As we mentioned in our previous post, one of the main facets of unified communications is voice and video calling, specifically VoIP. If that term is unfamiliar to you, it simply means “voice over internet protocol.” However, VoIP isn’t just a way of setting up your business telephone system to operate over the internet instead of a traditional landline. In actuality, VoIP can take many forms, and it’s important to recognize the different ways that VoIP can fit into your UC infrastructure so you can make the best choices for your business.
The biggest differentiator between VoIP systems is how they connect your phone to a call network. Legacy systems rely on your existing landline setup to connect your phone system. This approach offers users the more critical features, such as calling and conferencing abilities, without necessarily having to upgrade your entire communications infrastructure.
For many businesses who rely heavily on these phone essentials, connecting a VoIP system by utilizing an existing landline can provide users with all of the connectivity that they need, without having to invest in additional features that might not be utilized. With these traditional setups, businesses won’t always have access to the latest and more cutting-edge technologies available through other VoIP setups, but if those are necessary to business operations, then this can be a cost-effective way to establish a VoIP system while utilizing your existing technology.
Another option for connecting VoIP systems is by connecting your phone to a call network via the internet. With the growing popularity of remote work and hybrid workplaces, this option offers more versatility for workers regardless of where they’re located, and it also provides additional options like messaging and collaboration tools that you won’t necessarily find in a traditional landline-connected system. While having these feature can make this form of VoIP attractive to many businesses, it can involve some additional infrastructure reconfiguration depending on your current phone setup, and unless these additional communication and collaboration features are essential for your daily business operations, the costs of implementing this kind of a VoIP system might outweigh the benefits.
Additionally, there are now VoIP options that operate in the cloud, which can be a great option for companies that are looking to downsize their current office space or implement a VoIP system that isn’t reliant on desktop phone systems. By utilizing the cloud, VoIP systems are often managed by the cloud provider, and require significantly less hardware and infrastructure configuration than you would need with an on-premises VoIP solution. It can potentially offer more flexibility and scalability when it comes to users and hardware since many cloud providers are device-agnostic, meaning your users can connect to the VoIP system using the phones and devices they already own.
When it comes down to decision-making, it’s important to consider not just your current business needs, but the direction that your business is heading in the future. VoIP systems that rely on landlines are aging out, and in order to access some of the newer and more collaborative features of a robust unified communications solution, it might be beneficial to look into switching to a VoIP system that connects through the internet, or even a cloud-based option. If you do choose to implement an internet-based VoIP solution, there are several benefits to consider:
You can make calls to anyone, anywhere, using your internet connection. This means you eliminate the costs of setting up a landline and having to sign a contract for that service.
BETTER FLEXIBILITY AND MOBILITY
With VoIP, you are able to customize your services to your needs and add or remove users and lines as needed. Additionally, you will have increased connectivity with all employees, including remote workers and people who are out in the field, such as your sales team.
EASE OF INSTALLATION AND TONS OF FEATURES
Most VoIP systems can be set up and used very quickly, meaning there will be little, if any, affect to your current telecommunication system. Additionally, VoIP can integrate with other business tools, and offers a robust set of features that you can’t get with a traditional phone system, such as access to video calling.
Regardless of what kind of VoIP setup you choose, there are significant benefits to transitioning from an older phone system that relies primarily on your desktop phone, especially as the business landscape itself continues to evolve and grow. As we mentioned, with the need for more flexible and versatile means of communication due to the growing hybrid and remote workforces, having options that allow your users to communicate with internal colleagues and external customers regardless of where they are is critical to maintaining business continuity. Additionally, there are options to establish secondary paths of connection so if your primary landline or internet connection experiences an outage, you can still maintain your ability to access your phone systems.
If you would like more information on the VoIP services available to your business, as well as help in selecting and implementing the right solution for your business needs, reach out to the unified communications experts at TAG Solutions today!