One of the most recent technological advancements making waves over the last ten years is the Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) communication. Due to the numerous benefits of VoIP, more and more businesses are utilizing this new stand-in for traditional landline telephone systems. VoIP has only gained traction recently, but it’s been around since the 1970s. It has seen immense growth over the last few years, rendering it a preferable method of communication than landline systems.
VoIP depends on the internet to make calls, instead of utilizing circuits known to traditional wired phone systems. It allows you to place and receive calls via the internet or over Local Area Networks (LANs).
Both VoIP and landline systems have a set of benefits and drawbacks. However, it is hard to pinpoint which one is more beneficial to a user. In this article, we will offer you a straightforward and concise overview of both systems, so you can determine for yourself, which is more in sync with your operation. By discussing the differences between the two systems, we highlight the benefits of switching to VoIP from traditional telephone systems.
In any industry the cost is always a central concern. VoIP is, undoubtedly, the clear choice here.
The traditional option requires upfront equipment expenditure and costly monthly maintenance costs. Moreover, it would be best to upgrade your hardware to match your business growth, which will also set you back a couple of dollars.
VoIP does not need expensive equipment. Both upgrades and maintenance are part of your low-subscription based expenditure, which depends on the number of lines or number of phones necessary to keep the business running. All you need is an internet connection and your office laptops or desktops, which you already probably have, anyway. VoIP lower costs can be attributed to less on-premise equipment needed to get started.
With VoIP, you have access to the latest updates at your fingertips, but you don’t have to worry about dealing with them. Most VoIP companies will automatically do the upgrade for you. The same can’t be said for traditional phone systems. You need to get in touch with an expert IT staff and depend on them to do the updates.
How reliable is VoIP? It depends. When your internet is malfunctioning, it can be incredibly frustrating to use VoIP. After all, it needs a connection to receive and place phone calls. Therefore, your operation will be dependent on your internet, and by extension, electrical power. To prevent encountering such mishaps, you should sign up with a reliable VoIP service provider. The top VoIP service providers promise 99.999% uptime reliability.
Most prominent names in the VoIP industry offer backup options to ensure business continuity, such as the top of the line data centers. Some provide emergency plans to forward the calls to mobile phones or other locations.
On the other hand, the traditional system is placed on-site, making it susceptible to power and internet outages. Moreover, it does not offer a friendly environment for servers.
Traditional landline systems have no mobility features included. You could request for an add-on, but it comes with a rather expensive price tag. VoIP, by contrast, can be used on any phone – desktop or soft phone on your laptop or as an app on your mobile phone. Moreover, VoIP number, also called the virtual number, is not associated with a landline phone. Although, it appears like it to the call recipient as it takes the local exchange, which means it is charged under local rates.
If you are worried about using your smartphone and running the risk of exposing your personal number to vendors or customers, relax. The caller ID will show your business phone number regardless of where you are in the world. All you need is to take an IP phone or headset with you, and you can give any of the staff or your clients a ring.
If you are not feeling up to it, you can quickly transfer calls to your colleagues without inconveniencing customers to call another phone number. The phone system permits you to change your status, so your workmates can see whether you are taking calls.
5. Sound Quality
Traditional landlines used to have the upper hand over VoIP’s audio quality. Thanks to innovations, VoIP calls have gotten better over time and now tout High Definition sound quality. As you use a leading VoIP provider, each call you make will sound like a typical phone call.
6. Multi-Functional Features
In contrast to traditional phone systems, VoIP offers more than placing and receiving calls. Current systems integrate other forms of communication services, such as instant messaging, presence information, video conferencing, teleconferencing, voicemails, and faxes.
Videoconferencing allows your employees to work while abroad or at home. The possibility of fieldwork employees joining in teleconferences and video conferences also eliminates travel costs.
Voicemail and fax go straight to your email. Suppose you need help to organize your files. You can find all the messages in your email, so you get to archive or forward them with ease.
VoIP also enables you to check call logs, which you can use as a reference when studying customer behavior. Moreover, you can playback recorded phone calls to make sure you don’t miss any information or important messages.
VoIP offers more security than traditional analogy telephones. This alternative has improved identity management and systematic encryption protocols to guarantee data security.
As you probably already know by now, businesses are always at risk for fraudulent phone calls. VoIP can downplay these threats through IP technology advancements.
Hosted VoIP providers protect their networks 24/7, so you have more piece of mind to deal with other business-related matters. When you work with a reliable provider, they will also perform security audits and implement healthy password habits. Moreover, they can set-up automated alerts that can warn your team whenever there is suspicious activity.
Using your typical phone, you can hook up a VoIP converter or telephone adapter. A converter looks a lot like a memory stick, so you can plug it into your computer without a hitch. It detects signals and changes them to digital data for your internet to understand.
The underlying network can be your existing connection, which means you can enjoy a standardized system and remove PSTN phone network complexities without changing your network. Your company also cut costs from unifying networks for phones and data.
Most businesses find it difficult to deviate from the norm because it’s risky. It also alludes to the adage, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”
To be fair, traditional phone systems still have a place in the business world. If they still work for you, that’s great. But take a hard look at the advantages your business will reap once you shift to VoIP. Maybe you’ll realize it’s a step in the right direction, which is exactly what your business needs to grow.