What is VoIP?
In layman’s terms, VoIP is a cloud-hosted phone system that allows end-users to utilize the internet as the transmission medium to make and receive phone calls rather than the traditional hard phone lines. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), also called IP telephony, is a system and combination of technologies for the transmission of voice communications over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet. The terms Internet telephony, broadband telephony, and broadband phone service especially apply to the provisioning of communications services over the public Internet, rather than via the public switched telephone network (PSTN), also identified as plain old telephone service (POTS).
“VoIP transforms outgoing or incoming calls into a digital signal and sends it through the internet, converting it to a standard telephone signal to reach a non-VoIP number. This allows you to receive business calls on your mobile device. You can even make calls through your VoIP provider’s app on your smartphone—and you won’t have to worry about clients ignoring your call since their caller ID will register your business number instead of your number.” Source
Skype is the most common example of software that utilizes VoIP technology. If you’ve used Skype before, then you’re familiar with the ease of use, but might not be familiar with how it can change the way you do business.
Who Needs VoIP?
Anyone who needs to utilize their business phone number to make or receive calls, without being in the office physically. Anyone who wants the ability to pick up their phones and go work from anywhere that they can plug a CAT5 cable into a phone for internet connectivity.
When you switch over to VoIP you can get crystal voice quality. Not only are you paying for a less expensive product, but you’re also receiving a better one in its place. For businesses that do work over the phone or have customer service as a component of what they provide, this is a no-brainer. Understanding and hearing what is being said probably, within and without your business is paramount, but you don’t need us to tell you that.
If the deal could not get better, you were wrong. Because VoIP is more reliable than traditional phone services. “If your phone service goes down, you can’t do anything but sit around until it’s fixed. With VoIP, you can still get online through personal mobile phone connections or alternate Internet connections. It’s also much easier to solve a problem with a VoIP system (software), compared to phone lines, which could take hours or days to fix.” Source
Time is money, and saving time is saving money. A business shouldn’t stop because of a faulty phone-line, and VOIP gives you multiple avenues for trouble-shooting if your internet goes down. Self-manage the system using your smart device and repurpose or change lines at any time through your app on your computer or smartphone, allowing you to have complete control over your system.
Now that we’ve covered the reasons why VoIP can be better than traditional phone systems, we should talk about a few of the features that come with it. Other systems can require a great deal of set-up and subscriptions to get working. VoIP phone features like call waiting, auto-attendant, instant video calling, conference calling, call queues, call routing, and analytics & monitoring tools.
“Yes, VoIP lets you make calls. It also lets you easily set up video conferences and share files. You can also integrate popular applications like Microsoft Office, SalesForce, and Google applications, although it depends on your provider.” Source
If these features sound attractive, then you might be in the market for VoIP.
VoIP in the Office
It works just like hard lines. There is typically reduced cost, more flexibility, and more functionality.
One of the first major differences between VoIP and other systems is that proprietary hardware is not required.
With most phone systems, there is a large amount of infrastructure that needs to be set up before a system can be put in place. With VoIP, if you have a decent wi-fi connection, then you have your foundation more or less in place. Depending on the kind of VoIP you go with, there may need to be a house-call, but it wouldn’t take long.
Using laptops or smartphones is ordinarily the way to go, and most companies already have that in place.
VoIP for Remote
The amazing thing about these features is that they work even when workers are remote.
Because it’s based on an application not on a physical system, you can be a remote worker and still be in a VoIP system. With the current state of the world, it’s becoming more and more valuable to be able to work from home safely. However, you don’t want to give up any functionality. With VoIP, it’s even easier to work from home or on the go.
The mobility alone can be a draw for many businesses, as they’re dealing with remote workers more and more, and with the recent economic downturn, affordability is even more important for many businesses. VoIP operates the same as it does within the office and external callers are completely unaware that the VoIP user is not physically in the office.
VoIP for remote is a huge reason for utilizing a VoIP phone system, as it gets rid of complicated transition processes when you need to go mobile or you’re on a business trip.
How to get started with VoIP
Consult with CNI on your network set up to be sure it is in good shape for a VOIP system. Invest in a good VoIP system, invest in good VoIP phones, be sure you have good support for VoIP system.
Be sure the onboarding process of the VoIP phone system is laid out step by step by the provider to include: porting of phone numbers timeline, SIP provider information, support information, backup policies for VoIP system, system configuration, system limitations, and flexibilities. We’re here to help.