For companies that constantly use the phone to communicate with clients or employees, having an outdated telephone system is not ideal.
Firstly, telephone bills can be quite expensive, especially when your company phone is constantly receiving and making calls all day. Also, many people in your organization that handle paying the bill, don’t realize there’s a better way or that they could be saving money with a different setup. Additionally, with an old phone system on the wall, your company may have missing features that are losing you productivity or the phone system could fail. An outdated system simply no longer works, especially in our highly competitive business environment.
Fortunately, there’s a solution to your phone problems. This solution takes the form of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), which is arguably one of the most helpful technological advancements around. But, what is VoIP and how will it help your business?
What Is VoIP?
First of all, if you consider copper wires all over your workplace to be a productivity killer, then you’ll surely consider VoIP as a sight to behold. This is because the system no longer utilizes the unsightly wires that are prone to entanglement. VoIP solutions also don’t require physical desk phones (if you don’t want.) This makes your business space look more clean and open, promoting good overall workflow and productivity.
As an alternative, VoIP is an advanced type of phone system that uses the power of the Internet to make and receive phone calls, among other things. It can also be considered as an improvement of a PBX (Private Branch Exchange) system, especially since it operates via the cloud. For many VoIP providers, you’d be unsure of what that means or where the “brains” of your phone system was truly being stored/hosted. However, DataComm is fit with its own data centers, so you know where your “cloud” is actually located.
Hence, if you have a reliable, fast, and steady Internet connection and a good network at your site, we advise that you use VoIP instead of an ordinary phone system that depends on your local phone company.
How Does VoIP work?
Essentially, VoIP transforms your phone calls into digital packets of data. Since your message is already converted to digital packets, it will be transferred immediately over the Internet in the same way as to how emailing works. Since it still operates similarly to a regular landline, you can even call someone who is still using the old type of telephone system.
However, what makes VoIP different and more convenient for businesses, whether big or small, is the fact that you, or both parties, can make calls from a computer or a mobile application on your cell phone, which means fewer wires. We wrote a blog about being able to take calls anywhere via a mobile application here.
Why Do Businesses Use VoIP?
Aside from the fact that VoIP allows you to potentially save money, which can be spent on other important business matters, there are plenty of benefits that businesses can gain when they use or switch to VoIP systems.
Inexpensive To Set Up
Just because it sounds like a complicated technology, it does not mean that the hardware and software associated with setting up a VoIP are expensive. In fact, most VoIP systems can already run on network cables that are already in your office.
At DataComm, we handle the full installation and setup of your fully managed VoIP system and it’s part of your quote and project. We plug in all of the phones and make sure everything is as it needs to be and provide steps on downloading softphones (for your computer) and mobile apps (for your cell phone) on devices you already have and want to re-use in the new setup.
Collaborative and Flexible Platform
With an ordinary phone system, you could only have a physical phone in a spot in your office. What makes VoIP advantageous is it allows your team to answer calls wherever they are, inside the building, at their houses or on the road. This flexibility provides better customer service, faster answers for your clients and a better work/life balance for your team members that might need to work from home.
Furthermore, since some VoIP supports video and web conferencing, your designated employee can screen share, white board together and have necessary conversations including multiple departments, even when they’re not in the same space together. This makes collaboration easier and more convenient among your team members.
Hosted VoIP for Business
There are two ways to implement VoIP in your business. First is if you decide to in-house the phone system. This is also known as an on-premise appliance. This implies that you want to buy and own the hardware, which will need to be updated from time to time. This will also mean you want the system dependent on your infrastructure. Lastly, this means if your site experiences an Internet or power outage, your softphone phones and mobile applications on cell phones will all temporarily stop working during your down time. Again, this scenario is with the “brains” at your facility, instead of the second option explained below.
On the other hand, a hosted VoIP, which is also called “cloud based,” will take good care of these concerns. This is the ideal solution if your company does not want all of the upfront cost investment of the PBX server onsite or you want to make sure there is guaranteed redundancy for your phone number to always be up and operational.
Top VoIP Phone Features
In addition to the reasons why businesses use VoIP, there are plenty of features that VoIP offers. Some of which are the following:
- Converts voicemails to email: For a small business, this feature is important since you may not be able to operate or stay in the office 24/7. Fortunately, VoIP allows voice messages to be converted into email so you can answer queries after hours or on weekends if needed. You can also easily share voicemails in your email with others by forwarding the email off or CCing others to all listen to a voicemail and provide feedback on what to do next.
- Mobile applications for cell phones: This feature is really helpful if you are never at your desk. The last thing you want when you’re doing business with an important client is to miss the call. With your extension on your cell phone, you always have the option to answer and take the call. This means whether you’re in your office but in the shop, in your car on the way to a client site or on vacation on a sandy beach (not saying you’ll want to answer the call then!)
- Call reporting: This feature allows you to get general reports about calls coming in and going out from your business. Even if someone is working remotely, as long as they are making and taking calls from their extension (on the softphone on their computer or the mobile application on their phone) all of that data is stored and can be reviewed by management.
A VoIP system provides plenty of benefits for your company, especially when your business operations involve using the phone often. With its built-in features and the benefits it can bring to your company, your business will have a smoother workflow, improved customer satisfaction, and, if you have a start-up, your business may have a chance to compete with the big corporations. You do need to make sure that you have the network infrastructure and Internet to support this new venture.
Also, if you are unsure if your network in your building is capable of supporting a VoIP-based phone system solution, DataComm is also capable of helping via our managed network solutions.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk with someone on what type of VoIP solution is best for your business!