Saying goodbye to the traditional phone service and welcoming VoIP into your enterprise life can have a multitude of benefits for any business. You will save a lot of money, have a lot more functionalities you can make use of and communication will feel seamless, like never before. Enticing as it sounds, is VoIP the right fit for you too? Are you thinking about switching but don’t know exactly what you could be signing up for? Well then worry no more, because the following guide to VoIP for small businesses will help you make up your mind.
What is VoIP and how does it work?
Technically speaking, VoIP converts your voice into data packets that travel over the internet (as opposed to phone lines). These pertinent packets of data are transferred to the person you are trying to call, and upon reaching them, they are converted back into audible sound. It is as simple as signing up with a VoIP service provider, and all the calls that you send or receive from then onwards will be sent over your internet connection. You will need VoIP-specific routers and VoIP phones to get things running. Sounds easy, right? Well, for the most part it is. Let’s keep going so that we can find out more.
What you need and how to get started:
To get VoIP set up, you will need the following:
- A supportive internet connection ensuring that delays and latencies are kept as low as possible.
- VoIP phones to place the calls and stay in touch.
- VoIP-specific routers to ensure that the proper configurations are in place on your network.
That’s basically pretty much all you need. Choose the right vendor to set up VoIP for you, and the whole transition will seem remarkably seamless. It’s also of paramount importance that you keep monitoring the VoIP system and make it secure.
Not sure about which vendor to choose? Then – you guessed it– we have got that covered for you. Here are 3 VoIP service providers that you just can’t go wrong with:
- Vonage: An award winning business VoIP provider, Vonage is one of the best VoIP phone services out there when it comes to enterprise VoIP services.
- Grasshopper: With a 30 day money back guarantee, you get an incredibly reliable package with Grasshopper. It makes for a wonderful VoIP provider.
The benefits of VoIP for small businesses:
VoIP is incredibly beneficial for small businesses but we already said that, haven’t we? How exactly is it beneficial though? Are those benefits tangible? Let’s find out; VoIP will assist in the following:
- Save you a great amount of money: When you use a VoIP phone, long distance calls will no longer be costly. You will save more money than you think.
- Make things accessible everywhere: All you need to stay connected with everyone important is a VoIP phone and internet access. That isn’t possible with the traditional phone system you have.
- Give you features like call screening, music on hold, find me/follow me call routing.
- Give you the luxury to have an auto-attendant: With VoIP, you get to have an auto-attendant which lets users interact with a menu before they can be directed to the right department or person.
- Make everything efficient: Communication would be faster than before and more efficient.
A few cons of VoIP for small business:
We said VoIP was a fascinating technology, we never said that it was perfect. Just like much of the technology we rely on, it has its flaws (easily avoidable), but are they really worth missing out on VoIP? You be the judge of that:
- Sound quality could be affected: Voice call quality in VoIP can be bad if you don’t have a substantially supportive internet connection. However this really isn’t a problem if you possess the necessary bandwidth. It’s always a good idea to check your connection for VoIP suitability before making the switch.
- Power outages can be fatal: Unlike traditional telephony, VoIP needs power to function. So if you don’t have a backup generator and power outage is a possibility then you run the risk of your primary communication system being unavailable.
Terminology you should know:
Here are some of the terms in the world of VoIP that you should be familiar with:
- Client: Any software that gets installed on a computer and can be used to make a call.
- Cloud communication: In the realm of VoIP, cloud communication can be defined as the way VoIP communicates with equipment present at a remote location.
- Delay: Delay takes place when data packets take longer to reach the destination than the expected time.
- Find me/follow me: An exciting feature of VoIP which can be used by users to reach other users regardless of the location of the called party. User A can call User B at their work phone, mobile phone, or home phone at the same time.
- Jitter: Jitter can be referred to as the temporary fluctuations that might occur during voice transmission, leading to audio getting distorted.
- SIP: Session initiation protocol or SIP is a protocol used to manage multimedia sessions on the internet.
- Packet switching: A method in which data packets get broken down and sent over the internet. These packets are then reassembled at the receiving end and are not necessarily received in the same order that there were sent in.
The Final Word
Using a VoIP system for your business is by no means a necessity (yet), but it’s not an unaffordable luxury either. You get tons of excellent features at low setup and maintenance costs that make communication a lot more convenient and seamless. If you have made up your mind but are confused about choosing a vendor then this VoIP Comparison Tool will help you out.