What is VoIP and how does it Work?
How do you know if VoIP is right for your business, and what is it exactly? VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, allows callers to place phone calls from almost anywhere using a broadband Internet connection. Rather than traditional analog phone lines, VoIP works by transferring voice signals over Internet lines and public/private data networks. VoIP calls can be placed using ordinary telephones, computers, or IP phones, depending on the service provider and consumer preference. VoIP calls are placed in the same way as traditional phone calls, just by picking up the phone and dialing a number. Softphones (Computer software programs that represent a phone) require a headset or a computer microphone to make calls. VoIP makes it possible to make local, long distance, and international calls to any phone number in the world, whether it’s a land-line, cell phone, or another VoIP user. VoIP calls are exactly like traditional phone calls, they just cost a lot less.
Business VoIP Users Enjoy Cost Savings, Increased Flexibility
Cost savings and increased productivity are the primary reasons that business owners switch to voip. Typical business VoIP telephone system plans offer a low, flat monthly rate for local and long-distance calling. Business VoIP telephone services offer a range of features and flexibility that appeal to small and medium-sized business owners. The scalability that VoIP offers is a great asset to small businesses that are growing, or conversely contracting, since it is simple to add and remove lines. Moving offices or adding users used to be complicated, but VoIP phone systems prove to be an effective solution, especially for those companies with multiple employees in different locations.
Features Increase Productivity and Streamline Communication
Business VoIP telephone plans typically provide features such as three-way calling, voice mail and caller ID, at no additional charge. However, additional VoIP-specific features actually make employees more productive.
These features include:
1) Voice mail and fax integration with your e-mail system,
2) Remote office accessibility that allow distributed offices to function seamlessly as part of the main office
3) Auto-attendant phone tree systems
4) Call forwarding to employees regardless of location, be it desk phone or mobile.
Although VoIP has many benefits, it may not be right for every business. Internet connection quality is of the utmost importance. High download and upload speeds are paramount to maintaining good call quality. Dial up is out of the question.
How to Make the Switch
Switching to business VoIP is simple. Costs continue to decline as equipment and service become more affordable, and more and more provider options are available. As always, it’s important to do your own research to find the service that works for your business.