VoIP is one of the latest technologies creating a buzz…
How Business VoIP Works
By now many people are familiar with VoIP, its features, and how it can save money over conventional voice calls.
Millions of consumers have already switched to VoIP services from their old phone carrier and the use of mobile VoIP is also widespread. After all, why pay more for making calls when there are cheaper alternatives?
But business VoIP is a whole different matter altogether. Although the underlying technology is the same, the type of features that are offered are completely different when compared to consumer VoIP.
Naturally the services will be priced appropriately but organizations can also benefit from tremendous savings just like the average consumer.
How VoIP Works within an Organization
Hosted VoIP solutions eliminate much of the investment and maintenance required from traditional enterprise phone systems.
Compared to the long procedures involved in purchasing equipment, signing maintenance contracts with service providers and installing phone lines, businesses can get started with VoIP by simply subscribing to a plan that fits their needs.
How this works is pretty simple – the provider is responsible for the physical hardware and provisioning the phone service. The organization is able to make calls without actually having a PBX system since calls are routed over the company’s data network and Internet connection.
In essence, the PBX system resides in the cloud and managing features/services is easily accomplished through online dashboards.
What VoIP Can Do for a Business
Upgrading to VoIP opens up new opportunities for businesses and better ways to streamline existing business processes. VoIP solutions offer scale and flexibility, two aspects that are vitally important to businesses that are operating in a changing and dynamic global environment.
For the most part of the earlier century, businesses would have a reasonable forecast for growth and what their requirements might be five years down the line.
Now it is no longer the case. Few organizations can accurately predict the scale and growth of their business. This means that a small company with a handful of employees can quickly grow into a medium-sized business in a few years and be stuck with a legacy system that is not in enough for their requirements.
On the other hand, even a hitherto large-company can become smaller because of internal factors (losses, slowdown in revenue etc.) or external causes (recessionary effects, increased competition etc.)
In both these circumstances, VoIP can scale up or down so that organizations do not have to purchase or sell expensive equipment. Businesses can simply add seats, lines or numbers as needed and remove them when they are no longer useful.
Being able to scale quickly can be the difference between staying in business and going bankrupt, especially for small and medium organizations.
What VoIP Can Offer Employees
While VoIP can do a lot for the organization as a whole, the technology also offers incredibl features that make for more effective and productive employees. A small benefit like forwarding voicemail messages to the email inbox can make a big difference in productivity.
With analog phone systems, voicemails are generally tied to a particular number and if an employee is on vacation, calls may not get answered in time. With VoIP, voicemail can be forwarded to group inboxes so that they can be retrieved and answered by any employee within the group.
It is not just limited to small improvements either. VoIP solutions offer a whole slew of innovative features that can be integrated with other enterprise software into a comprehensive tool for communication.
Given that most workers juggle multiple devices ranging from mobile phones and tablets to desktops and laptops, being able to make and receive calls from any location is a necessity.
Features such as find me/follow me, multi device ring, auto receptionist etc. that were expensive and used only by large corporations are now within reach for even small businesses.
How Much Does VoIP Cost?
Many managers assume that upgrading to VoIP would be expensive since new technology generally is. Quite a few people are surprised when they find that switching to VoIP is inexpensive over both the short-term and long-term.
For organizations that choose to go with hosted solutions, there is very little to no capital investment required. It means the company doesn’t have to worry about depreciation, asset replacement or periodic upgrades. Since there is no on premise equipment, maintenance is also not needed.
There are significant savings to be had from reduced call charges as well. For the most part, interoffice calls between employees are free. Some plans may be limited to a certain number of calls per month while unlimited plans don’t have any limit.
Businesses that make thousands of calls a week will see tremendous savings just from local calls. When you factor in the reduced fees for international calls, monthly call costs can drop to a fraction of what they used to be. In addition, organizations are better able to budget financial resources as there will not be wide fluctuations in monthly expenses.
The third aspect that reduces the total cost of ownership for VoIP systems that there is no need for maintenance or service contracts. Since equipment is owned by the vendor, they are responsible for upgrading to newer technology, regular maintenance and any repairs that might be needed.
Many companies find that they can eliminate jobs related to the maintenance of phone systems and instead use those employees in other, more important departments. At least with on premise systems, the organization may need experts to set up the system or to implement configuration changes. With hosted solutions, there is no such requirement.
You can learn more about how VoIP works here.
Business VoIP Is for Every Enterprise
Thanks to the twin benefits of lower prices and an extensive feature set, switching to VoIP offers positive ROI for organizations of any size. Small businesses will be able to project a professional image to customers and compete with larger corporations.
Bigger companies are able to reduce the expenses and hassle of maintaining their own phone systems. Given that VoIP will replace most of the POTS that we have known so far, upgrading to VoIP is also a future proof step for enterprises.
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