You’re thinking about Voice over IP (VoIP) for your business, but you’re wondering if it really makes sense for you to take that step. After all, your current phone system, although aging, works pretty well. Why jump into a new technology?
For many businesses, the biggest draw of VoIP phone service is the near elimination of charges for toll calls. Because VoIP is a digital technology, all users are viewed as “local”, even if they’re located at different places in the world. Because VoIP service providers don’t have an aging infrastructure to maintain, the cost savings can be passed along to customers. If you’re making quite a few long distance calls on a tradition PSTN system, you’re getting hit with a pretty expensive phone bill every month, even with the discounts many providers offer. VoIP will remove almost all of these charges, as well as help you save on international and local calling.
This is only the start, though. If you’ve been using a traditional phone system, you know what it’s like when a phone needs to be moved from one cube to the next. There is programming involved and punch downs that need to be run for the new connection. It can take 15 minutes to move a phone, and that is if everything works right the first time. This all becomes a thing of the past with VoIP. Once an IP phone has been programmed, it can be plugged into any network connection without any kind of reconfiguration needed. And the best part of this? The user isn’t limited to the office. The office phone can be answered from anywhere in the world, as long as it’s plugged into a network. The person calling will never know the difference. And to make sure that no important call is missed, a landline and a cell phone can be rung simultaneously along with the office phone before going to voice-mail.
Are you not taking advantages of certain features with your PSTN system, simply because they’re cost prohibitive for you? Features like voice-mail, call waiting, 3-way calling, call forwarding, conference calls, faxing, and more are often included automatically.
Using VoIP eliminates the phone infrastructure within your office. Because VoIP uses the same network your data resides on, you won’t need new hardware for it to operate. Changes to your VoIP system become quick and cost effective. You can also eliminate your phone guy, as your network administrators can now manage both the data and VoIP systems.
Research indicates that employee productivity rises through the use of VoIP phone systems. Using a package like Microsoft Outlook, an employee’s e-mail, phone messages, and faxes can now all be managed from a central interface. Calling someone is as easy as looking up his or her Outlook contact information.
However, you say, you still have that old phone system sitting in your network closet. You’ve invested quite a bit of money in it, and to throw it all away seems wasteful. Here’s the good news: much of the phone equipment used in a traditional system can often be re-used with VoIP. You maintain your investment, but take advantage of a better technology.
VoIP is here to stay. It offers cost savings, ease of use, great features, increased productivity, the ability to maintain an existing investment, as well as many other benefits. Should you take the step into VoIP? The answer is a resounding yes.