VoIP (short for Voice over Internet Protocol) technology uses a digital network to transmit your voice. It uses the Internet to connect your private telephone line(s) to the traditional public telephone network. This technology works over a variety of different IP devices, including computers, IP-enabled phones, and tablets. There are many benefits to using VoIP.
Reduction in Cost
One of the most attractive things about VoIP is its low cost compared to conventional switched telephone networks. For a business, the startup cost can be significant. Once the system is up and running, it will be less costly to maintain than a traditional phone network. All telephone and data usage are combined into one network, decreasing the costs of maintenance and equipment. Internal calls are free and long distance charges are majorly reduced.
In the VoIP system, a phone number is not tied to a dedicated line. This means that traveling with an IP phone or other VoIP device will allow you to make and receive calls using the same phone number. All of your phone services also travel with you, including call waiting, voice mail and call logs. Businesses with international offices can subscribe to a VoIP service in their home country, drastically reducing the costs of frequent international calls.
Adding additional users to your company’s VoIP system is much easier than adding extra physical phone lines. Simply call your provider and they will assist you in setting up another handset. You can also purchase VoIP telephone adaptors which allow you to use the same technology with only a conventional phone and a computer.
Should You Make the Switch?
Before switching to VoIP, take the time to evaluate the needs of your business and the capability of your current technology. If your network can easily handle an increase in data and has plenty of available bandwidth, you can easily switch to VoIP calling. Upgrading your network is always a possibility, but will increase the cost of the change. Companies whose phone traffic consists exclusively of local calls, or who are only paying for a few dedicated phone lines may not benefit as much from VoIP technology. However, if your employees frequently make long distance or international calls, work from home, or travel for work, your business costs could be substantially reduced by switching to VoIP. Be aware that in-house tools that depend on landlines, like some alarm systems and credit card terminals, can’t be converted to VoIP.
The smartest thing to do when considering a switch to VoIP is to look into several providers and make sure you understand all the costs involved in making the change. Then weigh the benefits of making the switch against the actual cost to your company.