VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) has become the leading technology for companies' telephony. In many cases, it is replacing on-site PBX (private branch exchange). If you have on-site PBX and you are considering upgrading, you might want to consider a VoIP system instead.
Here we’ll look at the benefits of VoIP to help you decide which is the best option for your organisation.
Hosted solutions using VoIP provide a number of benefits. That doesn’t mean they are always the best option, but it certainly makes them worth considering.
The main benefit is the lower costs involved in setting up VoIP. It is often a lot cheaper, especially for smaller businesses, because here is no need to invest in expensive hardware. VoIP does not require maintenance costs either because this is all taken care of by the VoIP provider.
You might not even need to buy any handsets because you could make calls from your computer or smartphone.
VoIP is also simpler to set up. Learning to use a PBX system takes time and resources. In contrast, VoIP is usually very simple to use, with very little training needed.
VoIP is convenient. You can typically get access to VoIP services with one monthly fee so you know exactly how much you are spending. This makes it easy to budget well into the future without the need to plan for unexpected costs.
It is also flexible and scalable. You can add more users when you want to, add new locations, and you can usually do it online or over the phone without the need to invest in new hardware.
VoIP can be useful if you have employees who work remotely from home or internationally. Not only is VoIP flexible because calls can be made from anywhere with internet access, but the costs of the calls, and especially international calls, are much lower.
Paul Reames from Bluecube Telecommunications says, "the greatest benefit of VoIP is that it allows for features that you could only previously get from an on-site PBX. Features like call-recording and call-queuing can now be used by even the smallest companies without the heavy investment of an on-site PBX. That’s where the real benefits of VoIP lie; letting small and medium businesses enjoy the features only large business previously could. Overall, VoIP is incredibly cheap in comparisons to PBX whilst delivering the exact same features. This means businesses get unbelievable cost savings without losing anything!"
Sandeep Kumar Aggarwal, CEO of Ska Management, sums this up nicely in saying "VoIP is the best option if you want a fast and easy set up within hours. Additionally in a smaller business, it may be much easier to go for VoIP. Much less maintenance costs, drastically easier set up, and people who are paid to help you! How much easier could it get?"
If you find a better deal, you can change providers with relative ease and you are never tied into anything beyond the length of any contract you sign up for.
Despite the benefits, VoIP is not always an automatic choice. PBX systems are also still popular for many reasons.
For example, larger companies often prefer to own a PBX system. These are often more expensive to get set up and have higher upfront costs for hardware and installation, as well as maintenance costs. But in return, you get full ownership. You purchase and own your system, which provides complete control and peace of mind. Your in-house IT team can also
customise it and manage your solution, and there is no monthly contract fee.
Analyse the costs and find out which will be the best option in the long-term for your organisation. In general, smaller businesses tend to go with VoIP while larger companies often prefer on-site PBX.
Merran J from Studio 42 Workspaces says: "We have had different members opt for a VOIP set up in their particular office. It seems you get what you pay for with VOIP and unfortunately with a cheap plan, though there are initial cost savings, in this case it cost them a lot of business. We discovered that the best way to go about VOIP is to have the one provider giving you internet access and a VOIP system, so they can diagnose problems at every point."
As Studio 42 Workspaces shows, it's important to get the right solution for your business. There is no right and wrong option when you are choosing your phone system. It’s true that VoIP provides many benefits, but that does not mean it is always the right choice. Weigh up the pros and cons for your own business, and take your time looking at different solutions so you can find the right product for your business.