Does My Business Need VoIP?

Posted on: 2016-07-18 | Categories:VoIP Services

Enterprises have been wrestling with the question of whether or not to switch to VoIP for years. Some companies made the switch during the earliest days of the technology while others waited until prices came down and the teething problems (quality, reliability, availability of expertise) had been worked out.

Not every organization that switched to VoIP has enjoyed 100% success however. There are always issues that can crop up during planning, implementation and deployment, software or hardware incompatibilities or even something as simple as neglecting to configure QoS settings on network equipment.

This is because – regardless of the maturity level of the technology in question – changing systems or the way people work carries with it certain risks. In general the larger the organization, higher the level of risk involved. But VoIP phone systems have become part of the mainstream with even multinational corporations switching to SIP trunking or hosted VoIP services in this decade.

It’s no wonder that there are many businesses today who are still evaluating whether they require the new and innovative features made available through VoIP technology within their organizations. How do you know if your business really needs VoIP?

Would your business like to save money?

Then you certainly need VoIP. Not all businesses are successful or profit-making ventures throughout their lifetime. Some organizations operate in industries with significant seasonal variations while other companies start out with extremely slim margins but go on to become profitable enterprises. But whether or not your business is making profits, you should not neglect an opportunity to cut costs.

It is especially true if the cost saving measures do not result in diminishing productivity or efficiency but rather enhance it. For businesses that are operating on tight margins or who are not making profits for any reason, hosted VoIP is the best bet. It requires no upfront investment other than purchasing adapters or IP enabled phones and the subscription model utilized by providers ensures consistent and low monthly billing.

For larger corporations and those that have the financial resources, SIP trunking may be the better choice. Although it does require a certain level of familiarity with VoIP as well as the ability to invest capital, it pays off in terms of lower cost of ownership over the life of the system.

Is your business tired of dealing with traditional phone carriers?

Many traditional operators around the world tend to behave like bureaucratic organizations as they often have near monopoly status in regional markets. You may be familiar with multiyear contracts, service and maintenance agreements, advance notification for adding trunks or even the usual wait for a technician to wire new phones when you need them.

As enterprise VoIP is delivered over the Internet, it eliminates much of the hassle involved in running business phone communication systems. Virtually no reputable VoIP vendor uses the contract system that is so familiar to enterprise users. Clients are free to sign up, use the services and switch to a new vendor if they are not satisfied at any time. In fact, many providers offer at least a month of service for free so that the organization can see if their requirements are met.

Do you find it hard to maintain multiple systems?

With the rise of the Internet, the software as a service (SaaS) business model has become much more popular. While the rest of enterprise software and workflows have moved on to digital processes, voice communication is still stuck with wires and analog technology. You may have noticed that your personnel spend a lot more time in managing the data network and the phone system than they used to.

With VoIP, voice communication is no longer confined to a separate silo. Voice travels over the same data network as other forms of media thus eliminating the need to maintain multiple systems for the same purpose. IT professionals who were previously involved with maintaining the phone system can be redeployed to other more valuable tasks.

Using a legacy system for voice communication is difficult for employees as well. Since landline phones cannot be integrated with other enterprise applications or software, data cannot be shared easily. For example, VoIP systems can be integrated with Salesforce or other CRM software so that a salesperson can call the client directly from within the application.

VoIP is better than traditional phone systems

Quite a few organizations are satisfied with their existing phone systems simply because they are not aware of the possibilities and opportunities presented by newer alternatives. For instance, not many people realize how much time they waste in managing voicemails and writing down information contained in such messages. But once they get used to receiving voicemails in the inbox, automatic voice transcriptions and managing voicemail just like email messages, they cannot imagine going back to the old workflows. The same goes for more innovative tools such as digital faxing, interactive voice response systems, conference calling and many other features that are available on VoIP.

At the end of the day, hosted VoIP or SIP trunks are not just a simple replacement for landlines. They are actually a significant upgrade. Even if you feel that your business doesn’t really need VoIP right now, the upcoming PSTN switch off in many countries is going to force your hand. Over the long-term, businesses will have to adopt VoIP as it will become the standard for voice calls – much like landlines were in the 20th century – pretty soon.