Converting voice signals into digital information and using the internet as its medium of transmission, VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol provides a modern-age alternative to traditional systems of telephony.
And with support for legacy systems such as the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and integrated systems digital network (ISDN) being gradually phased out, businesses and individual consumers are having to look toward other options such as VoIP and its related technologies, to ensure fast and stable telecommunications that will carry them into the future.
But there's more to VoIP than just a fall-back option - much more. And in this article, we'll be looking at a number of key benefits of upgrading your existing telephone system to VoIP.
1. No Hardware or Infrastructure to Buy or Manage
With a hosted VoIP phone system, there's no clunky on-site infrastructure for you to buy, install, manage, or maintain. Furthermore with a hosted VoIP or hosted PBX solution, ongoing care of the core system becomes the responsibility of your VoIP service provider.
Depending on the host you choose, there may be some specific requirements regarding handsets and VoIP software - so before you decide, you should seek the guidance of expert consultants such as LG Networks.
2. Cheaper Call Rates
Unlike a traditional landline phone system which transmits voice communications via an analogue PBX or private branch exchange, VoIP calls are routed as digital data via the internet. So VoIP channels "packets" of voice data, do not require a dedicated phone line - one of the major cost factors in a traditional phone set-up.
And call rates for VoIP are considerably cheaper than those of a traditional phone system. Users on a particular VoIP network typically enjoy free calls to other subscribers on the same network (great for businesses), while long distance and international communications may be charged at close or equal to local call rates.
3. Enhanced Telephony Features
VoIP telephony systems offer a wealth of call and message-handling features, to extend the capabilities of users to enterprise levels. Call forwarding, waiting, and routing are just the basic capabilities of telecommunications solutions that can include voicemail to email transcription, presence panels, call recording and monitoring, Instant Messaging, video conferencing, business continuity, Disaster Recovery, and other functions.
4. Improved Message Management
Besides being able to transcribe voicemail messages into email text for you to read at your own convenience, VoIP systems also offer comprehensive tools for creating and managing messages of other kinds.
Chat and Instant Messaging (IM) tools may be combined with video, SMS text, and other message streams to enable real-time communications beyond voice. And VoIP telephony systems provide the software and tools required to easily manage your essential contacts.
5. Integrating Voice with Other Applications
Since VoIP data is interpreted just like any other information on the internet, it's possible to combine it with data streams from other applications, processes, and services. This means your VoIP telephone system may be easily integrated with office productivity software, news feeds, social media streams, and platforms such as Salesforce or an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
This leads not only to more streamlined and efficient operations, but also opens up the opportunities for Unified Communications or UC - a business communications ecosystem where voice telephony, messaging, and other systems may be used in conjunction with multimedia, web resources, and collaboration platforms.
6. Increased Corporate Presence
With technologies like Auto-Attendants (a kind of electronic receptionist service), Interactive Voice Response (IVR), conversational chatbots, and configurable call handling systems, a VoIP telephony platform enables you to present a consistent and professional aspect to your customers and supply chain partners at all times - even if your organisation is on a smaller scale.
Options to retain your existing business telephone numbers when you make the switch to VoIP, and to obtain additional numbers to cater for markets and consumer bases in specific areas (local area codes, free-phone or toll free numbers, and even international codes), enable you to extend the reach of your business, potentially across the globe.
7. Improved Customer Service
Having extended your reach with region or market-specific phone numbers and messaging systems, VoIP also empowers you to be available to your consumers round the clock, offering sales, services, and support. Call handling may be configured to route incoming calls to those members of your staff best qualified to deal with the issue at hand.
Integrating with Unified Communications resources can tie your phone system in with your points of presence across the internet - through the use of "click to dial" buttons on your websites and eCommerce portals, for example. And with the business continuity features that VoIP provides, all of your services can be offered on a 24/7/365 basis, if required.
Partnering with an organisation like LG Networks will ensure their expertise is available to you in installing and maintaining the network infrastructure needed to keep your business processes and supply chains up to the task of catering for all your customers.
8. Quicker Account Management and Provisioning
In a responsive business environment that places varying demands on your resources and expertise, a VoIP telephony system will give you the flexibility and speed necessary to manage and configure all the tools, features, and services to which you subscribe.
Account management and billing are typically handled via a simple software interface that's accessible through your data connection to the web. Lines may be added or removed as you require, and features allocated via the same administrative console. The process typically takes minutes, or even seconds.
9. Adaptability to Changing Circumstances
Besides managing your accounts, a VoIP platform also equips you for the longer term, with the power to adapt in response to changing market conditions, changes within your own organisation, and the effects of your environment.
The business continuity and Disaster Recovery (DR) capabilities of a VoIP platform can ensure that your communications network remains available to you and your customers, even in the face of power outages, network downtime, or the effects of natural and human-made disasters. This is typically accomplished by the automatic re-routing of incoming calls and messages to phone numbers and/or devices that you specify.
In terms of cost savings, a reduction in management and maintenance headaches, versatility, cutting edge features, and the ability to integrate with a host of office and web-based applications and platforms, VoIP telecommunications clearly has huge advantages over your existing telephone system.
If you're looking to upgrade to VoIP, or simply need advice or information about VoIP telephony and business data networks, contact the experts at LG Networks.