Recently, Smart Business discussed the possibilities and evolution of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) with Alex Desberg, Sales and Marketing director at Ohio.net, covering what makes VoIP stand out among the rest, in what areas it may be sold short, how it can rise to meet any unique occasion and its very bright future.
So for starters, what are some things that make VoIP such an attractive option? VoIP technology has been quickly climbing the charts, and it seems its speedy claim to fame can be attributed to its ability to provide unprecedented insight and depth into work operations for added efficiency. With more timely reporting of how businesses’ phone systems are being used, they can enjoy so much more – from viewing an entire day’s worth of calling to examining how their employees are using the actual phone systems to seeing who called what number at what time instantaneously.
Desberg applies these advanced capabilities of VoIP to the retail sector, where “customers can incorporate this knowledge to integrate marketing into their phone service.” Let’s say you run a radio advertisement from 9 AM to 12 PM; utilizing a VoIP phone system can help you determine just how successful that ad campaign was by tallying how many calls arrived during that time. “The business is able to see a payoff in their advertising, which makes for good marketing decisions,” Desberg explains.
According to Desberg, some overlooked capabilities of VoIP include “the freedom of not being tied to a specific geographic location.” This geographic transparency might even top the list as most overlooked, he adds, saying, “sometimes we forget that VoIP-hosted phones can be unplugged and transported to any area with power and Internet access.” Working without needing traditional office infrastructure can provide your business with the flexible benefits it needs to reduce office size and therefore reduce overhead.
Another great thing about VoIP is its impressive ability to adapt to almost any request. “We are in the ‘what if’ business. If a customer comes to us with a request, we can accommodate it 99.9 percent of the time based on the huge amount of capabilities of our system,” Desberg says, citing one example as being able to transport or forward numbers as wished depending on the time of day. This elasticity can lie pretty parallel to VoIP’s flexible abilities.
So what could the future of VoIP look like? According to Desberg, that can be summed up in one word: virtualization. “So many customers are going virtual with their phone and computer systems. With virtualization, no one will have a static desk anymore. Everything will be traveling with you, whether it’s an iPad and a cellphone or hoteling, where you sit down at anybody’s desk, log in as yourself and all of your services come to that desk. This releases you from a single piece of equipment and enables you to access what you need from wherever you are.”
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Edited by Rich Steeves