take some time for ISPs to reach rural areas with fiber or satellite connectivity, it will eventually become as reliable as the PSTN is today. As is common with most new technology, laws and regulations are significantly behind but that will change with time as well.
All of the above reasons should be enough justification for any business to switch to VoIP and it does not even take into account all the benefits, cost savings and advanced functionality that is possible with the newer technology. The sooner you switch, the sooner your business can save significantly on monthly and capital expenditure. In a highly competitive and globalized is environment, not using VoIP can be a significant handicap for small and large corporations alike.
In other words, it is time to stop pondering the question and move on to actually deploying VoIP for your business.