VoIP is undoubtedly one of the most ground-breaking technologies of the last 25 years.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, enables reliable, high-quality phone service anywhere you have internet access. In other words, it eliminates the need to use landlines for real-time conversations.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the advantages of VoIP technology.
VoIP advantages for small businesses
Why is VoIP better? Here are several reasons why small business owners are embracing this technology to power their business communications:
By downloading the app of your business VoIP provider, you and your employees can communicate using existing devices, including desktops, smartphones and tablets – no traditional desk phones required.
VoIP phone systems don’t require you to pay for capacity that you don’t need. Instead, you can easily configure new phone lines on as your team grows. The process is so simple that there’s no need to bring in (and pay for) technical support.
Best-in-class VoIP providers offer all-inclusive pricing plans at a fixed monthly cost, which makes budget planning much easier. Features like unlimited long-distance calling are bundled in with a monthly plan, whereas with a traditional phone system these costs fluctuate from month to month.
Why VoIP is better today for small businesses
Although VoIP was commercialized over two decades ago, some business owners may be hesitant to make the jump. While VoIP experienced issues like any emerging technology in its early days, these have largely been resolved as it has matured.
For example, common assumption is that switching to a VOIP system means you have to switch numbers.
Understandably, businesses prefer to keep the numbers customers are accustomed to – and they can. Porting services make it easy to transfer existing numbers and preserve the connection to your customers
Some business owners believe business VoIP systems require a trade-off: lower costs for lower quality. While choppy voice and echoes were once common, this is no longer the case.
Best-in-class VoIP providers commit to providing the highest quality service and provide helpful tools and instructions to set up the ideal environment, such as how to configure router settings properly.
More than any other reason, there are three primary reasons small business choose VoIP:
Security and reliability of VoIP phone systems
For a time, business owners’ fears about a power outage taking down their VoIP phone system were justified. Today, however, leading providers encrypt VoIP service between network endpoints, ensuring a secure, reliable VoIP network.
This protects business communications from service disruptions of all kinds, including cyber-attacks, natural disasters and even power outages.
No hardware required
Cloud phone systems render costly visits from technicians a thing of the past. Unlike the traditional on-site equipment required to power conventional phone services, cloud phone systems cut the cord.
Because there’s no physical hardware required or telephone cables to install, your entire office can be up and running with VoIP phone services in 24 hours or less. In doing so, your team can freely communicate via physical SIP phones (i.e. use IP network to make calls instead of over telephone lines) or with any device, including smartphones, laptops and tablets, by downloading the app of the VoIP service provider.
Mobility and flexibility
Traditional phone services impose constraints on employees, especially since businesses don’t often follow a 9-to-5 schedule in the office. Because these services tend to tie a single phone number to a specific phone, employees who are not in the office for whatever reason (e.g., working from home, traveling, meeting with a customer) cannot access their business phone number.
With a cloud phone system, location doesn’t matter. As long as your employees have access to the internet and a computer or mobile device, they have access to their business number and can call, text, and fax as they please. They just need to download the app or log in to the VoIP service provider’s web portal, and they can start making and receiving calls and faxes on their business number from anywhere.
Affordable global communications phone service
As your business expands, the need to make long-distance and international calls can increase – and with it, your business communications costs. VoIP phone services can cost 68 percent less than traditional phone services, eliminating cost concerns over local, long-distance and international calls. Additionally, toll-free numbers typically have lower per minute charges with a cloud phone system than traditional telecom carriers.
This is a guest blog provided by Irina Kirnos, Product Marketing Manager, RingCentral.
Irina Kirnos is a Product Marketing Manager at RingCentral in EMEA. With experience in the cloud software and communication industry spanning Silicon Valley, Research Triangle Park and now London, she enjoys working collaboratively with global teams to develop product messaging and positioning, sales enablement and competitive differentiation. Irina grew up in San Francisco, California and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.