Once thing that the IP revolution has done is to reduce the dominance of the national Telcos over the communications space. VoIP has revolutionised communications at a business and personal level. Taken together with the increasing use of smartphones and tablets in conjunction with VoIP Phone Systems, there is no defensible reason why a business should not install a VoIP for Business phone system right now.
Five reasons to get VoIP Phone Systems
The first and most compelling reason to migrate to a VoIP Phone System is that of cost, particularly where a business makes regional or international calls. A VoiP Phone System allows these types of calls to be routed over the Internet, thereby avoiding the high toll fees associated with POTS regional and International calls. Most also support video-conferencing, for example using Skype, making it an affordable way to connect with remote customers and staff.
A second reason is that of applications providing greater flexibility.
Voicemail is commonplace. VoIP for Business Systems can be programmed with hunting groups and virtual numbers to improve the service provided to existing and potential customers, and to improve the business profile of an organisation. Some provide a document download facility for unattended technical and marketing support. Call forwarding means a call need never go unanswered. The newer systems support an SMS to voice facility.
Users no longer need a desktop phone. Smartphone applications software in a WiFi environment turns a personal smartphone into an extension on the VoIP network. The user is always connected to the corporate phone system while in range of the company WiFi network. Smart apps allow users to access corporate applications from smartphones and tablets.
With some VoIP for Business systems this facility can extend to that of remote offices. A user arrives, links their smartphone or tablet to the WiFi network in the office and are immediately attached to the corporate phone system with their regular extension number. In some systems, the VoIP Phone Systems allows connection using a Virtual Private Network, thereby allowing a connection to the corporate phone system anytime, anywhere.
No place to hide anymore.
Billing of calls in a cost-recovery environment is much easier. Costs are associated with a user profile, rather than a physical device. Cost Centres therefore receive a much more accurate view of the costs of calls made by their members. Some systems produce reports of costs per cost centre automatically or on request by analysing the basic call records created by VoIP phone systems.
VoIP Phone systems are more flexible in their application of security than POTS. Security can be tied to a user, rather than to a device. This allows a user to make a call at their own security level from any device attached to the VoIP network. It allows users to be restricted as to the type of calls they can make, for example, local only. User rather than device security profiles mean no more sneaking into the managers’ office to make a long-distance call.
Identification of suspicious call patterns is much eased by software that uses the basic call records created by the VoIP system to analyse incoming and outgoing calls. If this is allied with Caller-id, regular calls to a non-business or unauthorised number can be identified and blocked.
Lower cost of Entry with Hosted Systems
A fifth reason is the increasing popularity of hosted VoIP. If the smaller business can’t afford the capital outlay associated with installing VoIP Phone Systems, the overall cost can be made much more affordable by using a hosted system. Because a hosted system needs no central hardware installation on site, it can be brought into play much more quickly. However, some costs might be incurred. The internal company network needs to be able to support VoIP, which many require changes to cabling or switches.
It must be borne in mind that even with external hosting the initial scoping, business planning and approvals are still needed.
As with all systems, provision needs to be made for times when access to the host is lost. This is part of business continuity planning.
All in all, the case for adopting a VoIP solution over a POTS solution is compelling.