The pros and cons of VoIP, so you can invest in the right one for your business
One of the most common decisions that businesses have to face these days is whether to switch to a VoIP solution. The phone system is a direct line between the company and its customers, as well as between the employees themselves, so the wrong choice can have strong, deleterious effects.
With so many cloud-based services available thanks to SaaS, a quick comparison of top VoIP companies can give even the smallest of ventures a diverse range of affordable options to choose from. With subscriptions starting from only a few dollars a month, scaling up or down is also easy as most VoIP vendors do not abide by strict, long-term commitments.
Whether it’s Zoom or Facetime, numerous choices abound, when it comes to VoIP. On top of that, the advantages are many, thereby making VoIP seem like a no-brainer. Many cons do exist though, and it is easy to overlook these in the wake of immense cost savings, ease and scalability.
Here, we outline both the pros and cons of VoIP. Coupled together with the unique requirements of your business, it is possible to maximize the pros and circumvent the cons, so your organization is productive, cost-efficient and versatile, all at the same time.
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The pros of VoIP
The most substantial advantage is the money saved over time. You can often get free nationwide calling from many leading VoIP carriers, which is a great boon for companies who make a sizable number of phone calls.
You can also save money on equipment since you often only need one cable for the voice and data network. This adds up considerably for companies who possess a large number of desktop units. Furthermore, calls made within the company don’t have to be directed through a public switched network, saving even more money.
VoIP is rich with features that are useful for businesses. Most of the standard packages come with caller ID, voicemail, call waiting, conference calls, speed dialing, and call forwarding. You can also obtain special features like virtual phone numbers and advanced call distribution for a small fee.
Enabling video meetings is also possible, though VoIP; although buying video conferencing software can be an undertaking in itself, speak to your VoIP vendor to see if any existing applications can be integrated with a VoIP system.
Mobility is another notable benefit. Employees can travel anywhere in the world and use VoIP to connect their computer to the internet. If they need to make or take a phone call, they simply use the same system.
Companies also gain a great deal of technical flexibility when using VoIP. Administrators can add, change, or delete users to the system with ease, and don’t require a technician to do so. This frees up the IT department for other tasks and helps to improve the overall productivity of the office.
The cons of VoIP
First and foremost, VoIP requires a great deal of bandwidth to function. If your company doesn’t have enough available, there may be problems with sound quality due to latency issues. Under certain setups, you may also want computers with high processing power to prevent occasional echoes during phone calls.
Setup and training costs
The initial setup and training costs can be somewhat prohibitive to smaller businesses. You can generally circumvent this by using a hosted service, but it will still require a preliminary investment.
Unlike a traditional phone system, you can face security threats from computer viruses and hackers. If an employee clicks on the wrong email attachment, it could bring down the whole system. It is thus even more important to know how effective your antivirus software is, and whether security protocols are top-notch.
Downtime due to power outages
The VoIP system also needs an external power source to remain operational. A power outage or rolling blackouts in your area can disrupt your phone capabilities right when you need them most. One potential solution for this is to purchase a portable generator for the main office.
Overall, the advantages for adopting VoIP greatly exceed the drawbacks. The company will need to make sure the proper infrastructure is in place to ensure quality of service, but the money the company will save in the long run and increased productivity over time will more than make up for this.