Before upgrading to VoIP from a more traditional business phone system, companies should know the advantages and disadvantages of business VoIP. No new technology is free from some disadvantages.
The same applies to VoIP, although the benefits far outweigh the negatives. However, the few drawbacks may be relevant to some business organizations, and companies should take them into account when implementing VoIP.
Business VoIP Advantages
Business VoIP services provide transparent access to an organization’s phone system from anywhere, to all its employees. Sometimes users are at home, working in remote locations. VoIP allows these workers to use any device they have with the same number as their work number, thus protecting their privacy and providing a professional image to all callers.
Since VoIP is not tied to a particular location or prefix, not only does it eliminate long distance charges for calls within the same office, but also the phone can be used from the location where the employee is working that day.
Lower maintenance cost
Business users of cloud VoIP services do not have to worry about maintenance, repairs or upgrades. This means they don’t have to hire consultants or full-time employees just to manage the phone system.
Even organizations using local solutions with SIP trunks can be freed from the hassle associated with maintaining two different networks, since VoIP allows them to route phone calls over the same network they use to send files or emails.
All companies seek to reduce costs in an effort to remain profitable. VoIP allows companies to achieve just that:
- The elimination of call charges between employees of the same company, even if they are in different offices.
- Lower cost per call, for both local and long distance calls.
- Providing unlimited calls for a fixed monthly price according to the chosen rate.
Integration with other business applications
Companies have realized that keeping information in watertight compartments is wasting its potential. This is why software and applications that share data freely have become more valuable than those that keep it locked away.
The same applies to the company’s telephone system. Many VoIP providers are offering integration with business applications such as CRM to make it easier for employees to use and exchange data.
Improving productivity and response time
VoIP offers many advanced features such as visual voicemail, digital fax and group inboxes that enhance productivity. For example, faxes can be sent in the same way as writing an email, eliminating the need for the user to go to the fax machine to send or receive a fax.
These features also eliminate the delay in answering customer calls, support requests or other questions. Sales department customer voicemails can be sent to a group inbox to be answered by any employee who is available at the time.
Disadvantages of VoIP
The biggest drawback of VoIP is that organizations need a high-speed Internet connection at all times. If the Internet is disconnected for any reason, the phone system will stop working.
Most organizations have backups in case this happens, but at least for now, companies operating in locations without reliable Internet access should not implement VoIP.
Another drawback is that power is required to operate IP phones, making them less useful in the event of a disaster. Organizations often connect their phones to the backup power supply and can be used until their battery runs out.
As you can see, these are not insurmountable obstacles and many organizations manage to get around them. Overall, business VoIP has many advantages for any organization.