In this modern Internet era, it’s hard to believe there are still businesses relying on landlines to service their communications needs. The cons on the checklist of landlines are growing as we push toward an IP-centric society, with landlines becoming more expensive and completely inconvenient for business functions. While switching to VoIP is a sound, financial investment, businesses should consider their needs before moving ahead with a provider to ensure they’re getting what they need and only paying for what will be used.
Is it cost-effective?
In a word, yes, but not all systems are created equal. Overall, it can save almost half of the traditional phone bills, and sometimes more. For start ups and small businesses the savings can translate into more money on the bottom line. Ask potential providers about set-up costs, included features, and so on.
Is it mobile?
We live in a mobile society, and for businesses that means having several people out in the field working from their devices. Modern businesses need a mobile option to help their workforces on the go, so it’s good to ask about how VoIP providers can service your remote employees. Most services are available on current smartphones and other mobile devices so small businesses can save on overhead. VoIP expands the call cost advantages of a VoIP business phone system to the mobile handset. Staff can make calls from their mobile phone as if they were sitting at a traditional workstation without incurring excess mobile charges.
Is it secure?
Some telecom decision-makers feel that VoIP is insecure, but the truth of the matter is there are plenty of sophisticated defense measures like firewalls, redundancy and encryption to ensure solid, reliable security. Ask providers about their security measures to protect yourself and your company.
Hosted or on-premises?
Nowadays, you don’t have to choose to host your own system in-house. For many businesses of all sizes, hosted VoIP is a sound choice. In a hosted model, the business only needs to make a nominal investment in telephone sets that are compatible with VoIP, and does not have to worry about operating, maintaining or upgrading their network to support VoIP. A premises-based system is located at the customer site, meaning that the customer has acquired the equipment and decided to make an investment in its workforce to manage and operate it. This is a good choice for businesses with a larger budget that also wish to have everything in-house.
The bottom line is VoIP is efficient; VoIP services include mechanisms for forwarding voicemail to e-mail and other features used in a unified system. If you’re ready to make the switch, figure out your wants and needs, come up with a budget and the right provider can help you take advantage of this cost-saving technology.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson