Using voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in a business context offers a range of benefits over traditional phone lines. The ability to call a number online not only costs less than but is also more reliable and easier to upgrade.
Virtual phone services (possible service options can be found at Hottelecom) are quickly becoming the best option for dealing with calls in the business world. However, before your business makes the jump to VoIP, make sure your current infrastructure can handle the switch. Below are some tips and tricks, along with some general advice on using VoIP in a business context.
VoIP relies on a solid internet connection
It goes without saying that a business will have an internet connection, but that doesn’t mean it’s capable of handling VoIP. Installing a system of virtual phone numbers understandably can put a lot of strain on the business’s internet services, so it’s important to ensure it’s up to the task. Internet connections at businesses already handle plenty of data, and VoIP will only increase this.
VoIP requires a high-speed broadband connection to work properly. Many VoIP providers offer package upgrades for things like video calls, so you’ll want a good internet connection to be able to take advantage of this.
Be sure to do plenty of research
It’s important to consider what you want to get from a VoIP network, and how it can be used in your existing system. Think about how many employees will be using the network, and therefore how many virtual phone numbers you’d need or how many calls will be made during peak hours.
VoIP is a cloud-based system and is managed by an external company. When you switch to virtual phone services, these companies will offer different sized packages, so consider which one will be right for your business. For example, a small business would benefit from choosing a smaller package of a few thousand monthly minutes, whereas a larger company would need considerably more.
Consider how you’d benefit from its scalability
One of the biggest benefits of virtual phone services is that the system can be easily upgraded in the future. Similarly, there are plenty of options for customizing the system, including both cloud-based and on-site virtualphone systems. However, it’s likely that most businesses will opt for hosted (cloud-based) services because they’re maintained by an external company.
A virtual business phone number system is a good idea for small businesses and startups because it’s really easy to upgrade in the future. VoIP systems are compatible across a wide range of hardware, and so can be added to as the business grows instead of overhauling completely like traditional phone lines.
VoIP is simple to use with your current telephone system
Along with being scalable, VoIP numbers are easily integrated into your current telephone systems. For example, virtual phone numbers can be used within apps like Outlook and can also offer remote voicemail functions. VoIP is also compatible with many other computer services, and so also streamlines many business functions.
Similarly, companies don’t need to completely upgrade their telephone systems when installing VoIP. You can still call a number online from an analog phone because your VoIP provider will offer analog to digital converters, making it incredibly easy to integrate into the existing infrastructure.
VoIP is managed by an external company
The more popular option for VoIP services is hosted. Rather than employing an IT to come and maintain your virtual phone services, you allow an external company to do it. This means they will host your virtual business phone number, along with managing upgrades and maintenance. Regardless of your business size, this is a welcome relief from costly and sometimes tedious maintenance services.
Not only does this mean you save on costs and productivity, it also means your business has a dedicated team of experts on hand if anything does go wrong. Although VoIP systems are less prone to issues than traditional phone lines, it’s reassuring to know that any problems will be handled by the hosting team.
VoIP is more cost-effective
Businesses are always looking to streamline processes and reduce costs, and telephone services are often overlooked because until fairly recently there hasn’t been an option to upgrade them. However, that changed with virtual phone services, which offer a much more cost-effective option than traditional landlines.
The biggest cost advantage is that you only need an internet connection and a subscription to a VoIP hosting service. They’ll provide your business with all the necessary virtual numbers, and so you don’t have to pay for an additional landline connection. This alone has the potential to save businesses a surprising amount of money. Another obvious benefit is that you don’t need to invest lots of money in making the switch, as VoIP numbers can be used on existing infrastructure.
VoIP offers plenty of call services
There’s no reason to assume virtual phone services can’t offer all the benefits a business might receive on their existing system. For example, VoIP still offer things like conference calls and automated menus, but some providers also offer deals on video conferencing features too.
Another service offered by VoIP is portability. Once you get a number online it can effectively connect to any device with an internet connection, whether this is at the office or elsewhere. Cloud-based services offer the ability to divert calls to people wherever they are, which is ideal for companies whose workers are often out of the office.
Upgrading to VoIP services seems like an obvious move for almost any business. Not only can virtual phone services be integrated into existing hardware and software with very little issue, it works out being cheaper as a result. Similarly, it offers a future-proof telephone system because it can be easily scaled as your business grows.
That said, make sure your business has a good enough connection to get the most from a virtual business phone number. It’s also worth considering exactly what it is you’ll need so you can get the most from it.