Advantages & disadvantages of VoIP for your business

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is one of the fastest growing areas in telecoms and, coupled with the growth in cloud-based systems, the trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. VoIP, as its name suggests, allows you to make and receive calls over your internet connection, but for many there are still a number of unanswered questions.  This blog will discuss VoIP’s advantages and disadvantages and explain how you can make the switch to VoIP if you would like to.

What are the Advantages of VoIP?

Scalability

By utilising a cloud-based VoIP system, you open up the possibility of a highly scalable phone system. As new starters join your business, you can simply let you supplier know their details and the additional handset can be sent to you, pre-programmed. Soft phone systems which utilise software on computers as the systems endpoint also enjoy this benefit. With VoIP, your only limitation is your bandwidth rather than the amount of lines you have coming into your office

Cost

The headline benefit of VoIP is the possibility to have lower costs for your phone system than with traditional telephone systems, though this does come with a major caveat. Some providers will claim that you can simply run a new phone system over your existing internet connection. While this is true for those with a high capacity connection; in many cases it is prudent to install an additional internet connection to handle your voice traffic.  We’ve seen larger companies opt for the guaranteed speeds of a leased line to ensure they have ample capacity for all of their connectivity requirements.

Availability

One of the greatest things about VoIP is it’s availability; if you have an internet connection then you have the possibility of having a VoIP system. This is of particular interest to those in remote locations as services such as wireless or satellite internet can still work well with VoIP systems.

Ease of Use

Analogue phone systems had handsets with very limited functionality and relatively poor usability.  VoIP has enabled the development of far more usable devices, many with touch screens such as  HiHi. Features such as Voicemail and Call Forwarding have also been simplified considerably to improve their usability.

Additional Features

VoIP’s development over the years has also given rise to a number of added features such as call recording, call reporting and integration with other devices to create a Unified Communications environment. What’s more, thanks to the wide availability of these features, they are often available for very reasonable prices.

What are the disadvantages of VoIP?

Latency Concerns

To have a great VoIP service, a good internet connection is essential; this will help you avoid any latency concerns. It goes without saying that without an internet connection, you simply can’t have a VoIP service.

A note on reliability

If your internet connection is unreliable and tends to drop out from time to time then your phone service will suffer from reliability issues if you are using VoIP. Most reputable providers will check your broadband availability and performance as part of the pre-sales process, to ensure you can successfully use the service.

How to switch to a VoIP service

If you’re switching to a VoIP service, we’d encourage you to follow these simple steps to ensure you receive a high quality, reliable system.

Check your broadband

Most reputable providers will perform a broadband check on your premises to ensure that you are able to enjoy a VoIP service.

Find the perfect device

There are a lot of VoIP enabled devices available these days, so be sure to find one that’s easy to use and comes with a range of helpful features.

Consider additional services

Communication is about so much more than just phone calls, so think about which additional services would be useful to your company. Options include Integration with your computer system, on hold marketing and call recording to name just three.

Summary

As fibre optic broadband becomes more widely available across the UK, there really has never been a better time to explore a VoIP phone system for your business. With latency and quality concerns widely considered to be things of the past, VoIP could well represent a cheaper and more versatile option for your communication needs.