Voice over Internet Protocol is a communications technology that enables users to make, as well as receive, calls over the internet. Simply put, it works by converting sound into digital packets of information so that it can be transmitted via internet broadband. With VoIP, conversations are possible anywhere as long as internet is available.
Referred to by many as internet telephony, VoIP has become a widely used technology in recent years, especially for small- and medium-sized companies in the UK. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the key advantages of hosted VoIP technology.
7 Benefits of VoIP for SMEs
It’s easy to set up, manage and maintain
Traditional phone lines can be difficult to set up and maintain, not to mention that they can come with a notoriously high price tag. VoIP, on the other hand, is relatively easy to install, configure and maintain – even for individuals who aren’t exactly what you would call tech savvy.
There are VoIP software solutions and web browser options that can make managing the system much easier, especially when adding new users. Web portals also make adding, moving, and changing system configurations simpler and more convenient. You can find our recommendation of the best and easiest VoIP providers here.
It increases flexibility and mobility for users
VoIP technology allows users to integrate a wide variety of software systems, such as remote conferencing, file sharing and email, which can be great assets as it increases the flexibility of your users.
It’s easy to see how this kind of flexibility and mobility provides a huge advantage for users who are always on the go, particularly corporate staff who travel frequently. And since long distance calls via VoIP is relatively cheaper compared to traditional landline or cellular phone calls, it’s also a great money saver.
It can limit company expenses
Setting up traditional lines within a facility can be a costly endeavor. Setting up and managing a VoIP system, on the other hand, is comparatively cheaper. Here’s a list of budget-friendly VoIP alternatives to Skype.
In addition, calls between two or more PCs – over the internet – are generally free. This means that communication between various colleagues and departments will not cost the company any money, as long as it’s done via your VoIP service. Calls done from PC to landline can however have a cost attached to them, but the rates are significantly lower compared to traditional cell phone or landline phones.
It can be scaled to meet demand
It’s not easy to determine how many phone lines you’ll need, especially not when you’re still growing as a company. When you’re adding more personnel, more offices, or creating new departments, you will need to constantly ensure that your communications system is up to date.
A VoIP solution does not require additionally expenses, whether you’re adding or removing users. With this system, you can add a new line as soon as you add a new staff member. And when an employee leaves or transfers, you can just as easily reassign the existing line or remove it completely. You can easily and conveniently scale the VoIP system to meet your needs.
It can enable SMEs to compete with bigger companies
There are plenty of things a company must do in order to compete effectively with bigger, more established organisations. And having an efficient and cost-effective communication solution is one of them.
VoIP offers a functionality that enables users to manage internal and external communications in a more cost-effective and practical way. SMEs will be able to communicate with prospective clients at little to no financial cost, talk to partners and customers through long distances, and compete with businesses on an international level.
It helps to increase staff productivity
VoIP technology can help improve the productivity of everyone in your organisation, from executives to directors. Your VoIP system will provide users with the ability to host virtual meetings, conduct international phone conferences at very little cost, attach important company documents and share significant data through video conferencing.
In recent years, VoIP technology has advanced significantly – especially in terms of voice clarity, so that it has become virtually indistinguishable from more traditional phone conversations. The earlier versions of VoIP often produced distorted phone calls, dropped calls, and lagging transmissions. This is no longer the case, however. This is why VoIP has become more appealing to SMEs and organizations around the world.
It comes with a wide range of call features
There are a myriad of call features that users have come to expect from traditional phone lines. These same features are also available with hosted Voice over Internet Protocol systems, including call transfer, call hold, call forwarding, call hunt, auto-attendant phone menus, conference calling, and more.
Of course, your company still need to find the right hosted VoIP service to get the features and capabilities that your organisation require. However, the bottom line is that you won’t sacrifice anything, in terms of modern call features, when opting for a hosted VoIP feature.
What are the disadvantages of VoIP?
There are plenty of advantages to using VoIP for your business. However, there are a few disadvantages that you might want to consider, as well. Let’s take a closer look.
No internet, no VoIP
This is the most obvious disadvantage of using VoIP solutions. In order for the solution to work perfectly, it requires a stable internet connection with sufficient bandwidth. If your internet connection is unreliable, you might benefit from more traditional phone lines.
Latency issues can be a concern
Due to the bandwidth requirements of VoIP solutions, users may sometimes experience lagging, delays, or dropped calls. This is mainly because packets of data need time to assemble and reassemble for a smooth and effective call to be made.
The bright side, however, is that VoIP technology is constantly advancing. And as data algorithms become more sophisticated, these problems will slowly become obsolete.
Power interruptions could disrupt VoIP communications
When using a VoIP system, power outages could mean the loss of internet connection and the use of your internet telephony. Naturally, power interruptions can be a minor issue if it rarely occurs and the outages are short. However, it’s a different story of the outage is more frequent, or it stays out for longer periods.
In case of emergencies, authorities and emergency services can find it challenging to trace calls to a VoIP system. Because of these reasons, the majority of companies will make it a point to maintain at least one traditional phone line so communications can be maintained in the event of a power outage.
Finding Your Next VoIP Provider
The majority of SMEs agree that the advantages of using VoIP technology far outweigh the disadvantages, especially in today’s highly competitive business landscape. The disadvantages are few, and they can easily be remedied through research and common sense. The benefits of VoIP, however, cannot be ignored.
The key to VoIP success is finding the right service provider. Are you looking to get your VoIP project underway? Our experts here at YourShortlist can provide you with a shortlist of suitable VoIP partners for your business. Our service is completely non-chargeable, and there’s no obligation to proceed with our selected vendors. So, what are you waiting for?