Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is an impressive adaptable technology that countless businesses have adopted. There are numerous reasons behind this widespread adoption, but some of the most notable are VoIP’s improved features, lower costs, better communication framework, and more efficient business services.
This modern technology has made it easier than ever to connect remote workers to their physical offices, project managers, and supervisors. VoIP also offers superior call quality and reliability than its predecessor legacy systems, an understandably appealing feature for companies of all types. The quality of VoIP calls depends on the speed of an internet connection; the faster your connection, the better your call quality is.
Businesses of all shapes, sizes, and sectors are adopting VoIP to improve communications with customers, clients, and suppliers. Many are aiming to save money by doing so, too.
Stats have shown that new businesses that switch to hosted VoIP can slash their startup costs by 90%. Additionally, businesses with 30 phone users can cut costs by $1,200 every month, and company’s using VoIP can reduce telecommunications bills by between 25% to over 50%.
There are two main types of VoIP communication systems: hosted and premise-based. Understanding the differences between them can help you determine which option will best fit the needs of your business and current projects.
1. Hosted VoIP
Hosted VoIP involves hardware that’s partly or fully set up and hosted at an off-site location that’s separate from the business using it. The communication system runs in the cloud, and your service provider’s servers supply all of its features.
Lower costs are the most significant benefit of choosing a hosted VoIP system over a premise-based system. Hosted VoIP is an operational cost, which makes it an appealing option for businesses who need the flexibility of reliable and consistent phone service. Hosted VoIP systems often have no set-up fees attached either, which makes them ideal for smaller businesses and startups with limited budgets.
2. Premise-based VoIP
As its name suggests, a premise-based VoIP system is located at the same premises where the service is being used. This could range from a formal office to a computer room, or perhaps a reception area. Premise-based VoIP usually carries heftier initial set-up costs, but the lowered monthly expenses for businesses eventually balance out these charges.
Businesses can stand to benefit from using VoIP technology in a number of ways. They include:
Gaining the ability to answer more calls. VoIP gives you the ability to answer more calls, as it’s call forwarding technology routes incoming calls to the right recipients. Project managers can even outsource customer service tasks to third-party specialists in different time zones. This gives customers the chance to speak to customer service professionals 24 hours a day, which can notably boost your company’s reputation.
Enjoying lower communication-related costs. Virtually every company that employs VoIP can stand to save money on their monthly communication expenses. It’s much cheaper to send voice data on the internet using traditional phone systems, as VoIP technology functions using your existing internet service.
Experiencing simplified conference calls. It won’t matter how many people join your conference calls if you’re using VoIP. As long as you have sufficient bandwidth and a decent internet speed, collective business calls will be reliable and simple to set up. Participants can easily present ideas, mute calls, and enter and exit virtual meetings without disrupting the call. VoIP also supports seamless, high-quality video conferencing through which you can effectively plan and manage projects.
Gaining the advantage of global reach. The world of business has become truly metropolitan, and it operates on a global scale. You can use VoIP to communicate with customers and remote employees in every corner of the world, all while enjoying consistent call quality.
Being able to manage clients more efficiently. VoIP integrates with customer service programs and platforms to improve customers’ experiences and boost client engagement. Employees can access far more information about their customers using a VoIP platform. This will enable them to solve problems rapidly, up to 24 hours a day if necessary, and to prevent complaint and dispute escalation.
There are also VoIP services that can help your company stay in touch with customers via instant messaging and social media forums like Facebook and Instagram.
Being able to communicate while on the move. Thousands of employees globally have now switched to working remotely. VoIP’s many flexible functions make it easy for staff members to stay connected with project managers and colleagues through their laptops, PCs, smartphones, and tablets.
Gaining access to numerous helpful features. Outdated phone systems had a tendency to offer a narrow, rigid range of packages, features, and plans for their customers. VoIP, on the other hand, lets you cherry-pick the features that best suit your projects.
Some of the many features offered by VoIP calling systems include:
- Voice to text translation;
- Custom ringing tones;
- Call blocking;
- Call recording;
- On-hold music for customers;
- Detailed call reports; and
- Automated ‘do not disturb modes.
1. Securing a Strong Internet Connection
Will you be migrating or upgrading your telecommunication system during your deployment of VoIP? Either way, it’s important to ensure your current internet connection is secure enough to host uninterrupted VoIP services.
You can do this by contacting your ISP, determining your connection’s limitations, and upgrading if necessary.
2. Cycling Through Your Checkpoints
You need to list and adhere to numerous checkpoints before, during, and after setting up a new telephone system. As a project manager, you’ll need to assign a team that can supervise this project at every step of the way and deal with the planning involved. Some if not all your team members should have telecom system knowledge or experience.
3. Maintaining a Flexible Approach
Every professional environment is different. You need to consider factors like physical location, requirements, and stakeholder opinions to develop a flexible phone system management plan.
Phone management starts with unboxing, assembling, placing, and labeling phones, and also pertains to tasks like running cables. A skilled team will be able to assist with this to ensure every part of the process unfolds smoothly.
Finding a Deployment Partner
It’s recommended that you team up with a knowledgeable deployment team when installing your VoIP system. When you’re on the hunt for a partner, find one that’s honest and transparent about their goals and timelines, and is willing to communicate with service providers on your behalf. Finding a partner that understands how to work with your service provider will significantly streamline the deployment process.
You need to ask a number of crucial questions to find a partner that can meet your business needs. Some questions worth asking are:
- What type of businesses and industries have you serviced in the past?
- Who are some of your most notable past clients?
- How can you ensure that the deployment process will cover all existing numbers and services?
- What will the porting process involve?
- What will the scheduling lead time for each port or VoIP cutover be?
- What are your support protocols?
- Once the new system gets deployed, will you continue to manage it?
- Can you provide a dedicated project manager to assist us with this process?
Suitable experts will be able to answer all of these questions concisely and to your satisfaction.
VoIP can simplify your life as a project manager and can give essential communication operations a much-needed boost. It’s more reliable and affordable as well, making it ideal for remote or mobile staff, and is far more flexible than past telecom systems, too.