How VoIP Affects Business Mobility

It is difficult nowadays to find a business that does not use Business VoIP. The cost and business benefits of it are undeniable.  Allied to improvements in digital telephony and digital convergence, most large and medium-sized businesses use it extensively as part of their internal and customer-facing processes.

One of the major benefits embraced by business is the ability to improve mobility and accessibility of staff.

In the past, whenever an employee left the office they were mostly uncontactable.  At best they were contactable in the evening at home or in their accommodation on the road. This made communications between staff and the office difficult at best.

The first improvement came with the introduction of the phone pager, but the downside of that was that it relied on the recipient being in an area with coverage, responding to the page, and being somewhere that they could contact the office.   It was also quite an expensive service.

All that has changed with the advent of Business VoIP. Simply put, with Business VoIP, someone need never be uncontactable, inside or outside the office. True mobility is possible.

Internal Mobility

Internal Mobility

In commercial, industrial and campus environments, it is common for staff to leave their desks and become uncontactable, sometimes deliberately.   Business VoIP changes that if the staff member has a smart device with a WiFi capability.

VoIP can support a protocol called SIP.  When this is enabled in the corporate VoIP system and a compatible SIP client installed on the smart device, the smart device then can act as a telephone extension, provided of course that it is connected to the corporate network.

The member of staff can then make and receive calls on their smart device exactly as if they were sitting at their desk.  Depending on the capabilities of the smart device SIP client, this can include video and conference calling and other VoIP features such as call forwarding and pick-up, voicemail placing and retrieval.

There are of course tangible and intangible benefits associated with this improved mobility.  Tangible  benefits include:

  • Improvements in business profile, particularly response times and the quality of responses.  Staff members can respond more quickly by being able to be contacted at any time by colleagues and customers;
  • They can be more effective by being able to take immediate actions and be more visible to staff and customers without the worry of being out of touch with their office if out on the shop floor for example.
  • Cost benefits.  Staff members can make voice and video  calls and conference calls using smart devices and the corporate network rather than by cellphone or PSTN.

Overall, by their being available to staff and customers at all times, irrespective of their location in the office, factory or on campus, there are measurable improvements in business profile through the enhanced quality, effectiveness and timeliness of their interactions.

External mobility

External mobility

In the past companies had difficulty in managing and monitoring staff on the road.  They would leave with their office in a briefcase, and if possible, contact home base in the evening when they arrived at their accommodation.   

What makes the difference today is the growing availability of WiFi, both at clients and in public spaces.  Most business have some WiFi capability, and shopping malls now provide free WiFi, either themselves or thorough their tenants.  Most hotels now provide free WiFi, and some municipalities provide it as a public free service.

Again, by using an appropriate client on a smart device, a mobile worker can contact the office business VoIP system for free from a client WiFi or a public WiFi network using a smart device.  If they need to transmit or receive confidential information, they can make the connection over a virtual private network that secures and encrypts the information in transit.

In addition to the tangible and intangible benefits of on-site communication, the advantages this gives  the mobile worker are significant:

  • Immediate Updates.  In a sales environment, stock availability, price changes and product advisories can be given to the sales staff immediately;
  • Regular Sales Information.  Rather than waiting, sales orders can be transmitted immediately.
  • Not feeling out of touch.

Business VoIP in conjunction with smart devices provides great measurable business benefits and enables  quantum improvements in mobility.

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