With the advent of the Internet came a plethora of innovations in the sphere of communications, one of which is VoIP. Even though it was first introduced over twenty years ago, at the time the Internet was not yet ready for this Internet telephony. Now it is. VoIP is here to stay, giving us endless possibilities for communication. More and more people and businesses around the world are opting for VoIP in their day-to-day operations, because its features provide reliability, flexibility and affordability.
If you are not yet familiar with VoIP, here are seven facts that will shed some light on this technology that is as revolutionary as it is essential.
What is VoIP phone system?
You probably already know what VoIP is, but don’t realize that you do. That is because many companies that provide VoIP services (Skype, Viber, WhatsApp) only mention the name of their product for the sake of facilitating marketing services.
VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) is the transmission of multimedia content and voice through IP networks. Instead of getting phone service from an analog telephone line, you can get your phone service through the Internet. The way VoIP works is that it converts analog voice calls from one end of a conversation into packets of data, which travel like any other data (e.g. email) over the Internet and are then unconverted into voice at the other end of the conversation.
Everyone is doing it
With a predicted 9.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2016 and 2021, the VoIP industry continues to attract more and more users. Juniper Research estimates that by 2017, the number of VoIP users will reach 1 billion, and this number only reflects the mobile users. Individual users, large corporates and SMEs alike are increasingly switching to VoIP with the aim of cutting costs and taking advantage of additional features without compromising call quality.
You WILL save
According to Tech.co, businesses that opt for VoIP solutions have experienced savings of up to 40% in their local calls and up to 90% in international calls. In any case, although the range of savings for companies varies, 99.99% of customers report reduced phone expenses after switching to VoIP. And the list of benefits is not limited to reduced costs. Not only is VoIP connection easy to install, maintain and configure, it is also easily scalable. In other words, you can easily add or remove lines as dictated by your business needs instead of having to carefully forecast how many phones your business might need when using a traditional phone system.
The switching costs are low
One reservation people have when contemplating switching to VoIP is the fear of extra hardware and installation costs. However, one of the very advantages of VoIP is that it uses internet connection, and hence can support as many phone lines as you need without the extra charges. The setup and maintenance costs are extremely low; furthermore, it can be set up using the phones you already have. So there is no need to worry about switching costs if it is one of the things holding you back from using VoIP.
VoIP is reliable
There is still some stigma attached to VoIP, which dates back to the mid-90s. Back then, the technology was still new and was undergoing improvements. Nowadays, VoIP has evolved to the point where it is behind many of the most widely-used communication apps today. You simply have to make sure that you have optimized your bandwidth and that your network is set up in a way that it automatically prioritizes VoIP calls over less urgent web activities. Your provider will provide you with statistics about your monthly usage, so optimizing your bandwidth according to your company’s needs should not be an issue.
VoIP facilitates business
VoIP contributes to efficient business operations in many different ways. Wholesale VoIP termination, for instance, smooths communication for businesses that have different branches across the world by enabling them to interconnect their different corporate offices easily and inexpensively. In fact, it was VoIP that paved the way for the modern offshore call centers in pursuit of cutting costs by utilizing cheaper labor.
Moreover, because of its capacity to integrate with other technologies, VoIP allows for screen sharing – a technique that allows for coworkers in different places to work on a project together as they would face-to-face.
Faxing, a feature once reserved to traditional phone systems, is now also possible with VoIP. Besides faxing the traditional way, fax over IP (FoIP) even allows you to convert documents into PDF and email them to the recipient.
VoIP is flexible
You can choose VoIP to be hosted by a provider, or have an on-premise appliance. On the one hand, having it on premise means no risk of fee increases, and in case of scaling up, you will probably need to purchase additional equipment. Companies that have an IT tech department often opt to have an on-premise PBX.
On the other hand, “Hosted” means that your provider keeps all of the equipment and you simply connect to his IP address. This means that you will not incur any expenses regarding programming and IT support. Most VoIP providers will guide you through the process step by step, allowing you to customize your phone menu by adding just the features you want.
Whatever the nature of your business, you will be able to find the VoIP solution that works for you.
Overall, these are just some of the facts about VoIP – the technology that has revolutionized the telecommunications sector to the point where landlines will soon become extinct. If you have never used VoIP, there is little doubt that you will whether it is sooner or later. Why not make the sensible decision and start saving now?