For nearly a third of businesses, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is instrumental in day-to-day operations. This service replaces on-premise networks and supplements mobile phone plans by allowing employees to make calls over an internet connection. In this article, we explore the advantages and disadvantages of VoIP to help you determine whether this advanced and helpful system is right for your business.
VoIP is a technology that allows users to make calls using an internet connection in lieu of a hardwired phone line. Also known as Voice over IP, IP telephony, or internet telephony, this system operates by changing analog voice calls into data that travels over an internet or intranet connection. In addition to voice calls, VoIP programs often allow users to make video calls, chat via instant messaging services, and share files.
Advantages of VoIP
Users of VoIP often enjoy the agility and convenience that come with internet-based calling. In addition to these basic advantages, VoIP also provides business users with the following benefits:
Reduced Telecom Expenses
Switching to a VoIP system can save upwards of 50% over an on-premises phone system. Here are a few reasons why VoIP can significantly help cut initial and ongoing costs:
- Businesses that opt for VoIP Service can leverage their existing internet connection that is utilized for their daily business operations.
- The initial system set-up is not labor-intensive because a VoIP phone can take advantage of existing Ethernet cabling.
- Per minute charges for domestic and international VoIP calls have dramatically decreased over time. In fact, many VoIP Providers now simply include ‘unlimited calling’ in their monthly recurring charges.
- Although clients can initially purchase the necessary IP phone sets and network equipment, many VoIP Providers offer leasing to spread the financial burden over a longer period of time.
Range of Features
IT administrators and business owners agree that the benefits provided by internet calling vastly outpace those offered by on-premise solutions. Users are able to easily forward calls, block unwanted communications, translate voicemail, leverage automatic call distribution, and utilize interactive voice recognition features. Further, all of this can be managed remotely, which is helpful for any IT managers or Managed IT Services Providers (MSPs) that assist with your company’s IT needs.
Potential for Collaboration
VoIP helps employees and managers collaborate from anywhere in the world (as long as they have an internet connection) without any additional costs. Further, the services typically offered by VoIP applications provide many different ways for employees to collaborate. The most useful aspects of VoIP include:
- Voice Calling
- Video Calling
- Instant Messaging
- File Sharing
- Web Conferencing
In addition to increasing opportunities for collaboration, VoIP offers a significant potential for increased flexibility and employee productivity. For example, when COVID-19 required nationwide lockdowns, offices who exclusively relied on landline networks were unable to utilize their communications channels effectively. VoIP allows employees to take and make calls from anywhere with the same number, allowing them to work from home or on-the-go.
Disadvantages of VoIP
While VoIP is popular due to its range of benefits, it also has some drawbacks that can be exacerbated by insufficient technology or poor internet connectivity. Here are some of the challenges that can arise with VoIP:
As to be expected, the quality and reliability of VoIP audio and video are highly dependent on the accompanying internet connection. If a user has a poor connection or faulty hardware, VoIP will not measure up to the quality of a landline.
If your company has limited bandwidth or if your internet goes down, VoIP services will be slow or unavailable. Businesses can avoid this pitfall by ensuring that they have a robust internet solution and a backup plan for unexpected downtime.
Because VoIP is web-based, information transmitted over an online connection incurs the same risk as other data on the internet. Major concerns for VoIP clients include identity theft, malware, ransomware, and phishing. Working with an MSP like Qnectus can ensure your company is as secure as possible from cyberthreats.
Although VoIP generally provides businesses with significant cost savings, there are some instances where surprise costs can arise. For example, if you use VoIP to phone another party who is not using VoIP, you may incur an additional fee.
If you are looking for a robust, cost-effective telecommunications solution, VoIP has the potential to revolutionize your company’s flexibility and productivity. Anyone considering using VoIP, however, should conduct an IT assessment to ensure that their company’s internet and IT infrastructure is robust enough to handle the requirements of this useful service. To learn more about VoIP, start a conversation with Qnectus today.