VoIP is one of the latest technologies creating a buzz…
Voice over IP Advantages
Ever wondering what voice over IP advantages are? The last few years has seen a significant shift within the world of telecommunications – away from the PSTN and towards voice over IP. Millions of consumers now prefer to use VoIP services, whether as a replacement for their landline or to make inexpensive international calls on their mobile devices.
This change has not gone unnoticed by businesses either. The easy availability of hosted VoIP means that even startups and small organizations prefer it right from the start. On the other hand existing corporations and larger companies are also recognizing the benefits of voice over IP and switching over. Plenty of decisions and choices await those who are planning to upgrade to VoIP but that has not deterred corporations from taking the plunge.
Why voice over IP?
But others are still unsure about the benefits to be gained from upgrading to new technology. These organization may be misinformed about certain aspects of VoIP such as the cost or may believe that the advantages are not particularly useful for them. A company whose current equipment is still functioning well may see no pressing reason to upgrade to VoIP, since switching technology always involves some growing pains. After all, instead of investing in a new phone system that nobody needs, those resources can be better utilized elsewhere.
Advantages of voice over IP
While VoIP offers many advantages, they can be commonly divided into two categories according to their potential for –
- Reducing expenses
- Improving productivity
How VoIP aids cost reduction
Even without factoring in variables such as lower rates for international calls, switching to VoIP is a simple and pain-free process that does not have to involve anything more than the first month’s payment to the vendor. Quite a few providers offer free demos or trials, so clients can check out the service without any obligation to pay or commit to a contract. Even when the organization is ready to go all in with VoIP, the transition may require no more than a few hours!
Calls – either free or extremely inexpensive
Since voice over IP routes phone calls over the existing data network, calls between employees (regardless of their location i.e. they may be calling an office in the next state) become free. These calls do not travel over the PSTN at all, so there are no termination fees to be paid. Even for international conversations, most of the call is routed through the IP network and only a small portion over the PSTN. This means international calls cost only a fraction of what you used to pay operators.
No service or maintenance contracts
This may come as quite a shock to business people but the VoIP industry doesn’t deal with service contracts. With hosted VoIP, the business model is simple – you can pay on a monthly or annual basis and are free to leave whenever you want. This means you’re not locked into a particular vendor’s services or their price. Find something more suitable for your budget or needs? More often than not, your company can switch immediately.
How VoIP helps productivity
Practically every business process now has a digital component involved whether it is email, file sharing, collaboration, cloud technology, mobile devices etc. Unfortunately the older generation PSTN based solutions are cut off from this digital world, they can neither be integrated nor are they interoperable with newer technology. Since voice over IP is digital technology, enterprises have access to a greater variety of features and tools than ever before.
Advanced features hitherto not possible
Most of us have been annoyed with the process of retrieving and managing voicemails, having to fax certain documents or trying to remember what was said by a partner or customer in a particular phone call months ago. VoIP has many features (voicemail to email, IP faxing an automatic voice transcription to name a few) that alleviate these problems in a manner that would have been impossible with traditional phone systems.
Integration with other enterprise software
Many VoIP vendors offer integrations with enterprise applications or services such as Salesforce or Microsoft Office. This enables voice communication to become part of the enterprise’s unified communication suite rather than being a standalone channel. No more hunting around for phone numbers or switching applications just to make a phone call.
Better collaboration and data sharing
Many office workers find themselves traveling, telecommuting from home or working from remote locations more often than not. The typical desk phones would certainly not have been sufficient to handle such situations. But VoIP is designed to function from any compatible device that has an Internet connection, so calls can be made from a mobile phone, data connected tablet, desk phone or even just an application installed on a laptop.
As you can see, the advantages of voice over IP are numerous and the above list is by no means an exhaustive one. So what is your company still waiting for?
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