How VoIP can be the perfect solution for SMEs

Modern Digital IP Phone

Whatever area of business you are in, communication is vital. We wouldn’t get very far if we didn’t talk to our customers, respond to their queries, call other businesses to make orders and offers, or chat with our staff to ensure that everything is running smoothly. And despite the huge growth in email communications, social media and the fact that we all have instant messaging on our smartphones, it is still the telephone that dominates company communication. When customers need something here and now, it’s the phone they’ll grab, not a keyboard.

But these days, thanks to the internet, the humble telephone is not what it once was. More and more organizations are switching to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) which means that broadband internet rather than landlines now carry the signal. Simply put, as you speak the sound is converted into digital voice communication and then transferred online, with a reverse process taking place at the other end. You don’t need to link your computer with a phone jack as the phone line goes into the VoiP adapter on your computer.

So what are the benefits of this tech? Is it worth making the investment and will it save you money? Well, let’s take a look at the world of VoIP.

Fairly priced phone calls

In a poor economic climate, small-business owners tread a fine line between profit and loss, and so always keep an eye on the bottom line. This is where VoIP can help, by slashing your monthly bills. So if your company is one that makes a lot of calls, it can make real difference financially. Certain packages include free calls within specific areas or cheaper rates, with free upgrades or support should you sign up for a longer contract. What’s more, with voice and data consolidated into a single network, the cost of ownership is reduced.

Functions galore

It isn’t just in terms of value for money that VoIP phone systems score over the old analogue phones. They are also way ahead in terms of functionality and so fit well into modern offices. Call forwarding, call waiting, voicemail and three-way calling are just the basic applications you get with a VoIP package, but there is also scope for video conferencing and enjoying multiple lines from a single number. It is also very easy for office staff to become adept users of their new VoIP phones in very little time as they can be integrated with the most common software platforms – Microsoft Outlook Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is one example. Once phones are fitted, office staff can be up and running in no time.

Extra flexibility

For a company that makes a lot of phone calls, number recognition is all important. A company wants to retain its advertised phone numbers so they don’t loose or alienate old customers who suddenly can’t get in touch. It can also be an expensive affair updating signs and paperwork. But VoIP is flexible enough for you to be able to retain, or “port” your current numbers when you switch systems. In some cases, depending on your particular VoIP package, you can even keep your office phones and rely on a VoIP converter. This plugs into your office computer and picks up the signals from traditional phones before converting it into digital data that can be sent over the internet. In addition, your VoIP is assigned to the company so that as long as you have an internet connection, you can make and receive calls to this number wherever you might be in the world.

More mobility

Of course, not all your employees will be in the office. These days many people work from home, are on the road or even overseas. But it is easy to include them in your business-hosted VoIP. They can access the system and make calls within internet phone or simply by using their laptop and a headset.

Superb scalability

Because the latest VoIP packages allow you to streamline and integrate your communication and handle a huge number of callers, even a small business can compete with bigger competitors. But smaller companies or ones watching their budget might want to start with a very basic package and add features as they take on new staff or grow their business. It is also very easy to add or delete users as needed without having to call in tech support.

Fix things with ease

When your communications go down, you could be losing money every minute if your business relies on its phones. Luckily, with VoIP, problems are much easier to fix and as many solutions are web based, technicians don’t even have to come into your offices. This means you can say goodbye to all that waiting around for engineers to turn up. What’s more, you are no longer relying on the traditional landlines which can be decades old and hard to repair should the worst happen. The technology is new and getting better all the time.

Empower IT Solutions are VoIP Solutions experts that offer 3CX as the preferred business phone systems. For more information about 3CX, click here.

If you’d like to learn more about the VoIP solutions available why not drop Empower IT Solutions a line today?