A basic guide to VoIP and its benefits

A basic guide to VoIP and its benefits

For well over a century, businesses have been relying on landline phones for their communication needs. Landlines enable reliable communication between organizations and their employees, partners, and customers. However, since the early 2000s, when internet connection speeds surged greatly, many companies have either supplemented or completely replaced their landline systems with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions.

What is VoIP?

A VoIP solution is a phone service that allows you to make and take calls using your internet connection. It encodes analog voice signals into digital signals known as packets in real time. These packets are then transmitted over the internet and other telephone networks, such as mobile services and traditional landlines, via a VoIP server.

What are the advantages of using VoIP?

If you’re on the fence on switching to a VoIP system, then the following business benefits may help you decide:

1. You can reduce your communication costs

The most visible benefit of migrating to a VoIP solution is reduced costs. Since VoIP calls take place over an internet connection, your company doesn’t need to maintain separate networks for data and phones. And while calls to landlines, mobile devices, and international numbers come with additional charges, these charges are significantly lower than with traditional telephony.

Moreover, since most VoIP systems today are fully managed and software-based, you don’t need to purchase specialized hardware. Not only do you cut back on upfront costs, but you also save on repairs, maintenance, and other associated costs.

2. You can leverage more call functionalities

Many companies also choose VoIP because even its most basic service plans are already packed with features such as:

  • Caller ID – Displays the caller’s name and phone number so you can opt to take, reject, block, or forward the call
  • Voicemail – Allows the caller to leave a message when no one takes their call
  • Call forwarding – Transfers the call to another device, number, or service so calls are answered
  • Music on hold – Lets callers who are put on hold listen to music
  • Three-way calling – Allows you to speak with two people at the same time

Most business-grade VoIP services include advanced features such as:

  • Audio and video conferencing – Allows people in different locations to hold meetings and even share information via tools like screen sharing and screen drawing
  • Find me/follow me – Lets you determine the path of incoming calls so that if a call to your primary device (e.g., desk phone) is unanswered, it is forwarded to your desired secondary device (e.g., smartphone) before failing over to voicemail
  • Auto-attendant – Takes calls and offers voice menu options to route calls to the right extension or person without the assistance of a live operator
  • Database integration – Integrates with your existing systems such as a customer relationship management app

3. You can make and take calls anywhere

Employees can use your company’s VoIP service wherever they are, as long as they have internet access and a device with a microphone and speaker. In other words, they can work from home, in another office location, while on the go, or even in another country. So even if they are physically apart from one another, staff can still work together and seamlessly transfer calls to another colleague without asking the caller to dial another number. They can also easily collaborate using VoIP’s audio and video conferencing capabilities.

4. You can easily set up and manage a VoIP solution

Unlike traditional landlines, most VoIP services are user-friendly and easy to install, configure, and maintain. With VoIP, staff can even use their existing devices (e.g., laptops and smartphones), so you don’t have to purchase desk phones to get started.

5. You can quickly scale up or down your VoIP service plan

With traditional landlines, you’ll need to ask your provider to install wired phone lines and desk phones when you want to add more users. However, when it’s time to downsize, you’ll likely get stuck with more landlines than you need.

In contrast, scaling up or down your VoIP solution is straightforward — there’s no physical installation required. You just have to click to increase or decrease the number of lines, numbers, and extensions so you can conveniently scale your VoIP system to meet your current needs.

When you avail Online Computers’ feature-rich VoIP solution, you can take advantage of all the aforementioned benefits without having to worry about management and maintenance. Contact us today to get started!

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