Business VoIP is gaining popularity as many companies continue to integrate its use in operations. This technology has many advantages, including greater scalability and substantial potential savings. However, it also bears its share of limitations. For instance, it requires the availability of a reliable high bandwidth internet connection. So what is a VoIP phone system?
What Is a VoIP Phone System?
VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol lets you make voice calls over the internet or LANs (local area network) instead of the typical mobile network or landline. Popular apps like Viber, Skype, FaceTime, LINE, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp use VoIP to facilitate calls. Many businesses are adopting the technology due to its convenience, low cost, and added advantages over regular phone service.
VoIP allows you to make calls anytime, anywhere, and you only need a reliable internet connection and an internet-enabled smart device with a speaker and microphone. VoIP technology converts analog voice signals into digital packets of information transmitted over the internet connection. VoIP digital signals are then reconverted into regular phone signals at the destination.
VoIP is transforming into full-featured unified communication hubs handling all communication forms, including voice calls, web conferences, voice mail, faxes, and email. There are different VoIP types, including integrated access, Hosted IP private branch exchange (PBX), session initial protocol (SIP), and managed IP PBX.
Voip Services Concept of IP Telephone Device on Work Place
VoIP Advantages and Disadvantages
VoIP has several benefits, especially for a business that aims to reduce their costs and improve their conference call quality. As with every piece of technology, VoIP has its disadvantages limiting its use.
Advantages of VoIP
Adopting VoIP systems can help an organization achieve significant cost savings. It can help you save on your phone bills by more than 50%. However, the cost savings will vary depending on the VoIP service you choose and your business needs. VoIP can save on costs either directly or indirectly.
Direct Cost Savings
A private branch exchange (PBX) is an on-site physical piece of hardware that connects several landline phones in an organization and costs a lot of money. The cost of installation of on-site PBX is very high. VoIP phone systems
help eliminate the need for extra hardware by using a broadband connection. A business can use a Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) to upgrade to VoIP. The SIP Trunk allows the exchange of voice services and maintains your current office hardware. You can activate SIP Trunking instantly, and it is easier to manage.
Eliminating Wiring Charges
VoIP systems help to eliminate charges associated with extra wiring since they allow both data and voice on the same channel. They are full-duplex, meaning that they can send data and voice concurrently and only require one Ethernet cable to connect. This also means that an office will save costs on altering the buildingís electrical wiring.
Reduced Calling Expenses
A business spends a lot of money on calling expenses throughout the year. An organization will save significant costs by using VoIP calls since they are cheaper than the traditional circuit-switched telephone network or public switched telephone network. This is due to the reduction of data carriage costs, making VoIP affordable. In addition, there has been an increase in internet speeds, and data charges have reduced significantly.
One of the benefits of VoIP is that international and local calls are usually charged the same. This enables a business to communicate with international clients and suppliers more conveniently at no extra cost. You will be able to eliminate expensive roaming fees.
Eliminate Recurring Expenses
Recurring expenses such as repair and maintenance fees and taxes accumulate huge sums of money. VoIP service offers affordable subscription plans that combine these expenses.
Indirect Cost Savings
Remote Work Savings
VoIP allows the office to connect to the corporate phone system while working remotely. It has various mobile features such as auto-attendant, call-waiting, conference calling, and instant video calling that traditional phones do not have. This can help increase the overall employee productivity and reduce the cost of utilities and save office space.
A business can repurpose its workforce into other productive duties. The VoIP auto attendant feature allows you to save on secretary salaries who take messages and handle phone calls on a full-time basis.
Ease of Accessibility
VoIP allows you to make calls anytime, anywhere with access to a reliable internet connection. This increased accessibility is valuable, especially when you are traveling for business. This is one of the best benefits of VoIP besides cost. You can redirect a call to another colleague if you are unable to answer. Your business phone becomes an app on your smartphone that you can access on the go. It also gives your business flexibility as employees can even work from home.
The VoIP number is completely portable, allowing you to use the same number regardless of location. This is ideal for people who travel a lot, and a company can change its address and still retain its VoIP number.
Clear Audio Quality
VoIP offers crisp and clear calls as long as you have a fast and stable internet connection with good bandwidth. This will improve the quality of your meetings and overall office communications.
You can send images, videos, and documents with VoIP while making voice calls. This enables you to have impactful meetings with your staff or clients from all over the world.
VoIP offers your organization the potential for high-quality, large-scale conference calls. You can add multiple users or remove them when necessary. VoIP is ideal for developing companies looking for a phone system capable of growing with the business.
Disadvantages of VoIP
Communication Support, Call Center and Customer Service Help Desk
Latency issues can affect the quality of calls made through the VoIP phone systems. Latency problems occur when there is a poor internet connection with low bandwidth. You can also experience problems if you have an inadequate router or insufficient cables. VoIP requires a specialized VoIP router to run smoothly and provide higher priority to voice traffic over data.
You can fix latency problems by using a high-speed internet connection with high bandwidth. You can also upgrade your Ethernet cables and use Cat-6 or CAT-5e on your VoIP devices.
Relies on Internet Access
You need a reliable internet connection with sufficient bandwidth to operate VoIP services. A poor internet connection will lower the quality of calls and the overall VoIP service. The number of concurrent calls will determine the bandwidth your company requires.
During an emergency, a loss of power will disrupt all communications using VoIP service. VoIP-compatible devices require a sustained power source. Your business may still need a back-up landline telephone for emergencies.
Security is a major concern with VoIP with possible threats, including phishing, identity and service theft, spamming over internet telephony, viruses, and malware, and call tempering and service denial attacks. However, you can improve VoIP security using IP technology such as encryption and improved identity management.