One of the hot items in the business world in recent years has been the acceptance of VoIP business phone systems as a viable technology to use in communications. Bolstered by the fact that it is a product that has matured since its introduction, it is common for companies now to consider a VoIP business phone system as an alternative to traditional phone systems. Its price and the features of VoIP business phone systems that it offers make it very attractive.
The answer to what VoIP business phone systems can do can be broken into two categories. The first is its cost and the features offered as part of the VoIP business phone system package. The second is what it brings to the business regarding installation, ease of use, etc.
What Is the Difference Between VoIP and Traditional Phones?
VoIP business phone system converts voice signals into digital packets transmitted over the internet or a private network. These packets are then reassembled at the receiving end to recreate the original voice signal. This process is known as packet-switching and is like how data is transmitted over the internet.
VoIP is typically much cheaper, as calls are transmitted over existing internet or network infrastructure, eliminating the need for dedicated phone lines. VoIP business phone systems can also offer a wider range of features, such as call forwarding, voicemail, and video conferencing, typically only available on more expensive traditional phone systems.
However, VoIP business phone system does have some technical limitations to be aware of, such as the need for a reliable internet connection with sufficient bandwidth to handle voice traffic. A VoIP business phone system also relies on the quality of the underlying network infrastructure, which can be an issue in areas with poor network coverage or congestion. Despite these limitations, a VoIP business phone system has become an increasingly popular choice for businesses looking to cut costs and take advantage of new features and capabilities.
Cost and Features for VoIP
Cost alone is enough for any business to look at VoIP business phone systems seriously. A contract with AT&T or other traditional providers can run you thousands of dollars. Most VoIP business phone system vendors offer a low monthly fee, not bound by an agreement. If you’re unhappy with the service, you can exit quickly anytime. That’s a luxury you don’t have with the big telecommunication companies.
The features offered by VoIP business phone system providers, combined with the low cost, only enhance VoIP’s attractiveness. Most providers offer features like unlimited calling, free long-distance, and unified messages, to name a few. Some VoIP business phone system providers may even include faxing. The point is that you’ll get quite a bit of bang for your buck.
VoIP's Ease of Use
Installing a VoIP business phone system is relatively easy. You may be able to adjust your current equipment to work with the design, or you may need to make an initial investment in VoIP hardware. That investment will pay itself back quickly, as the ease of installing a VoIP business phone system in your office will make your IT department or phone guy smile. You can skip the investment and go with a hosted solution if you want. Either way, you can still run an Ethernet cable to the phone, program it in the VoIP business phone system, and you’re ready. Even better, once the phone is programmed, you can move it to other connections in the office, and it will still be recognized correctly on the network without any reconfiguration.
The VoIP business phone system features you’ve grown accustomed to in traditional phone systems are still there, with VoIP business phone system and enhancements to make life easier. You can still send calls to voice mail and forward them to co-workers. You can take advantage of VoIP business phone system three-way calling. Voice mails can be configured to route to your e-mail inbox, so you don’t have to worry about being onsite to access them. All this is done to make life easier for business employees, allowing them to connect wherever they go with a VoIP business phone system.
What Industries Use VoIP Business Phone Systems?
While VoIP business phone system technology is widely used across many industries, certain niches have seen success with VoIP.
Call Center Industry
Call centers rely heavily on phone communication, and VoIP’s cost savings make it an attractive option for call centers looking to reduce operational expenses. VoIP business phone system features, such as call routing, call forwarding, and automatic call distribution, have made it easier for call centers to manage their operations efficiently.
With the advent of telemedicine, healthcare providers increasingly rely on VoIP business phone systems to facilitate remote consultations and teleconferencing with patients. The flexibility and scalability of VoIP business phone systems make them well-suited for the dynamic nature of healthcare operations.
Financial Services Industry
Financial institutions require reliable and secure communication channels to facilitate their operations, and VoIP business phone systems provide just that. Additionally, VoIP business phone system features, such as call recording and real-time analytics, have made it easier for financial institutions to comply with regulatory requirements.
These three niches have seen success due to the specific communication needs of their operations.
VoIP Vendor Sampling
Cisco is the most popular VoIP vendor currently out there. The company offers a full suite of VoIP business phone system products, from Unified Communications Manager to Unified IP Phones. Investigating the Cisco product line is well worth your while if you go with an in-house solution. The products are relatively easy to install and use and are backed by the Cisco name.
Inter-Tel was a company that was heavily involved in traditional phone systems. It merged with Mitel, which now offers a suite of VoIP business phone system products that rivals Cisco. It provides various controllers to build out a communications infrastructure and a variety of full-featured IP phones.
The point here is not to give a rundown of each VoIP business phone system vendor out there but to give a sampling of a few vendors and what you can expect from them. Cisco should be looked at by every business investigating VoIP business phone systems. There are viable alternatives to VoIP business phone systems out there. However, that should be looked at as well.
VoIP is here to stay and will only become more of a player in the not-too-distant future. The product has matured enough in recent years to be thoughtfully configured as a business telecommunications option. Compare the best VoIP business phone systems to ensure you make the right choice for your business.