VoIP has been around almost as long as the internet, yet many SME’s are still suspicious of them. Up until a few years ago, they may have had good reason to be.
Now, more companies are asking whether this might finally be the year to make the switch to a Voice over Internet Protocol business phone system.
What’s holding you back from cutting the cord? Here’s a look at the current VoIP scene. Read this, and you’ll be one step closer to knowing whether your business is ready to switch.
PBX vs VoIP
How’s your PBX system treating you these days? With VoIP, there is no need for special hardware or wiring, which gives VoIP an immediate advantage over PBX systems. That means VoIP carries a lower overhead cost as well as lower (nonexistent) monthly costs.
Wouldn’t it be nice to use that closet for something other than PBX equipment?
Traditional analog PBX systems are not only equipment-heavy, they can be fee-heavy as well. VoIP systems have no monthly fees. Plus, if your company expands and you have to add more users to your PBX system you’ll most likely end up paying even more every month. Fees may go up even if your company doesn’t grow but call volume does.
These monthly fees have been rising lately in some PBX companies, which is why many businesses are looking once again into moving away from them.
But you already know this- that’s why you’re here. Let’s take a look at how VoIP has improved since the early days.
Today’s Internet Phone Systems at a Glance
VoIP systems deliver not only voice but also video, graphics, and text over the internet. Data is encrypted and sent using a broadband connection.
So, what’s changed since the early days? The Internet itself, of course. As you know, Internet connections and bandwidth are light years beyond what they were when VoIP first came onto the scene.
That means better connectivity and greater reliability. Today’s VoIP companies have streamlined their processes, too, so that IT complexity is greatly reduced.
Next up, the features available on today’s VoIP systems make the VoIPs of ten years ago seem archaic…
Considering VoIP? You’re Looking at a Feature-Rich Phone Environment
VoIP systems now come with built-in capabilities and optional integrations that most businesses use every day:
- collaboration tools
- mobile access
- multi-device notification of incoming calls (‘unified messaging’)
- virtual receptionist
- billable hours counter
- document sharing
- file storage
- large group meetings
Plus, VoIPs can integrate with popular business apps like:
- Microsoft Dynamics
- G Suite
There’s a brand war going on right now, as Microsoft’s Skype for Business and RingCentral compete for the business market. Both services offer much more than just an office phone system. For that reason, it’s difficult to compare them with traditional PBX systems. It’s apples and oranges.
The collaboration and conferencing features offered by both companies (and others) do incur a monthly charge, so when you’re shopping around be sure to ask about that.
The Bottom Line
As a majority of businesses in the UK and abroad have discovered, the VoIP solution works. In the United States, VoIP business telephone lines have ballooned since 2010: 28 million to 71.4 million subscriptions.
The challenge these days is finding a system whose features match your needs. If you’re already heavily invested in office apps and don’t need all the conferencing and collaboration features, find a VoIP that can tie into your existing infrastructure- you could save a bunch.
If you’re just starting out or scaling fast and haven’t locked into any particular productivity platforms, look for a VoIP system with a lot of premium features. You’ll want good customer service with these options, too, at least until you get up and running.
Whether it’s advanced features, top-notch customer service, or simply a basic phone system you’re after, there’s a VoIP for your business. Hope this has helped nudge you towards a sound decision. Good luck!