In its simplest form, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a way to make telephone calls over the same fiber optic cables that connects your company to the Internet. Because it’s built on the same network infrastructure you’ve built for your servers and PCs, it can be a great way for companies to save the time and cost of maintaining a traditional phone system.
But as VoIP continues to develop and evolve, it’s becoming an entirely new way of thinking about voice communication. When properly integrated into your business, VoIP streamlines company workflows, raises the efficiency of your teamwork and collaboration, and brings a new level of organization and predictability to your business. For companies that do a lot of long-distance calling, VoIP can also greatly reduce their monthly phone bill.
VoIP has been steadily replacing traditional telephone systems at businesses for over a decade, and that trend shows no sign of slowing down. According to research by Future Market Insights, the (VoIP) subscriber base expanded to 76 million users in 2018, a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13%, with a total estimated market value of $204.8 billion by 2020. Let’s look at what’s driving this sea-change.
VoIP offers much greater functionality than traditional telephone systems, and that increased functionality can save you time and money. Some of the most popular features include:
And unlike the analog telephone, which has remained mostly the same since its invention, VoIP developers are adding new features on a regular basis to take advantage of the latest technology. Some of the exciting VoIP features now getting implemented promise further productivity gains, especially for companies that rely heavily on voice communications. This includes advanced interactive voice response (IVR) systems powered by artificial intelligence, advanced conferencing capabilities, and intelligent pattern recognition software, all of which will be give an additional productivity boost to companies using VoIP and incentivize those who are not to make the switch.
When approached strategically, VoIP can integrate into your other business applications in a way that traditional telephones never could. VoIP works with email, web browsers, instant messaging applications, CRM software, and more. With telephony as an embedded part of your overall company workflow, your staff will be able to start voice calls or teleconferences from directly within an application, have your CRM automatically display a customer record when they make an inbound call to you (providing you use a CRM that supports VoIP integration), and perform other time-saving tasks. By integrating multiple inefficient steps into one more intuitive process, you can save valuable man-hours and boost the productivity of your team.
Today’s VoIP systems are not only feature-rich, but they are also easier to configure and maintain than traditional phone systems. For example, setting up and managing features and users can often be done through a single (typically web based) dashboard, while registering new phone numbers whether they be local, remote, or toll free can be done at minimal or no additional cost. The ease of configurability that VoIP provides lowers costs associated with hiring the local phone company to provide PBX management and can save many hours of maintenance time a year.
This ease of configuration is particularly useful for businesses as they scale up or scale down. When a new employee onboards, VoIP makes assigning them a new telephone number (which includes all the features above) simple. It also makes it easy to remove that number from the system if the employee leaves, meaning less money spent on unwanted lines and service charges.
Although the reliability of VoIP technology has continued to make steady progress over the years, it takes an expert to make sure that your routers, switches, servers, phones, and mobile devices are all configured and ready to maximize the impact of a new VoIP solution.
To ensure a smooth transition, find a technical partner that has both the expertise to identify the right mix of software and hardware for your company, and the skills to make their implementation painless and efficient. This should include, at the early stage, a thorough audit of your network hardware and software to look for any possible points of failure. Next, your IT provider should work with you to establish quality-of-service (QoS) protocols so that each of your VoIP services will work the way your business needs them to.
VoIP can help businesses save money, work more efficiently, and communicate better, so there’s very little reason to keep using a traditional phone system other than the lack of a trusted partner to help you make the upgrade.
Astute Technology Management has decades of experience helping businesses in central Ohio deploy dependable, high-quality VoIP solutions. Want to learn more about our VoIP services and how we help streamline businesses with next-generation telephony?
Click here to speak with someone at Astute Technology Management about our VoIP services. If you’d prefer, you can always call us at 614-389-4102, we’re happy to answer any questions you might have and look forward to speaking with you.