Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) is fast-becoming the technology of choice for small businesses. Why? It saves money, is flexible, scalable and mobile. But why should SMEs switch to hosted phone systems?
These days, VoIP is most commonly seen in apps, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Skype: all of which provide voice calling from within their platform. People often aren’t aware they are using VoIP – which works by sending voice data digitally via the internet. VoIP for SMEs is not a new concept; it was first used as a technology for business communications, and since its inception has become the basis for reliable, professional phone systems, often hosted in the cloud.
The combination of VoIP technology with the power of the cloud means that businesses can access a huge variety of features at relatively little cost. From synchronising phone calls to your CRM systems, to providing transcribed voicemails and detailed analytics, hosted phone systems are becoming the backbone of modern communications for growing businesses.
And with the oncoming PSTN and ISDN switch-off, VoIP is the true alternative to legacy technology.
With this in mind, and to help the uninitiated, here are just some of the advantages of VoIP and how they can benefit SMEs.
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As a business grows, so does the demand for reliable phone system. As VoIP is designed to allow extra users to be added within minutes, this means all employees within an organisation can be connect to the business communications system almost instantaneously, without affecting the existing network. This is especially beneficial to growing SMEs as it means as your number of employees scales up and grows, so can your phone system. With the additional benefit of instant access to a soft phone, this even allows employees to access the cloud phone systems remotely, taking your business communications to the next level.
Allow your employees to be as flexible as you are. With access to a soft phone as standard with most cloud phone systems, this means all of your team can make and receive calls via your VoIP system, anywhere in the world. With even with just a basic broadband connection, you’ll be able to access all the features of your phone system on a mobile, tablet or computer. Plus if you’re looking to open a new office or want to gain a local presence in a new area, VoIP phone systems allows you to choose any numbers, regardless of your location.
By adopting a VoIP phone system you know your phone bills will stay under control even as your SME expands. According to a recent report, small businesses who adopt VoIP systems can reduce the cost of their international calls by up to 90%. Making a call to an international number has never been as cost-effective than with a cloud phone system. As the call is made over your internet connection, this means the cost of connecting you is dramatically lower. These saving will also been seen across national calling and all calls a charged per second, not per minute!
4. Unified communication solutions
With the ever-changing nature of communications, growing SMEs no longer rely solely on traditional telephone systems. For example, video-calling and screen sharing can be useful for showing a product or software to a client, while instant messaging allows communication between colleagues without pausing or disruption. The nature of VoIP compatible platforms means that business can integrate all their systems on one platform.
One major feature which sets VoIP systems apart from the traditional analogue phone is the ability for your communications to be securely encrypted. Data and information transmitted across standard analogue phone systems can be easily compromised, however, using VoIP means your data (and therefore your calls) will be digitally encrypted. This is particularly useful for SMEs with particular sensitive client data, including financial services and healthcare.
Because VoIP platforms are essentially software products, businesses can benefit from a huge variety of features developed to help all kinds of working practices. What’s more, as platforms can be updated easily, any new features are “pushed” to every client just like an update to a mobile app or website.
7. Call quality
VoIP technology was once seen as a bit of an unreliable novelty, but this was because of the poor quality internet connections being used. In the age of dial-up internet, connections simply couldn’t manage any decent voice data transfers, and the quality was constantly fluctuating. However, since the widespread rollout of broadband and faster technologies, VoIP phone system call quality now dramatically surpasses traditional phone systems, offering flawless calling.