No matter the size of a business, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is rapidly becoming more accepted as the standard for phone services. Businesses today are seeing huge growth in productivity, efficiency, and consumer satisfaction by deploying the features that an IP phone system provides. Although a VoIP phone system shares some of the features of traditional digital systems, the difference is apparent in how that technology is distributed, organized, managed, and maintained across the networks.
With the evolution of VoIP phone technology, companies can now get all the features and conventions of a traditional business phone system for much less aggravation and cost. Instead of having to set up physical lines for every phone, VoIP uses the corporate Internet connection to make calls. So organizations should make sure their Internet connection is fast enough before committing to a VoIP system. Vendors that sell VoIP technology will recognize companies that need this technology by observing the following:
The customer wants to reduce costs
Using VoIP can significantly reduce an organization’s telecommunications costs. Operating costs for VoIP service providers are significantly lower than for traditional phone companies, which must contend with the existing, expensive-to-maintain phone infrastructure and costly industry regulations. Moves, adds, and changes are less expensive with VoIP because the same wiring used to connect a PC is used for IP endpoints as well. With lower expenses, VoIP providers can charge much less than their competitors.
Flexibility is required
VoIP service makes a company’s phone system highly flexible. VoIP systems allow organizations to do things that are not possible with traditional phone technology. For example, they can:
- Take their phone system with them – As long as workers have access to a broadband connection, they can use the VoIP system anywhere (for example, in a hotel room or at another office). Customers and employees can stay in touch just by calling a regular business phone number, they don't need to call the employee’s cell phone, which means companies can save money on costly cell-phone minutes.
- Use laptops as phones – Many VoIP systems include telephony software that gives workers the opportunity to send and receive calls using a headphone/microphone unit connected to the computer. This prevents missing an urgent call from a client and makes it possible to take calls at locations other than the office.
- Get voice mail and faxes with e-mail – Many VoIP services allow users to have voice mail and faxes automatically forwarded to their regular e-mail inbox. They get all their messages in one place and voice mail and faxes can be easily stored, sorted or forwarded to others. Users can also have their e-mails "read" to them via voice mail.
Companies want to increase productivity
Many VoIP phone numbers can be programmed to simultaneously ring on multiple devices, such as a cell or landline phone, before going to voice mail, thus eliminating time-consuming "phone tag." In a recent survey conducted by Sage Research, the increased productivity enabled by Internet telephony added up to 3.9 hours per week per employee
Clients want or need to replace older, more-expensive-to-maintain equipment
When older, digital telephone systems start failing, they become very expensive to maintain. Replacement parts are often out of stock or are costly to find. VoIP may require an initial outlay of cash to install, but will be less expensive to implement and maintain than older equipment.
Customers need to integrate capabilities
Because VoIP is viewed as just another application on the data network, other capabilities can be added to integrate with VoIP—these include audio, video and Web conferencing; mobility; customer relationship management; contact center and enterprise social media platforms; instant messaging and presence; and more. These applications can enhance productivity, make companies more efficient and appeal to workers of the Millennial generation.
VoIP is a flexible, affordable technology that offers the same, sophisticated communication tools that an organization’s competitors have. No matter the size of a business, vendors have a great opportunity with VoIP implementation and the addition of applications to improve collaboration for their clients.
Does your company sell VoIP? Do you find it more feature-rich and cost-effective than older digital systems?