Voice over IP or internet telephony is the standard of the future. Over the last couple of decades, it has made its way from a geeky toy to mainstream adoption. VoIP has become so ubiquitous that many people don’t even know they’re using it! Well, if you have ever used Skype for FaceTime to chat with someone, you’ve used VoIP.
There was a time when businesses hesitated to use VoIP phone service. The biggest customers for this technology were individuals looking to make cheap phone calls. Now it is everywhere. Enterprises all over the world are switching to VoIP to improve productivity and save costs. But what is VoIP phone service? Why is it popular all of a sudden?
VoIP refers to any method by which phone calls travel over the Internet. The most common way of implementing VoIP phone service is the industry standard – SIP (Session Initiation Protocol). Very few vendors use proprietary protocols in place of SIP. This makes it easy for customers, users, manufacturers, and service providers to work together.
When you place a VoIP call, it does not travel over the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). Instead, your voice is converted to digital data packets. These packets travel over the Internet to their destination. Once there, the packets are converted back to voice for the user.
This makes it possible for people to make calls from anywhere! There are only two requirements to make a VoIP call:
There are many VoIP benefits, which is why it’s so popular. Its most attractive feature is no doubt the price. The biggest reason for anyone to switch to VoIP from a landline is that it is so much cheaper. Individuals can make calls to local numbers for free. Business VoIP users can call others within the organization for free, even if they are located in different offices.
Other than free calls, the total cost for a business to use VoIP is substantially less than landlines. If you opt for hosted VoIP service, you don’t even have to buy equipment other than the actual phones. There is no hardware for you to maintain or repair. You don’t need entire teams to manage the phone system. There is no expense to make changes to your system for upgrade to new features. You can even add new phone numbers and lines without waiting for a technician to install it!
Apart from the cost, a VoIP phone service offers a number of features that improve productivity for businesses. An office can streamline processes and improve efficiency simply by switching to VoIP. As it is a digital technology, it can work with other enterprise tools such as CRM or ERP software.
Setting up a new VoIP phone service takes a few hours, as opposed to days or weeks for landlines. Users are able to make calls from any device using the same number. They can make calls from any location and even when they are traveling. It means employees are no longer tethered to their desks. It allows employees to work from home or telecommute on certain days.
VoIP phone service also improves collaboration within the company. Your employees don’t have to worry about monthly budgets or expense reports. Many businesses even replace face-to-face meetings with video conference calls! Most services also allow users to broadcast their presence information. It means you can show others if you’re busy or available for calls. Reduce interruptions and complete important tasks in peace.
These are just a few ways on how you can cut down on wasted time with VoIP systems. No wonder everyone is enamored with VoIP phone service!
One of the most popular misconceptions about VoIP is that it is only for a specific segment. Some people think that it is only suitable for large companies. Others think that VoIP is perfect for small businesses and no one else. The reality is that everyone benefits from VoIP phone service. From individual users and households to the world’s biggest corporations, anyone can enjoy the advantages of VoIP.
As we discussed, individuals were the first VoIP customers. What started out as a tool for technology enthusiasts caught the attention of consumers. Services like Vonage offered unlimited free calls aimed at households. All you had to do was plug in a device and enjoy free or inexpensive calls.
Nowadays you don’t even have to use a specific device. You can install softphone VoIP apps for different mobile devices and make calls. In an age where everyone has their own smartphone, VoIP apps are a great way to cut down on phone costs.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that entrepreneurs and freelancers flock to VoIP over landlines. These business owners need more features than standard consumer service. In the past, they resorted to carrying two devices – one for personal calls and one for work calls. Even then, business-class phone services were too expensive for entrepreneurs and contractors.
VoIP brings business-class features to individual entrepreneurs at a low cost. You can use enterprise features like multi-device ring or even IVR for your one-person business operation! Impress customers and create a professional image without much effort.
Startups are one of the biggest customer pools for enterprise-class VoIP services. You need business features but don’t have the time or financial resources to set up a system from scratch. With VoIP, you can start using the phones within a few hours of signing up for service. You can even test out different services for free before selecting a vendor. Free up employee time for valuable tasks instead of boring work like managing the phones.
Small businesses can benefit quite a bit from VoIP phone service. In fact, many providers tailor their offering specifically to this market segment. For instance, providers know that small businesses don’t have in-house expertise when it comes to VoIP. So they may provide additional resources or free consultations to help you out. Some vendors will even assign a person to you for help throughout the process of switching.
Hosted VoIP phone services are easy to set up and use. If you want to make a change, simply log into the online dashboard and do so. There is no waiting involved. Add and remove resources (phone numbers, lines, devices) at no cost and as many times as you need. You only pay for the resources you use. No one has to commit to a specific number of minutes or lines. How flexible and convenient is that!
It might seem that VoIP phone service is uniquely suited for small businesses or individuals. But larger companies benefit from upgrading as well. These businesses are likely to see even more cost savings because of the sheer volume of calls involved. Imagine if half your calls became free because they are made by employees within the company. And the other half costs very less because of inexpensive long-distance minutes. For a business that makes thousands of calls per day, the savings are substantial.
And that’s just the beginning. Large businesses with multiple offices across the globe need VoIP services to keep everyone connected. It is not unusual for project teams to have members factored in different time zones. Coordinating meetings via videoconference and group calls becomes a necessity.
As you can see, VoIP is flexible enough to benefit everyone. You don’t have to be an entrepreneur or a large business to use VoIP. VoIP phone services can scale to any size and grow along with your organization.
Sales and customer support/tech support departments benefit enormously from VoIP. It’s no surprise as these groups tend to make the most calls. Even a small improvement can benefit a user if they make hundreds of calls during the day. However, that doesn’t mean no one else should use VoIP. HR, payroll, IT, finance, and accounting can take advantage of all the new features VoIP offers. VoIP phone service is customizable and you can personalize the configuration for your unique situation.
Yet, businesses in certain industries still hesitate to adopt VoIP. Healthcare, financial organizations, and educational institutions are a few examples. In most cases, this is due to regulations governing that specific industry. For example, healthcare users have to conform to stringent privacy and security guidelines to protect data. Naturally, these businesses hesitate to upgrade to VoIP for compliance reasons.
Fortunately, the industry has matured over the last decade. Now there are many VoIP phone service providers who comply with industry-specific legislation. If your business is in the financial or healthcare sector, you can find vendors suited to your requirements. Nevertheless, it is important to research your options. Make sure the provider can meet compliance requirements.
So there you have it. VoIP phone services are an enormous improvement over analog landlines. Contact VoIPstudio to make the switch today and unlock new opportunities for your business!
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Thousands of businesses across the world trust VoIPstudio for all of their most vital business communications. Why not be the next?Start my trial! Take a 30 day free trial
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