Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) has become a go-to tech strategy for American business, for good reason. This “phone service over internet” system saves money while adding on benefits like video chats and dashboard administration. VOIP advantages are numerous. But is it the right thing for your business? Let’s take a look at the facts.
VOIP is growing exponentially around the world and especially in the United States. According to the latest numbers from Statista, US businesses installed 35 million VOIP between 2010 and 2018. By 2025, the market for VOIP is expected to nearly double, to $55 billion. (source Global Markets Insights, Inc.) Of that market, small and medium-sized (SMB) businesses will grow their share by more than 15 percent between now and then.
As an IT managed service provider working with smaller companies, we know the impact VOIP advantages can have on and SMB’s bottom line. Those advantages go far beyond just dollars and cents. VOIP can be the ideal platform for working remotely, too. At Integris, we offer our clients Ring Central, a complete communications platform that combines phone with internet, Microsoft Teams and Zoom calling, too. Check out how the advantages of VOIP can benefit your business.
The Four Ways VOIP Benefits Your Small Business
Small and medium sized companies have a dilemma. They need enterprise level tech tools, on a bootstrapped budget. Fortunately, with VOIP, you can have your proverbial cake and eat it, too. Why? Because the technology is cheaper, easier to install and far easier to maintain than its traditional land line counterparts. Thanks to its home on the internet, VOIP offers game changing capabilities. As the technology continues to mature, you can expect those capabilities to increase. Here’s what you can expect on a VOIP system:
VOIP Advantage #1: A company phone system that works at your desk, on your mobile, and in your home.
By using an internet connection to place and receive calls, you can free up your staff to be increasingly mobile. VoIP can achieve this because it utilizes both hardware and software technology that allows a phone call to be placed and sent using Internet Protocol or IP addresses. Your phone number, (555) 123-4567, is assigned an IP address, and that software doesn’t require you to be at a certain location or even have a single piece of hardware. Essentially, that software directs that phone call to your desk phone, your cell phone, and a softphone on your laptop. It can send it to all three at once, and whichever answers first gets that call. That frees up your workforce to be able to answer and make calls from their business line in the office, on the road, from their homes, or anywhere they have an internet connection.
VOIP Advantage #2: Pay Only for What You Use
Your friendly phone company won’t have to come to your office and drill holes in the walls to lay new lines. With computers are wired to the Internet, your phones simply plug right in. Both company issued or employee owned phones can be easily added to the company VOIP phone network through apps and permissions. From the convenience of their VOIP admin dashboard, company administrators can add or subtract employees from the phone system. You can add and subtract lines as you grow, and add or subtract features, too. Internet-enabled phones don’t require big upfront hardware investments.
VOIP Advantage #3: Lower Run Costs and Taxes than Landlines
The OpEx and CapEx for your business is greatly reduced with a VoIP phone system. Because the services are going over the internet, governments have historically not been successful at taxing these services heavily. Look at the taxes on your traditional phone bill and try not to squirm. This is one of the VoIP advantages businesses can really get behind.
Voip Advantage #4: Custom User Experience
With a VOIP system like Ring Central, employees can configure the phone’s services in a way that works best for them. They can designate, for instance, when and where they want their phone forwarded. For instance, employees can set up zoom backgrounds and out of office alerts. Your staff can customize their voicemail and schedule different voice messages for different dates or devices. And of course, they can add scheduled calls into their calendars and set meetings/video conferences with others. In short, they can get the full power of the network on all their devices. And that’s a huge productivity booster.
VOIP Disadvantages to Consider
While VOIP is an amazing tool, it’s not the right choice for every small business. For instance, if you run a small call center, you’ll need a VOIP solution that goes well beyond basic to keep up with your needs. Companies that transfer large amounts of data should also assess their needs more closely. Here’s some specific downsides you’ll need to assess before you can pull the trigger on a VOIP purchase.
Power Outages and Internet Reliability:
Because VoIP hardware requires power and VoIP software requires an internet connection, those are your two most significant points of failure. These can be accounted for if and redundancy can be put in place if you have a solid IT support company. If the ability to make and receive phone calls is a mission critical function of your business, you should consider adding a secondary internet source.
Any device that you have on your network that is connected to the internet is subject cyber security risk. Viruses, malware, ransomware and other threats can all be targeted through your phones. Make sure you have the right security measures in place to secure this technology if you are going to implement it at your business.
Your voice travels over the internet with VOIP. That voice data travels in “packets” or short bursts of information. Most of the time these packets flow smoothly. But occasionally, service can break up. The quality of VoIP it is reliant on the internet speed your business has in place. If you are a call center and want to switch to VoIP, you can add more internet bandwidth and ask your IT Support provider about quality of service (QoS).
Should Your Small Business Use VOIP?
Whether you should migrate to VOIP depends on the quality/size of your internet connections, the mobility needs of your workforce, and the savings internet calling can net you. You should also consider your current security measures, and how much a VOIP system could impact this.
If you are a small business and want to discuss VoIP advantages and disadvantages for your company, contact Integris. We can walk you through how some of our VOIP products like Ring Central can work for you.