If you thought you had to rip out all your existing company telephone equipment and go on a spending spree to get VoIP, well, good news: You don’t.
That concern has, in fact, kept a number of small businesses from even considering VoIP -- “Yeah it’d be nice to save the money, but look at all the stuff we’re going to have to buy. Forget it.”
According to officials of Avad Technologies, with a switch to VoIP, “company telephone equipment doesn’t become obsolete. Although there are dedicated small business pbx systems, the system can be used with traditional telephones.”
And please, let’s put another silly myth to rest: You don’t have to work a VoIP phone any differently, just make a call the normal way. All your customers, vendors and other incoming callers can dial your number just like they did before -- hey, they won’t even know your phone system’s changed unless you tell them.
Avad officials mention their One Number Follow Me feature, which might interest small business owner/operators, since they can use it to specify who and when people reach them at which number.
But let’s be honest here, yes we’re in favor of VoIP, but it’s not perfect. Avad officials say there are limitations to VoIP systems you don’t have with traditional phones. Really the one major overriding one is the consistency of your Internet service. If your Internet connection goes down you lose your phone service as well, as Avad officials say.
And the Internet connection may have lag that isn’t noticeable in normal web surfing or downloading, but due to the vagaries of how information is sent over the Internet, what with packets and all that -- if you want the full geek on that it’s easy enough to find, don’t have time here, sorry. But it can make back-and-forth conversations slow and frustrating.
So many business services use kind of a hybrid system, where you keep a few phones connected to traditional phone lines, and the business VoIP phone automatically routes the calls to the best available one, Avad officials explain, according to the pre-configured rules. So when your Internet connection goes down you still get phone service.
Talk to the people at Avad, explain your needs, they can help you out.
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Chris DiMarco