How VoIP Can Help in Remote Working

Working from home is rapidly becoming the new normal worldwide.  Businesses are quickly modifying their strategies and operations to accommodate it.    Ome area of particular interest is that of integrating VoIP for Business into the remote working scenario.

There has, admittedly, been a slow move towards remote working as the digital infrastructure spreads and improves in recent years.  Internet access through WiFi has become common in public spaces like hotels and malls and through fiber connections to homes.

The pandemic has accelerated this process, mainly through companies forced to have locked-down workers working from home.  A second driver has been the effect on bricks and mortar retail outlets.  Foot traffic has plummeted, retail shops are closing, and the malls they operate in are closing,  some never to reopen.   Retailers are forced into an e-commerce environment.   It’s no longer developmental but survival strategies.

The primary means of communications internally and with existing and new customers is now electronic, including VoIP.

What is Remote Working?

Remote Working

How do we define remote working?  One view is that it is working from home.  Another is that it is working from anywhere outside the office.   However you define it, VoIP for Business makes for easier and more cost-effective communications for its workers and customers.

In VoIP, voice traffic is converted to data traffic and routed over the Internet.  As such, it completely replaces your existing PSTN connection.   VoIP is managed over the cloud.  No messy additional cables, no new links, unless you want or need a dedicated voice connection.

Users log in with their personal credentials to make and receive calls.

The Benefits

Remote Working Benefits

In summary, the main advantage, outside cost reductions, is the ubiquity of contact.  Anyone can make and receive calls from any smart device, anywhere,  just as long as they have an Internet connection.

The first and most obvious advantage is that team members can be anywhere, local or worldwide, and can make or answer a call as if they were in the office.  It means that communications with and between team members and customers can carry on without being affected, bringing benefits to the team and customers.   If the VoIP environment supports video-conferencing, you can create an integrated communications environment.

In terms of functionality, you don’t lose a thing.  Call forwarding, Call Recording, and call routing are still available.   Voicemail, IVR, and voice prompts are also available.

The bean-counters love the reduction in long-distance and international call costs.  Internet calls can be free and are always significantly cheaper than calling through a traditional PSTN connection.

The usual question is about call quality.  Because VoIP calls route over the Internet, quality is variable since the route the call takes can vary between calls, and the quality is that of the poorest link.

That is not usually a problem.   Mobile 4G connections tend to be spotty and can dropout without warning. Using WiFi to make the Internet connection adds a level of quality and stability way above mobile connectivity.

However, most of the time the connection problem is out of your control.  Reconnect, and you will probably find a better connection.  

Management

Remote Management

One of the questions around the management of remote workers is how much management and how to do it.  Traditionally, workers would come to the office between set hours and carry out their tasks from there.  A manager would monitor attendance and other employment aspects like sick leave, annual leave, and the like.

That model is probably no longer appropriate for remote workers, and that is where VoIP is essential to provide the interpersonal communications necessary.   One model is to give the workers tasks, where the only management success criteria are completion to time and quality.  How,  when, and where the work is carried out is immaterial, just so long as those criteria are met.  

In this new model, as noted above, VoIP is critical.  Easy, cost-effective, and reliable communications between remote workers, sometimes on different continents, is vital to successful teamwork and individual team members meeting their delivery targets.   The costs of carrying it out over traditional PSTN lines is prohibitive.

VoIP will support video-conference, and that allows face-to-face individual and group conversations.

In today’s new normal, VoIP for Business is a vital part of an organization’s communications portfolio.

VoIP Hard Phones vs Softphones: What’s the difference and Which is Better?

VoIP has become commonplace in recent times, both in business and as a personal communications tool. The benefits are such that it becomes a no-brainer for both individuals and businesses to move to VoIP, principally because of the reductions in long-distance comms costs.

Cordless home systems based on DECT technology, with a core unit attached to the PSTN, and satellite units communicating over wireless had been around for some time before VoIP.  They were similar to VoIP systems but lacked versatility and features in comparison with the later true IP based systems.

Recently, the use of WiFi as a primary network topology, coupled with mobile technology, has become more and more common.

As a result, one of the considerations when planning a VoIP environment is the type of handsets needed. The handset type will depend to a large extent on the network environment and the type of anticipated usage.

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How can SIP Trunking Benefit Your Business

Most businesses, small and large, now use VoIP technologies as the core of their Unified Communications strategy.  The benefits, financial, operational and to their business profile are undeniable, making VoIP a no brainer.

Within VoIP, there are several options that an organisation can choose to improve the quality of service.  Among these are SIP Trunks.

SIP Trunks replace the physical connections provided by traditional communications suppliers.  Simply put, a SIP Trunk is the digital equivalent of the conventional physical link. It is usually called a data circuit.  It supports voice, data, streaming media and video services, the basis of a business Unified Communications environment.Continue reading

How to Switch to Cloud PBX Efficiently and Effectively

Calling a business is the first point of contact between the business and the outside world.  This first impression must be a good one.  Most callers nowadays expect a response, and a failed call is not an acceptable outcome.  Additionally, most callers expect to be able to use a variety of communications methods, traditional PSTN calls, internet access to a call centre and digital interfaces over specialised applications and social media.

The advent of digital PBX solutions has allowed all businesses to move to digital telephony as part of a unified communications strategy meeting these requirements. Cost savings, improvements in business profile and increased customer service levels are some of the major benefits of a digital PBX environment.

Switching to a Cloud PBX is a programme that involves both technology and people.   Doing it efficiently and effectively requires careful consideration of both elements.Continue reading

7 Reasons Why Many Businesses are Choosing Cloud PBX

One of the major benefits of the digital revolution for business has been the emergence of computer-based PBX systems offering advanced features. in the past, these were limited to larger companies but the emergence of cloud-based technologies has seen the emergence of the Cloud PBX which allows small companies the benefits of voice over IP but at a vastly reduced cost.

Here are 7 benefits which will come to a business if they implement a Cloud PBX solution:Continue reading

Microsoft 365 Business Voice: What is it and How it can help you

Microsoft 365 Business Voice: What is it and How it can help you

Most, if not all businesses use some form of Business VoIP.  

Simply put, it is the transfer of the business internal and external voice communications to a digital platform.  Business VoIP can be part of a larger digital Unified Communications environment comprising VoIP, video-conferencing and Social Media.

A Unified Communications implementation ranges from full-blown onsite hardware and software implementations to outsourced managed solutions to virtual software running on a single PC server. Continue reading

Can You Keep Your Voip Working During a Power Failure

Can You Keep Your VoIP Working During a Power Failure

The impact of digital convergence and improvements in technology have generated widespread adoption of VoIP phone systems by businesses and individuals.   Businesses use them to substantially improve their business profile and improve communications efficiencies.  All users use VoIP to substantially reduce their communications costs, particularly for long-distance and international calls.

There is one major difference between the traditional PSTN phone systems and digitally hosted VoIP phone systems. That relates to performance during a power outage.  Power to PSTN systems is provided by the PSTN supplier and PSTN phone systems, therefore, they continue to work during a power outage.Continue reading

5 Ideas to Monitor the Quality of Your VoIP Network

5 Ideas to Monitor the Quality of Your VoIP Network

The increasing effect of digital convergence and the undoubted cost and other benefits of VoIP networks has led to their widespread adoption in all sizes and types of business.   However, as with all things, there are two sides to the coin, and maintenance of an acceptable level of service for your VoIP system is of paramount importance. 

Before looking at monitoring techniques it is important to see what we are looking for.

Typical complaints and their cause  include:Continue reading

What you ought to know about VoIP Fraud

What You Ought to Know about VoIP Fraud

VoIP Communication is a common feature in corporate and personal life nowadays.  Most large concerns use it as a matter of course as part of their corporate integrated communications platform.

In the past, communications costs were inflated by unauthorised calls and other activities designed to get around telephone security policies. It’s no different today in VoIP Communications.  People still try to make unauthorised calls inside the organisation, and people try to hijack the company communications networks to make their calls.  Nothing really new, except that it’s now digital.Continue reading

Are you still using a Legacy Phone System? Now is the time to switch.

Are You Still Using a Legacy Phone System? Now is the Time to Switch.

The universal adoption of the Internet has led to the use of digital communications as a standard part of the business environment. Most companies are creating and implementing digitally based unified communications strategies incorporating VoIP communications built around VoIP phones, video conferencing and perhaps CCTV as integral parts.

They are doing this to take advantage of the business benefits to be gained from moving from the unlinked analogue systems to an integrated digital platform. The simplest example is the use of VoIP phones to transfer from tolled calls over the PSTN to essentially free voice communications over the Internet.

There are many other reasons to make the switch from a legacy analogue phone system to a digital VoIP system, both financial and operational.Continue reading