What is VoIP?
Even if you have never heard of VoIP, you may already be using it.
VoIP – voice over internet protocol – is generally used to refer to a method of transmitting voice and multimedia communication via data packet from one user to another. Whereas regular landline or cellphones use satellite, cell or landline towers, VoIP calls use the internet.
There are two types of VoIP:
1. geared toward the everyday consumer, and
2. intended for business use.
Everyday consumers use VoIP when utilizing applications like FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, WeChat, and the like.
Businesses typically use VoIP as their office phone system. In this case, VoIP comes with more advanced features like screen-sharing, HD voice, call recording, enhanced caller ID, mobile apps, softphones, and call forwarding.
Why Businesses use VoIP?
One reason businesses are transitioning to VoIP is that it can be cost-effective and flexible.
It can be cost-effective in that it allows businesses and professionals to transition to work-from-home models that require less financial resources. In some cases, it allows for a business to eliminate its office space altogether – saving on rent, utilities, etc.
Like anything else, there are downsides to using a VoIP phone system. Take these items into consideration before purchasing a VoIP phone system:
1. VoIP is an internet-based service that depends on good internet.
A weaker internet connection will significantly impact the use of your business technology, including your VoIP phone system. If your internet is down due to an outage, you will not have incoming calls or use of your phones, along with no Wi-Fi or internet connection.
Solution: Increasing your internet and data speed will improve your usage; however, faster internet does typically mean a price increase.
2. Using your VoIP phone at your home office does require adequate internet speeds and business grade equipment.
Example: Everyone is working from home — and kids have their classes on Zoom — and someone else is streaming a video game. This much simultaneous usage takes a toll on your internet speeds, thus limiting your connections for your home office phone.
Solution: Invest in the setup of your home office, including business grade routers and switches, upgrading internet speeds, and evaluating configuration of devices. Not only does this create an effective network but add layers of security for your business.
3. Unlike analog landline and cell services, VoIP transmit communication through digital data packets on the internet. That means you’ll have to pay extra attention to how your data privacy and security are being handled by different companies.
Solution: Work with your IT partner to determine if your business is ready for a VoIP solution.
Is VoIP Right for You?
VoIP might be a good solution for your business if you have a solid internet connection, and business grade equipment. Additionally, if you need flexibility to use phones outside of the office, VoIP is a viable option.
Your employees can easily take their work phone and plug it in at home. It works just the same as it does in the office – answering incoming calls, call appearance, internal dialing, and more. VoIP also has the option for mobile apps and softphones, meaning you can answer a call on your cell when necessary or desktop computer.
VoIP – voice over internet protocol – is a term that is not frequently used in everyday conversations. However, it is an important topic to discuss with your IT partner. It may be the exact solution you need to help your business grow and thrive.