Thinking About VoIP for Your Business? Points You Should Consider
VoIP has come a long way since its early days, thanks to high-speed internet connections becoming common across all parts of the country. As a result, more and more businesses are hitching their wagon to the VoIP business telephone revolution.
VoIP sounds almost too good to be true; greater flexibility, feature-rich phones, and considerably more cost effective than traditional business phone solutions – what more could a business need?
But is it really that good? Here, we look at some of the VoIP basics.
VoIP and how it works
In general, if you opt for a fully hosted service, then most VoIP service providers manage all the backroom tasks such as call delivery to your handsets and software clients without problems. This is especially the case if your phones are of the plug-and-play variety in terms of the service you choose. Most don’t need any extra hardware onsite, and if it is called for, it’s usually a minimal hardware installation.
On the other hand, self-hosting VoIP does need a little more hardware and installation requirements. Typically, this might involve an individual IP-based exchange, which in essence is just a VoIP version of the conventional PBX systems ubiquitous in most offices. The VoIP exchange routes calls to the indicated handset within your phone network.
Irrespective of which system you opt for, normally you’ll be able to manage the normal phone setting options onsite, while other more sophisticated options may require interacting with the online account interface managed by the VoIP service provider.
What does it cost to implement VoIP in my business?
Costs vary depending on the size of your business and the existing phone infrastructure you have. In some cases, implementing VoIP might not involve any significant cost, while in others, the initial up-front investment could be something you need to seriously consider and weigh up against the benefits of such a system.
One of the determining factors is broadband capacity. A domestic broadband connection has the capacity to cope with multiple simultaneous calls. Basically, the greater the number of calls being managed at the same time results in a higher requirement for bandwidth. This means that those working from home, or small businesses with just a few employees, can easily implement VoIP without worrying about bandwidth capacity, even with other apps running in the background.
Of course, you’ll also need a phone which is SIP-enabled (Session-Initiation Protocol) which is the technology used by the system to identify individual phones or software clients within the VoIP system.
Below are a few of the benefits and potential drawbacks associated with VoIP to keep in mind:
Benefits for business
Low call costs
Fewer hardware requirements
No commitment to just one service provider
Compatible with mobile networks
Greater range of features on phones
Power outages – the VoIP system goes down too
Not all VoIP providers supply free emergency number calling