Why Is VoIP Used On Office Telephone Systems?
Are you looking into office telephone systems? Then probably, the term “VoIP” appeared a lot on your search. Going through the basics of this technology, as well as its pros and cons, will help you determine if it is the right phone choice for your business.
What is VoIP? The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) explains, “Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line (…) VoIP services convert your voice into a digital signal that travels over the Internet. If you call a regular phone number, the signal is converted to a regular telephone signal before it reaches the destination. VoIP can allow you to call directly from a computer, a special VoIP phone, or a traditional phone connected to a special adapter. Also, wireless ‘hotspot’ in locations such as airports, parks, and cafes allow you to connect to the Internet and may enable you to use VoIP service wirelessly.”
This definition clarifies the most crucial characteristic of this technology: it is 100% dependent on an Internet connection. It has become a popular way to implement office telephone systems versus other modalities you may have heard of, like PBX, enabling businesses to do much more than make and receive phone calls.
The pandemic forced many business procedures to go online and support remote workers. A top priority for companies of all sizes has been acquiring a better, faster, and more reliable Internet service to maintain their operations. If your company went through this recent change, it might be a good idea to look into a VoIP-based phone service for your offices.
You may have also heard the terms “virtual phone system” or “cloud-based phone system.” These are other ways to refer to technologies that send and accept calls from anywhere via the Internet. They combine VoIP for telephone systems, Cloud PBX for call routing and control, and other virtual communication tools that make it possible for people to work from anywhere at any time using video, chat, messaging, and voice calls.
What Kind Of Equipment Do You Need To Implement A VoIP Phone System?
At this point, you may be wondering if you need to invest a considerable amount of money in equipment to implement office telephone systems with VoIP technology. Depending on the phone provider you choose, your list might include more or fewer items or no items at all. There are two possible scenarios:
- Signing up for a provider that requires you to buy or rent special VoIP phones or adaptors for standard telephones.
- Choosing a provider that lets you work with the current devices you and your staff have (mobile phones, desktop computers, laptops) so you don’t have to buy or rent any equipment.
In both cases, and as mentioned above, you will need a contract with an Internet service provider (high-speed broadband) as the main requirement for the system to work.
VoIP Pros For Office Users
According to the recent study “VoIP Industry in the US – Market Research Report” by IBISWorld, “Social distancing requirements and stay-at-home orders have led many businesses to rapidly adopt remote working, increasing demand for industry services, particularly video conferencing.”
More specifically, the “Business VoIP Services – Global Market Trajectory & Analytics” study by the Research and Markets firm explains that “Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the global market for Business VoIP Services estimated at US$26.4 Billion in the year 2020, is projected to reach a revised size of US$31.9 Billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 2.8% over the period 2020-2027.”
With these data, the growth of this technology is unquestionable, and it is fair to assume that office telephone systems are part of the equation. Then, let’s review some of the advantages VoIP phones present for office users.
- Integration: Although this is not something all VoIP phone suppliers offer, this technology allows the integration of voice, text, video, fax, conferencing, and collaboration tools within a single platform. Some services may even add professional features, such as personalized greetings, automated attendants, and hold music.
- Device flexibility and portability: As we briefly discussed above, some companies may offer the advantage of using business-dedicated phone numbers on already existing devices. Personal or business-owned mobile phones, laptops, and desktop computers can quickly turn into your company’s office phone system in just a few clicks.
- Privacy: If your VoIP provider has a privacy feature, you can easily integrate your business number to your mobile phone, letting you keep your personal information safe and for families and friends only.
- Lower cost: The best supplier for this technology should make it easy to integrate many services into your current infrastructure, significantly lowering implementation costs. In addition to your Internet service provider bill, you will likely need to add a monthly fee to your operational costs for the VoIP office telephone system you choose.
VoIP Cons On Office Telephone Systems
Of course, nothing is perfect, and this technology is no exception. There are some downsides to choosing VoIP.
- Internet-dependent: This factor is a con, but it’s not a deal-breaker. Yes, the VoIP phone service depends on a stable Internet connection and proper bandwidth to work, but if the service is down, you can have a backup plan in place to make sure you and your staff have access to your office telephone systems. A good example is to have mobile phone contracts with data plans available. If the service is not entirely down but somehow unstable, you may occasionally experience voice delays or quality loss during calls.
- Power outages: These events may be rare or more frequent in both your area or the location of the phone provider. Make sure you work with a company that ensures service stability during power outages through a backup plan, such as a power plant.
- 911 access: The FCC warns that “Portable interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services can be used from virtually any internet connection anywhere, which raises challenges for the emergency services community in determining the location from which a 911 call has originated (…) accurate physical address to your interconnected VoIP service provider to ensure that emergency services can quickly be dispatched to your location. Be familiar with your VoIP service provider’s procedures for updating your address, and promptly update address information in the event of a change.”
With this assessment in mind, you are now ready to do some more in-depth research to find a convenient VoIP phone service supplier for your business.
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