By the DynaSis Team
Although the cost benefits of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone services are well-documented, business decision makers considering VoIP want more than just savings. Software Advice, a Gartner Research company, reported in 2014 that among companies with revenues of less than $100 million, business owners were more focused on reliability and scalability than price.
These concerns are well-founded, because call quality and system scalability—not to mention enhanced system features—can vary considerably from one VoIP provider to the next. Whether a firm is currently using VoIP service and considering a change or evaluating it as a new technology, evaluating all the criteria relevant to the organization is the best way to reap maximum value. Following are some key benefits that small and midsized business owners should expect from their VoIP solutions.
Fifty years ago, live operators made connections, ensuring that callers reached someone who could help them. With the advent of voice mail, callers increasingly found themselves forced to leave messages or be routed around the system, never speaking to a human. VoIP technology erased this scenario forever.
A well-designed solution should be able to route incoming calls automatically to the location and device designated to service that caller. If a caller leaves a voice mail, some systems can automatically convert it to an email or text message and deliver it electronically. These services increase the percentage of completed calls and reduce the lag time between a message being left and a call returned, which improves customer service and also boost sales.
Unlike legacy PBX systems requiring connections installed by “the telephone company,” VoIP systems can be scaled easily and inexpensively over existing office Internet (such as Ethernet) lines. Support for Wi-Fi calling increases scalability even more, since provisioning a new area of the office requires little more than adding an access point and a few handsets.
However, the price tag for upgrade assistance from a communications or managed IT services provider can vary considerably. Furthermore, VoIP platforms do require switching systems to route calls, and scalability can be an issue with on-premise PBX hardware. Cloud-hosted switching platforms are usually the most cost-effective option for system expansion.
Enhanced Communications Services
Many VoIP providers offer a palette of specialized communications services, from chat platforms to teleconferencing. All VoIP services, from basic calls to streaming HD conference feeds—travel over the same connection, providing the company has sufficient Internet bandwidth (capacity). Organizations should evaluate their current and future needs closely and align themselves with a provider that offers everything they want—along with the IT support to manage it. Switching VoIP providers after the contract starts can be cumbersome and even costly if cancellation penalties apply.
In this article, we have introduced you to some of the most fundamental VoIP considerations for business owners. To help you explore additional value-add features, we recommend this “Top 10” article from Tech Republic.