What is VoIP? Why Do I Need It?

Unsure about the real advantages and impact having a business VoIP system makes to your company? Or not even entirely sure what VoIP means? Read ahead to receive an enlightening introduction to VoIP and discover the advantages with our 5 speedy bullet points.

So what is VoIP? Voice over Internet Protocol. Not exactly a catchy title, but definitely content that should grab your attention. A VoIP system simply lets you use your phone over your internet connection rather than using an ISDN line (a traditional phone line). What a lot of businesses still have, and what is arguably becoming antiquated, is having your PBX (private branch exchange) telephone system in the physical premises of the office. Today’s PBX services are slightly different as they do away with the hardware required on-site; rather, they shift the utility to a service provider- also known as the Cloud. Internet Telephone networks can do so much more than ordinary telephone networks- the business trend of the moment is to switch to VoIP, not only to cut costs but because it brings a myriad of benefits to the office.

  1. COST – The most attractive feature of a Voice over Internet Protocol system is the reduced cost. On a phone line, time is literally money as you will find yourself paying for each minute you spend communicating on the phone. On the other hand, a VoIP phone uses the internet rather than telephone network and thus the only cost you have is your monthly internet bill. On average, a VoIP system can save up to 40% of costs on local calls made, and this is as high as 90% on international ones. You don’t have to pay the rental charges for using an ISDN line, since VoIP runs on existing computer networks.
  2. FLEXIBILITY AND PORTABILITY – Businesses can retain telephone numbers of moving offices to another area, as with VoIP both geographic and non-geographic numbers can be delivered anywhere by porting numbers to a SIP provider. (SIP being a standard for voice and multimedia calls using the Internet and other computer networks in place of PSTN). We can even supply you with a mobile phone and a desktop app, meaning your numbers move with you.
  3. ABUNDANCE OF USEFUL AND INTERESTING FEATURES – VoIP brings new features that are useful to your business, including video calls and video conferencing, integrated collaboration tools such as messaging and presence, high def voice calls, etc. There is also the huge advantage of having disaster recovery features and business continuity. VoIP has the ability to be easily redirected, as in the event of something blocking an office from working, calls can be taken by another office. Phones can be taken home and used there, and even if the improbably happens and the office is, for example, struck by lightning or flooded, pre configured phones can be shipped immediately and plugged in to work anywhere exactly the same as they did in the office. Incoming phone calls are automatically routed to your VOIP phone where ever you plug it into the network. Take your business VOIP phone with you on a trip, and anywhere you connect it to the Internet, you can receive your incoming calls.
  4. SUPPORT – The service providers can offer more effective remote support since the major components of the system are located within their data centres. Maintenance tasks can be undertaken more regularly and without downtime, and as there is less infrastructure on-site, you have less to worry about in terms of unsafe cabling and annoying wires causing clutter.
  5. SECURITY AND COMPLIANCE – A VoIP call cannot be intercepted as easily as a PTSN call. PTSN wires can be tapped anywhere along their route whereas a VoIP call must be intercepted somewhere on the actual premises. This can typically be avoided as well through on-site security, encryption, design, etc. Caring about compliance is essential, and also catered for through the use of reputable VoIP suppliers who are FSA compliant and certified by Ofcom.

We hope that, after reading this, you may be able to understand the excitement surrounding VoIP and may even be looking to make the change yourself.

For more information, please do read these papers providing more in-depth analysis of the workings of Voice over Internet Protocol.

http://media.techtarget.com/searchNetworking/Content_Types/White_Paper/VoIPFundamentals.PDF – focusing on the comparisons between PSTN and VoIP

www.dummies.com/education/internet-basics/understanding-what-voip-means/ – a VoIP for dummies weblink

If you think business VoIP may be for you then don’t hesitate to get in touch via our contact form or call us on 01483 663366