Do you remember those static-laden, low-quality calls you used to get over your home computer from Aunt Maude or Uncle George? Advances in technology, especially for the business world, have completely changed the landscape for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and companies, large and small, are switching over. Analysts predict that IP-based telephony is, in fact, the future of business phone systems. Consider these tech advances and predictions:
- Almost every business in the world will soon have access to the broadband Internet connections required by IP-based phone systems.
This is important for VoIP, because, without broadband, calls can be low-quality (remember Aunt Maude?) and data slow to transfer. Broadband has opened the door to businesses getting enhanced advantages of VoIP over traditional telephony.
These advantages include: easy set up at new branch offices, fast and simple addition of extensions, and the incorporation of smartphones and mobile devices.
- Unified communications (UC) - bringing all voice and data communications onto a single unified platform - is more affordable and easy to facilitate and use than ever before, enticing small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) into using UC as a communications and collaboration strategy.
The rise of cloud computing has made companies more comfortable with hosted business-critical functions, including VoIP offerings. Like all cloud-based solutions, hosted voice systems eliminate the need to manage and maintain a complex infrastructure, making IP-based telephony even more accessible to smaller companies.
- In the near future, service providers will offer better access to a broader range of features than traditionally available through VoIP.
According to the recent Magic Quadrant for Corporate Telephony report by Gartner - an information technology research and advisory company - more and more telephony providers are bundling more unified communications (UC) around telephony offerings, including unified messaging, mobility, computer-to-telephone calls, and softphone (software that enables VoIP calls from computers and mobile devices), find-me/follow-me, audio conferencing integrated with chat, and picking up voice mail in email.
What switching could mean for you
Save money. You can eliminate the cost of owning and servicing your phone system with a hosted service, like Primus Hosted PBX. And if you prefer, you still enjoy incredible cost reductions via services like Primus SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) Trunking or Primus TalkBroadband. One of the best features of switching to VoIP systems is the scalability. You pay for what you need and the system can easily grow when you grow.
Be more efficient. Services like Primus HPBX are so reliable that your customers will enjoy instant, seamless access to your company's representatives. And your staff can collaborate with ease through UC with functions like video conferencing with whiteboard and screen-sharing, all with predictable costs because there are no long distance charges between employees and branch offices.
Mobilize your workforce. Studies have shown that more than 50% of SME employees travel between four and five days a month. If your company has a mobile workforce, or would benefit from one, then features like unified messaging, a single number for both office and mobile calls, and the ability to access the virtual private network from any public internet connection make it easy. And services like Primus Hosted PBX give everyone the option of working at home in case of disaster.
By all accounts, VoIP for businesses is here to stay. And it's no surprise given all the advantages, especially those features that are becoming more and more affordable to small and medium sized companies. The beauty of it all is that you don't have to feel like you're jumping into something on an all-or-nothing basis. The range of options as you transition will make it relatively painless for any business owner to come up with the best strategy for his or her company.