First, what is VoIP?
You’ve probably heard of Skype®. When people hear “Voice over IP (VoIP),” they often think “Skype.” This is true to some extent, but it’s also quite deceptive. Skype is an excellent tool for allowing people all over the world to connect easily and quickly; however, when looking at VoIP technology for replacing traditional PBX business phone systems, the differences are significant.
While Skype is designed to provide video, phone, and international reach to the consumer population, business VoIP phone systems are designed to meet the daily need to communicate with employees, customers, and vendors, and provide an alternative to proprietary traditional business phone systems.
So what exactly is VoIP?
VoIP technology integrates telephones with the power of the internet. No longer do you need to purchase dedicated lines (or bandwidth) for your phones, as well as separate bandwidth for your internet needs. Instead of separation of service and duplication of cost, you can have all communications – both Voice and Data – using the same pathway. This better utilizes bandwidth and eliminates the need to spend money on dedicated phone lines.
Back in the day, phone companies had literal, copper wires that were manually linked together in order to connect a phone call. (Hence, the Operator.) Time has changed things, and now super-miniature wires are virtually connected.
And then there is VoIP.
Instead of using phone wires, VoIP locks onto the internet bandwidth already in use, placing calls through open source protocols used by many applications (such as SIP, RTP, HTTPS, etc.) to communicate with the equipment and end points. And, like Skype, companies that adopt VoIP business phone solutions can communicate with anyone, regardless of whether the other party is also using VoIP.
The primary draw of VoIP for many companies is this sustainable simplification. It allows them to eliminate multiple communication methods (and costs) coming into and out of their buildings, by allowing them to use their data bandwidth for multiple services.
Not only is VoIP the “going green” of phone technology, if you will, as it uses one resource efficiently instead of partially using multiple resources, but it also offers all the features a normal phone company would offer, and more.
VoIP is amazing technology, ready to revolutionize your organization. However, VoIP is not right for everyone.
Is VoIP right for me?
VoIP is faster, more reliable, and more cost efficient than traditional phone plans, so let’s break this down to see if VoIP could be right for you.
1) VoIP is about protecting your investment.
Legacy phone systems cost thousands of dollars to implement. You have to purchase all the equipment through the specific phone system provider, and that equipment is only compatible with their software. This enables the phone system company to overcharge, requires you to replace any broken devices with their products, and leaves you with nothing if you leave the company’s service.
If you spend $20,000 setting up a phone system, only to discover that the purchased solution is awful and you can’t run a business on the service they’re providing, you’ll have to start from scratch. All that hardware you bought is useless with any other phone system. You’ll have to find a whole new system: new phones, new PBX, new everything. It gets expensive.
But with VoIP, it’s a different story.
Here’s what we mean: Let’s say you decide to give VoIP a try. It’s a subscription-based service, so there are no high, up-front fees; there’s just a low monthly cost, which includes some hardware. You choose what devices (i.e. phones, headsets, and other hardware) you want to buy. As long as it’s a protocol compatible device, you can purchase it from any manufacturer/provider. What if you decide you don’t like your VoIP provider? No big deal. If you’re using VoIP, you can find another provider and continue to use the same phones you’ve already purchased.
It’s about protecting your investments. If that’s important to you, then VoIP may be your solution.
2) VoIP is a subscription-based service, which can save money.
It’s not purchasing a phone system (PBX); it is subscribing to a service which provides communication uptime and continuous enhancements to service. This cloud-based service provides the physical hardware and software required for the traditional PBX operations of a phone system, thus eliminating a significant up-front expense for your company.
With VoIP, you pay a low, monthly fee, which enables you to use the VoIP software and hardware provided. You don’t need traditional phone lines or systems, but you do need to connect the hardware to a software, which allows it to run. When you subscribe to a VoIP service, that intelligent software provided on a monthly basis, and continues to evolve with technology, rather than staying static after it is purchased.
If you want to potentially save money through the ability to reuse hand sets, the ability to receive new technology updates without replacing your system, and the elimination of phone lines, VoIP may be your solution.
3) VoIP is an internet-based service.
This is the one, main reason why VoIP may not be the best solution for everyone. Whether VoIP will work well for you, is primarily a factor of the quality and reliability of your internet connection. If you are not sure if your internet connection is reliable enough, let us know, and we would be glad to meet with you and discuss whether VoIP would be a good fit.
Even if you have tried VoIP previously, or feel your internet lines are not “good enough,” check with us at EXEControl Global Solutions. We have specialized bandwidth shaping technology that allows for high voice quality even over poorer connections. In fact, this technology can take a voice conversation that was impossible to understand and make it crystal clear.
That being said, if you already have a high quality and highly reliable internet connection, then VoIP is probably a great option for your business, because it allows you to use what you are already paying for instead of having to pay to bring additional services and connections into your building. It increases the percentage of your resources that are utilized.
All in all, VoIP is faster, more reliable, provides complimentary bonus features, and may cost less than traditional phone plans!
If you feel that VoIP is right for you, then your next step is choosing a VoIP provider. So we would like to pose this question: How is EXEControl Global Solutions the right VoIP provider for you?
Using EXEControl Global Solution’s VoIP phone system has allowed us to bring our outside salespeople into our phone system, tie all phone systems at all facilities into one larger system, integrate web and Outlook direct dialing and much more while reducing our monthly phone expense. I would highly recommend the solution to all companies.B. Cook