Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has become one of the prominent features of IT in the recent years. It uses internet to carry voice calls to any telephone worldwide. The service is replacing traditional telephone connection in a simpler fashion, for it offers cheaper call rates due to advantages of internet technology.
Since VoIP’s beginnings (1995) the quality of services and technology behind them has greatly improved. Although VoIP technology is still not highly adopted in Australia, there are some very good reasons to take a serious look at it as an alternative to high telephone bills.
Perhaps the most compelling reason for businesses to switch to a VoIP system is the massive savings on phone bills. Since VoIP sends voice across the internet as data packages, calls largely bypass the expensive PSTN copper voice telephone so that those costs are avoided. Savings become enormous when it comes to long-distance and overseas calls.
Deploying VoIP in a small and medium business does not just replace the existing phone system; it adds more features, quality and fluidity to the company. A VoIP system and a traditional phone system just cannot be compared.
However, two things can and will influence the quality of the service. Bandwidth is the key factor for voice quality. A broadband connection meets the needs of most businesses, as long as it is not shared with too many other communication applications. The other factor is VoIP equipment; but those problems seldom affect business users and reliable business grade VoIP providers utilise hardware that best suits business’ needs.
If your business has offices in more than one location, VoIP offers you an option for free calls between locations. A major cost-saving feature with using this technology is that calls between VoIP telephone numbers are free. VoIP to VoIP calls completely bypass the traditional copper telephone network and therefore avoid all costs that would otherwise be associated with them. Simply put, by using a VoIP service to communicate between your business locations, the call is treated as data and the cost savings are similar to how e-mail has reduced the cost of text-based communication.
When a business is looking to expand their telephone system to meet growth, often scaling up the telephone system is an expensive process. Fixed-line PBXs, used traditionally to extend one or more telephone lines to create ‘virtual phone numbers’ have limits as to how many numbers or extensions you could have, depending on the equipment you use.
With a VoIP system, such restrictions are a thing of the past. Unlimited phone numbers and extensions can be created within an office environment, even between remote offices, much more easily and therefore less expensively than with its traditional counterpart.
Since VoIP is data-based, the technology is naturally more flexible than traditional telephony, and offers a vast array of features, mostly for free, that would previously stack up on your traditional phone bill. VoIP software can offer much more than the traditional extras offered by telephony providers, such as IVR and other rather innovative ways to integrate software with voice.
Call centres have been at the forefront of VoIP integration with software to capture and interpret call stats, generally with a Customer Relationship Management package and a call recording technology. Company call menus are more easily configured and reconfigured using VoIP than with older alternatives.
The question of VoIP reliability has often risen, and although this technology is new, it is highly reliable. To be fair, it is as reliable as the internet, and it has proven its reliability. VoIP does require a service provider presence on the internet in order to function. Therefore, the reliability of your service will depend on the ability of your service provider to maintain this presence.
This is one reason why businesses will want to work with a host experienced in providing business solutions. A good business VoIP service provider will make sure your network is ready before the system is put in place. This includes identifying if the current network configuration, such as the routers, switches or other hardware, will be a problem, or whether the company firewall would block voice data transmissions. They will suggest solutions for optimal implementation of the service.
It’s good to outline the obvious business benefits of VoIP; cost savings are a major factor, since the cost of using a VoIP telephone is much lower than when using a conventional phone, and long-distance phone calls are also cheaper.
Aside from making phone calls, you can also conduct videoconferencing through your VoIP phone. This allows you to stay in touch with your co-workers and clients no matter where you are. Even if you are on a business trip abroad, you still have the capacity to attend other important meetings home, without worrying about being physically present.
Flexibility and scalability of VoIP allow the service to grow as a business. The service enables companies to scale up without having to purchase a huge infrastructure, or pay the price such an endeavour would normally involve. VoIP provides small businesses with access to features normally associated with larger corporations, such as follow-me roaming, Web conferencing, multiple extensions and simultaneous ringing of several phone lines at once.
GCOMM’s CloudLuxe Voice enables you to leverage your existing network for both voice and data communication. Keep your costs down and your business communication up by starting to implement GCOMM’s turnkey VoIP solution now through a no-obligation free trial.♦ End