Everything you need to know about VoIP

29 Oct 2018

VoIP is the increasingly popular business phone system alternative to landlines, offering more in terms of features whilst costing less than traditional analogue and ISDN phone systems. Consequently 3 million UK businesses have switched to VoIP telephony, and that number is only set to increase as we approach the ISDN cease in supply deadline. If you’re running a modern business you need a modern phone system, and that’s VoIP. But what exactly is VoIP?

 

What is VoIP?

Simply put, VoIP is making calls over the internet rather than through traditional phone lines. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and as its name suggests, during a VoIP call voice (speech) is transmitted over Internet Protocol, rather than through the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network used for analogue and ISDN calls.

If you have ever made a call using Facebook, WhatsApp or SnapChat then you have made a basic VoIP call as the internet was used to transmit the call. These platforms work well for the low volume of social usage they are designed for, but business grade VoIP platforms are required if VoIP is to be adopted for regular business use.

 

Will a VoIP telephone system save my business money?

Perhaps the most attractive thing about VoIP from a business perspective is the cost saving potential. Some of the clients we’ve worked with at GHM have been able to reduce the cost of their business telephony expenditure by £45,000 across the lifetime of the phone system by switching to a VoIP system. Whilst this figure is variable depending on the size and expenditure of a business, more often than not savings are there to be made. This is because there are no capital costs involved when switching to a VoIP system and as internet calls are free… VoIP calls are also free, eliminating costly call charges. There are also savings to be made in system maintenance and set up costs, as VoIP systems have significantly less hardware to support.

Our VoIP solutions come with zero upfront costs, with businesses preferring to pay a per-user-per-month rental fee covering everything from installation, maintenance, hardware and line rental. Businesses can start benefiting from VoIP immediately without any financial restriction.

Upgrading to a new business phone system also means that you have the reliability that comes with new technology, reducing any down time on the system and any costly call out charges.

 

Can I keep my number?

Yes! Unlike traditional landline numbers which are tied to a geographical location, VoIP enables calls to be made from anywhere with an internet connection. This means than if a business moves premises or switches over to a VoIP system their number can move with them.

 

What are the functional benefits of VoIP?

 

VoIP Business Phone System Traditional Analogue Business Phone System
Free UK, and cheap international calls? Yes No
 

Upfront capital costs?

No Yes
Abundance of features including calls being made to and from the office number from remote workers? Yes No
Faults can usually be repaired remotely without an engineer being called out? Yes No
 

Auto attendants?

 

Yes Yes
 

Cloud based call queueing?

Yes No
Integration with computer software including CRM system and client database? Yes No
Requires a reliable internet connection? Yes No

VoIP encompasses an enhanced feature set, improving communication for businesses.

Here are our stand out three features:

Remote working capability

As VoIP calls are made over the internet rather than through a conventional phone line, calls can be made from, and diverted to, any device connected to the internet, from anywhere in the world. In other words, the phone you use to make and receive phone calls doesn’t have to be in one physical location attached to a specific phone line.

This makes it easy to work remotely, making and receiving calls via the office number to a device outside of the office. Our handy mobile app can even be installed on a smartphone enabling calls to be made and received on the go – a popular feature with professionals who aren’t always at their desk.

Integration with CRM

As VoIP calls are made through the internet rather than down traditional phone lines, calls can be made from fixed phones (your conventional office phone) or soft phones (your PC or through the aforementioned app).

As such, phones are able to integrate with your computer, enabling the software on your computer to work in conjunction with your phone system. Doctors surgeries, for example, are able to have their patient record database linked with their phone system so that when a patient calls, their records appear on their computer screen for the receptionist so they are aware of who they are talking to with vital information available right from the start of the call.

Voicemail to email transcription

This great feature sends you an email transcript of any voicemail which has been left for you. A great feature if you’re in a meeting and aren’t able to answer your phone, but can discretely check an email.

 

What if the internet goes down?

Instances of VoIP phone lines going down are becoming increasingly rare and VoIP phones have far less issues than older telephone systems. However, as VoIP calls are made through the internet, the obvious concern is what happens if the internet connection is lost. Unfortunately if the internet goes down then the ability to make or receive calls goes with it. Safeguards can be put into place to ensure phones stay operational even if the internet goes down however; including redirecting calls to a mobile device (running on data) or installing a backup emergency line not reliant on an internet connection.

 

How can I find out more about switching to a VoIP system for my business?

Switching to a VoIP phone system is one of the easiest, cost effective and productive things many of our clients have said they have done as a business.

To find out more about switching to a VoIP system or just to discuss your options in improving your telephony, give GHM Communications a call on 01865 367111 and one of our friendly sales consultants would be delighted to discuss your options with you.

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