As an alternative to traditional phone systems VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is still misunderstood by many in the small business community. How VoIP works is simple: your phone calls are channeled through the internet in the form of data, similar to an email.
VoIP transmission began back in 1973, however, the first internet phone software didn’t appear until 1995. It’s fair to say that early VoIP systems had some issues; poor sound quality, periods of silence and loss of connection were all recurring issues which meant that VoIP wasn’t taken seriously as an alternative to traditional phone systems.
However, in the intervening 20 odd years, it is safe to say that VoIP has come a very long way and it is estimated that there will be 1 billion VoIP users by the end of 2017. The telecoms industry is currently losing 700,000 landline customers per day and ISDN will be phased out by 2025, this means that little investment is being made in this outdated technology and therefore quality will suffer. It really is a case of when, not if, your business moves to VoIP.
Whilst you might be resistant to change there are huge advantages in doing so. Quality issues are a thing of the past, modern VoIP systems are crystal clear and highly reliable and the functionality and flexibility of VoIP far outweighs anything possible through traditional systems. Here we list 5 of the main benefits of VoIP systems.
Small businesses moving to a VoIP system save around 40% on local call costs; for international calls this saving jumps to 90%. Most systems incorporate a call bundle based on your needs (similar to a mobile contract), calls are normally free between offices and maintenance costs are significantly reduced if not eradicated. As well as reduced ongoing costs, the upfront costs are minimal and in most cases removed entirely as you have no on-site server. Whilst cost reduction is, of course, welcome maybe the biggest benefit is the certainty of cost which aids budgeting and planning – your telephone costs become fixed rather than variable.
Flexibility and Mobility
As the demand for flexibility from employees increases VoIP enables an employee working remotely to have calls that come into their desk phone automatically delivered to their smartphone or PC, without incurring any forwarding charges and with the caller none the wiser. Even if the worker is abroad the caller can still get through using the UK number as if the employee is sat at their desk. Companies that invest in technology that allows their employees to work flexibly see an average 20% increase in productivity.
Scaling and Migration
Setting up a VoIP system is incredibly easy, often as simple as plugging a phone into a router. Adding new features, new users and new lines is also very simple and cheap, usually via a web browser with no on-site visit required making it ideal for companies who are looking for growth. You can also expand your territories without leaving your office with a virtual number. You can set up a new number with a local area code giving you a local presence without having to rent an office or pay for a virtual tenancy.
If you need to move to new premises then, with no expensive on-site hardware, your phone system is completely portable. Moving to a new location is as simple as unplugging your phone at the old site and plugging them in at the new one – with no long-winded issues in porting telephone numbers.
A VoIP system can send your voicemails to your email inbox, you can even have emails converted into voicemails and sent to your mobile! All of your important messages can be in one place, improving multitasking and making sure important messages are dealt with promptly. Unified messaging saves employees an average of 43 minutes per day due to more efficient message management whilst mobile workers saved 55 minutes per day. An average of 32 minutes per day can be saved simply by staff being able to reach each other first time.
Keep Your Numbers
A common misconception is that switching to VoIP means you have to change your phone number. However, VoIP providers offer number porting facilities so you can change to a VoIP system without losing your existing number and having all the administrative issues that come with a new number.
So, in short, you can have a high quality, flexible phone system with all of the features of your old system and far more besides, it increases efficiency, you can expand it as and when you want AND you can keep your existing number all at a fixed cost which is GUARANTEED to be cheaper than you’re paying now.
Seems like a no brainer.
You’ll be surprised to learn we can offer VoIP solutions! We don’t expect you to take our word that VoIP is right for your business, we offer a free demo so you can see the advantages of this technology for yourselves. To arrange a visit please give us a call on 0115 822 0200