May 4, 2023
You may be coming across the term VoIP quite often lately. VoIP has been one of the biggest technological advances and has helped revolutionize business communications. Gone are the days of expensive business telephone systems that don’t seem to work.
With so many big and small businesses switching to VoIP, you might be wondering if VoIP solutions are right for you. What are the benefits of VoIP? How does VoIP work? Blade Technologies, Inc. is here to discuss that and more.
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. This phone technology allows you to communicate by sending voice as data packets using the internet. But VoIP is not just a telephone or voice system, it is much more than that.
VoIP can offer you a single, unified communication solution that fulfills all your business communication needs. This includes calling, audio and video conferencing, and other collaboration requirements.
Why Should You Opt for VoIP?
Are you wondering why you should consider switching to VoIP over regular phone lines? We’ll tell you why.
One of the biggest benefits of VoIP is the cost savings when compared to traditional phone systems. VoIP ends up being cheaper than your traditional business phones.
One of the reasons is that VoIP doesn’t need the constant, open connectivity required on a traditional voice path. It breaks your conversation into digital data packets and transmits them via the most efficient route possible. Then the digital data packets are converted into voice again so the receiver can make sense of them.
This conversion cycle ensures that only actual noise is coded and decoded. Unlike traditional phone lines, no data is wasted accounting for pauses and other things of that nature. Because of that, you consume less data with VoIP, so you pay less and save more in comparison to the older systems.
VoIP phone service also brings your costs down because you don’t need a separate connection for it. It uses your existing internet connection, so you don’t have to invest in a new connection.
Plus, VoIP is more virtual and less physical. You don’t have to invest in actual analog phones. Your VoIP “phone” can be software that’s installed on your laptop or desktop, or can even be a simple app on your Android or iPhone mobile phones.
You may also see fewer long-distance charges with VoIP, unlike traditional phone lines. Since VoIP uses the internet to facilitate communication, all you pay for is the internet and the amount of data you use. Regardless of if you’re making local or international calls, you are using the same amount of data. There’s one exception though-- if your call terminates in an area without broadband, it will have to go the last mile on telco, for which you will incur additional charges.
Another VoIP benefit is flexibility. As discussed above, your VoIP phone can just be an app on your mobile phone. That means you get to take your “office” phone with you wherever you go.
This is great if you have staff who are working from home or on the road often. It even lets you access your VoIP voicemails through your email.
VoIP serves as a single solution for all your communication needs. Depending on the features you select when you switch to VoIP, it can encompass audio and video calling, conferencing, voicemails, internal instant messaging systems, and even e-fax.
Call Recording Made Easier
Since VoIP is all about software, calls on VoIP can be recorded at the click of a button. That means as long as you stay compliant with federal and state laws, you can record all client conversations and trainings, and share them with all the involved parties.
When you add to your staff, or someone quits, you need to assign or reassign a new phone number. Using VoIP, you can do this yourself in a few minutes. It is as easy as logging into your VoIP software and changing the details on their interface.
Keep Communication Lines Open
Since your VoIP system is primarily software-based and can be accessed from anywhere, you can ensure your communication lines will always be working. They’ll even work if your office is shut down due to an unforeseen event. You can just set up call forwarding to your other offices if you have any, or answer calls and attend video conferences from wherever you are.
What are the Disadvantages of VoIP?
Overall, switching to VoIP is a good choice. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any downfalls. Here are a few things to be aware of before you opt for VoIP.
Since VoIP functions on the internet, the quality of call output offered by a VoIP system will be just as good as your internet connection. If your bandwidth usage is high, chances are you may experience latency during calls.
While VoIP digitizes voice into data packets and codes and decodes it for complete transmission, your communication is still being transmitted using the internet. Your data can be accessed by hackers if your network is not secure.
A power outage has the potential to cause your VoIP system to crash. A power outage will turn off the router or your VoIP phone, interrupting your VoIP communication systems. However, this is only an issue if you rely on hardwired VoIP handsets. Such handsets offer little flexibility, and you are dependent entirely on your hardware to get your VoIP system to work.
You can overcome this drawback by opting for a VoIP system that comes with its software application. You can install the app on your smartphone and use your cellphone’s mobile data to make calls from your VoIP system. A router breakdown or power outage will not affect the performance of your VoIP system.
Do Your Research and Ask Questions
VoIP is here to stay and has countless features that can benefit your business. But you need to ensure you pick the right managed services provider (MSP). Here are a few things to check with your MSP before you sign up with them for VoIP services.
How Experienced are They?
Ask your MSP how long they have been in the business--especially in the business of VoIP. Not all MSPs offer VoIP services. It is one of the more uncommon service lines, so you want to be sure that the MSP you sign up with for VoIP knows it well.
Can They Offer the Support You Need?
Your communication system is the lifeline of your business, so ensure your MSP can offer timely support and troubleshooting services.
Ask for References from Their VoIP Clients
As we mentioned above, not every MSP specializes in VoIP. Ask your potential MSP for references from their existing VoIP clients. Speak to them and find out if they are happy with the service.
What Kind of Security and DR Processes Do They Have in Place?
Ask your MSP about their security and disaster recovery processes, including backups. You don’t want your voicemails, e-faxes, and more to be available to unintended recipients or get lost in the event of a disaster.
How Will You be Paying for Usage and Bandwidth?
There are different pricing models in the market. Ask what kind of pricing model your MSP follows. Do you have to pay per user, per phone system, or per the data you use? –We believe that being charged by the data you use offers maximum flexibility. Also, check the complete pricing structure thoroughly so you are not in for any surprise costs down the road.
For example, you choose a plan that’s per user. There may be fine print stating that you are allowed only “x” amount of data usage at that price point and if your data usage exceeds a certain limit, you may have to pay an additional amount.
Check Out All the Available Options
When you look at the bigger picture, VoIP features offer you scalability, flexibility, and savings. Plus, it is evolving quickly. Traditional phone systems may soon be done away with.
There has never been a better time to switch to VoIP and we don’t think there is any reason not to make the switch. Talk to a managed services provider today to find out how VoIP solutions can work specifically for you.
Learn More from Blade Technologies
If you want to learn more about VoIP and all that it has to offer, contact the Blade team today.