There are three elements that make VoIP such an immense benefit to any size of business to communicate for less than traditional phone services permits.
Those are the phone calls, the VoIP phone systems, and the lower maintenance costs associated with running them.
In terms of the calls, it’s simple as to why they’re cheaper. It’s right within the name of the service -“over the internet”. Your phone calls go through cloud-based services, bypassing the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
That’s why VoIP can deliver cheaper phone calls.
In order to make the calls, you need the right phone systems in place, and that’s the second element where things are cheaper.
Whenever a company expands, an additional telephone system is usually required to facilitate communications internally, giving each employee access to a phone, to call other employees, discuss their projects, and speak with clients, customers, or whomever they need to be speaking with in order to facilitate business requirements.
For companies running on the older PSTN network, there’s a high cost to business overheads in that respect. The phones themselves will probably work out cheaper, but when you consider the hardware required to operate them, that’s where the overheads can take a pounding.
In a large business, it could be an internal server room, requiring a team of IT professionals, and mechanical engineers just to maintain the equipment.
If you’ve ever seen a PBX system, you’ll know how complex they are, and it’s not something any small business will have the resources to handle.
Adding a new line would bring technical challenges of wiring the new system onto the network, and data cabling, even if it is cat 5 cabling it will still be expensive. Upgrade to the ultra-reliable cat 6, and there’s a significant investment required, although it will give faster and an ultra-reliable broadband connection.
With VoIP phone systems, they’re pretty much “plug & go”.
Hook the phone into the system, and from the one account interface, everything can be easily managed without needing additional wiring, or rerouting services. Expansion can be as simple as adding a new extension number.
That makes them scalable.
Add new ones when you need them, decrease when you don’t.
That option was never available on the PSTN systems, due to the technical hardware behind the scenes, enabling the systems to function.
To keep them functioning, you need maintenance.
Contact centres across the nation have teams of highly skilled technical experts manning their server rooms, and keeping the lines of communication firing on all cylinders.
Small businesses don’t have that advantage, or the budget to consider such an extravagant investment in resources.
The alternative is the cloud, where for a nominal subscription, enables the VoIP phone systems to make cheaper phone calls, bringing with it the advantage of laying off maintenance costs to the VoIP provider.
Providers of VoIP are the service operators, taking care of all the technical maintenance at their end, rendering that requirement redundant for business owners. It’s all taken care of as part of the service.
With cheaper phone calls, cheaper equipment, and cheaper maintenance costs, it raises the question of reliability.
After all, don’t they say you get what you pay for?
VoIP services are only as reliable as your broadband provider’s reliability. If you’ve a slow internet connection, you’re likely to find that the call quality will be sacrificed.
One thing to note is the amount of bandwidth your business is using. The higher your usage, the slower the speeds, and whilst it’s not always the case, it’s important that you speak to your ISP to ensure they know about your requirements.
If you’re using High Definition Audio, you should expect to have crystal clear sounds, but when that doesn’t appear to be the case, you might need to speak to your ISP to have your speeds increased, or your plan changed to support the additional bandwidth resources.
Even if there is a charge involved in the plan upgrade, it’s unlikely to make it a more expensive option.
Another question surrounding the reliability issue relates to security. There are vulnerabilities in both traditional phone lines, and those operating via the cloud. Landlines can be wiretapped, where as online conversations can be hijacked.
If security is of high concern to your business, it’s best to ask the protocols each VoIP service provider has in place, regarding their encryption of services.
VoIP is definitely a great benefit to all sizes of business, but in order to get the most benefits from the technology, it’s best to get independent advice to establish what your exact requirements are, in addition to the resources you have available to sustain the bandwidth usage.
There’s no questioning that the benefits are there for all sizes of business. The only questions are about how you can best benefit, with minimal fuss, high quality systems, and top-notch customer services to support the transition over to VoIP seamlessly.