You may have heard the buzz about VoIP in enterprise businesses, but you may be wondering if the much-touted benefits of VoIP are worth the expense and hassle of switching to newer technology.
Though you may be unaware, your conventional phone system is probably a hindrance to productivity that affects your bottom line more than you realize. VoIP (Voice over IP) systems give any business the ability to work from anywhere. Simply put, VoIP lets you save money while giving you more options for your business. When you’re out of the office, you can make or receive calls on any device, access voicemail, and also enjoy improved mobile access and video conferencing—all with less infrastructure.
10 advantages to choosing VOIP for your business
To give you a clear perspective why you should switch to VoIP now, we have provided a summary of the reasons below:
1. Substantial cost reductions
If you’re not using VoIP for voice communications, then you are most certainly using the good old phone line—a packet-switched telephone network. On such systems, it’s truly the case that time is money. You’re might be paying for each minute you spend on the phone, and international calls are quite expensive.
It’s important to realize that the Internet stands ready to improve your voice communications. You can leverage whatever broadband resources you already own and combine them with a VoIP phone system to greatly extend your phone service capabilities.
Since VoIP routes phone calls over the Internet and your existing data network, local calls between employees – irrespective of their location – are free. When you add it all up at the end of the month, your international calls will cost a fraction of the rates charged by conventional telecoms. Imagine how much more productive and thorough you can be if you don’t have to worry about call charges!
Since VoIP is supported by broadband Internet services, your monthly costs are largely fixed. Talk as much as you want on VoIP and the connection costs will not change. Studies have shown that using VoIP can potentially save up to 40% on local calls, and up to 90% on international calls.
2. Multi-person teleconferences
On a conventional phone line, only two people can speak at a time. With VoIP, you can easily set up a teleconference with a large team—very much like a multi-person conversation in a meeting room. Since VoIP compresses all data packets during transmission, more data can be processed more efficiently by the carrier. As a result, more calls can be handled on one access line.
3. Bring voicemail to the 21st century
Wouldn’t you like to manage your voicemail just as you manage your email messages? With conventional voicemail, you have to dial in to your voicemail and then navigate through the messages with your keypad. VoIP voicemail makes it so much easier, since you can opt to have your voicemails automatically transcribed and sent to your email inbox. Then, you can manage them very much like you do all of your other messages. Potentially, this can be a major time saver, since you can check your voicemail messages while you are participating in a phone call. You can also respond much more quickly to messages that need immediate attention.
With VoIP-based voicemail, you can centrally manage a variety of different messaging services, Managing voicemail through a web page is much easier, and more reliable. You can save, archive, and only delete messages when you confirm that you want to do so. Both you and your customers can have the confidence that each message will reach the correct recipient as fast as possible.
4. Improve customer service with queue automation
Long hold-times are never good for customer service. It’s easy to extend VoIP to include an automatic attendant or interactive voice recognition (IVR) systems to manage call queues and handle direct call-routing. With auto-attendant, incoming callers will route to the appropriate person or group within your organization. With music-on-hold, you can choose from a variety of music for customers to hear while on hold, or instead choose to play your custom on-hold advertising and announcements. Previously, this was quite expensive for smaller companies, but VoIP makes it affordable for all enterprises.
It’s easy to configure which lines will connect to specific persons or departments. Link multiple locations into the same system, since VoIP makes it easy to tether locations by implementing call groups. Manage many different locations by adding extensions and allocating a set of telephone numbers. This proves especially valuable for companies that have multiple locations, or a mobile workforce. In some cases, this could permit a receptionists to spend time on other tasks, or eliminate the need for a call center.
5. Remote access to office network
If you work in an organization that manages an intranet or extranet, you can work seamlessly from your home or other remote locations. Access your office voice and data services with a simple Internet connection. VoIP technology makes it easy to configure your workplace for portable or remote access.
With a VoIP management dashboard that is available from anywhere that you have Internet access, you can manage every aspect of your account. For example, you can listen to voicemails, initiate calls, view faxes, and make changes to your call routing configuration.
6. Low maintenance
To get enterprise features on a legacy phone system, you need to purchase and maintain the PBX system in-house—or buy expensive maintenance or service contracts from the carrier. VoIP eliminates all of this hassle and expense. Nearly all enterprise-class PBX features are deliverable through the Internet/VoIP systems, and are highly customizable through an easy-to-use dashboard. There is no administrative or routing equipment that you need to purchase. In most cases, your carrier can assist in adding new features by configuring your VoIP system through the Internet—which eliminates the need for an onsite service call.
7. Less expensive hardware
In many cases, the only equipment that you need to buy is the IP phones. Even the most basic IP phone models come equipped with quite an array of features, and you can always upgrade later if your needs change.
Another benefit of VoIP is it eliminates the need for space-consuming on-site hardware that would typically go into your networking closet. There is no need to wait for the carrier to perform elaborate routing of additional copper lines. If you are adding VoIP to a business that already has an Internet connection, then the setup is much easier.
8. Flexible network configuration
VoIP eliminates the network complexity that is inherent in conventional phone systems. It’s an integral and flexible infrastructure that can actually support many types of communication. VoIP is supportable by a number of various network types. An organization can choose to run VoIP on proven technologies such as ATM, SONET, and Ethernet. VoIP can also be run on wireless networks such as IP Wi-Fi.
9. More efficient use of bandwidth
About 50% of a voice conversation is silence. VoIP is more efficient partly because it uses otherwise “empty” periods of silences to transmit data, thereby maximizing the bandwidth in the communication channel. This is another reason that VoIP is so cost-efficient.
There are a number of other features that are available as part of many VoIP systems:
- Dial-by-name directories
- Redirecting To Multiple Phones
- Unified Messaging
- Online Call Logs
- Remote call forwarding
- Simultaneous ringing — Specify a list of phone numbers to ring coincidentally with your primary number. Incoming calls may be answered by any number within the SimRing list.
- Sequential call list — Designate a sequence of phone numbers to ring until call is answered or the list is exhausted. Voicemail may be included in the sequence.
- Multiple Line-Hunt Groups — Multiple call paths assure your incoming calls are handled with maximum efficiency.
- Automatic notifications — including incoming call popup with disposition
- Ready-access to frequently used calling features, such as click-to-dial
10. Upgrading to VoIP is Easy
Most companies have gone through at least one painful technology upgrade that disrupted their business workflows. This is definitely not the case when switching to VoIP!
The transition is quite simple for any business that already subscribes to broadband Internet services. In these cases, the upgrade often requires less than a day. In some cases, automatic provisioning can greatly reduce the amount of time that a technician needs to be on-site.
Move up to VoIP today!
TEC Flex is our hosted VoIP telephone service. Hosted means that TEC maintains and hosts the equipment for call routing—instead of in a closet at your business. With a hosted system, you can significantly reduce your voice system capital expenditures and also eliminate the hassle of deploying and managing on-site PBX equipment.
TEC Flex services allow users to receive and handle calls efficiently and effectively. With our CommPortal application, users can easily manage their voicemail, personalize call-routing options, and customize their hosted phone system. TEC Flex is extremely versatile and easy to upgrade from basic services to higher level corporate services. TEC Flex is scalable and designed to grow as your business grows.
VoIP is the future, but it’s available right now. Start enjoying better, more reliable voice services. Save on your phone system expenses, and stay on top of the latest advances in telecommunications technology.