Many businesses are moving from traditional phone systems to Voice over IP (Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP) technology to enhance internal and external business communication. Just as your computer uses a network to send data from one point to another, so does a VoIP system. This approach to voice calls and messages replaces the need for traditional phone systems. Let’s learn more about how a VoIP setup can benefit your business.
- VoIP phone networks are a great alternative to traditional phone systems–improving efficiency and ultimate call integration with other network services.
- Flexibility, scalability, and cost savings are all key players when it comes to VoIP systems. VoIP systems can be used to call anywhere an internet connection exists!
- VoIP systems are feature-rich and provide data usability, security, and accountability options not found with traditional phone systems.
How Does VoIP Work?
VoIP services convert analog sounds like “your voice” into data packets. This voice conversion into data packets allows it to be sent over a computer network or the internet, much like any other type of data, such as photos, emails, or documents.
These data packets are then transmitted over the internet from the sender to the recipient, where they are converted back into an analog signal that the receiver can hear. This process happens almost instantaneously, enabling real-time communication over long distances.
Similar to how digital cameras converted an image into data packets and revolutionized photography, VoIP converts sound into data packets sent over the network and reassembled at the other end into sounds you can hear. This method of call transmission allows for more efficient use of resources and expands the capabilities of what traditional telephones provide.
In basic terms, VoIP phones move voice communication from a restricted, hardware-dependent technology to a flexible, network-driven service that can be accessed anywhere with a stable internet connection. This change simplifies communication and opens up a range of advanced features that integrate voice communication more deeply with other IT services.
How VoIP differs from traditional phone systems
Traditional phone systems transmit analog voice signals over dedicated physical lines between the telephone and the primary phone system. In contrast, VoIP systems leverage TCP/IP to transmit voice data over a computer network or the internet. This difference enables several critical advantages for VoIP over traditional phone systems.
- VoIP allows for greater flexibility and scalability. Users can make and receive calls from anywhere with an internet connection.
- Adding extra lines or users doesn’t require a service call to physically change the wiring connecting a particular phone to the phone system, reducing hassle and expense.
- VoIP offers many advanced features not available with traditional phone systems. These include video conferencing, call forwarding, voicemail-to-email capabilities, voicemail transcription, Find-Me/Follow-Me, Microsoft Teams integration, and on-the-fly call flow changes.
Benefits of Using a VoIP Phone
VoIP technology can offer numerous advantages to your business over traditional telephony. These include significant cost savings, such as no longer needing a service call to add or move a phone, and reduced costs for making telephone calls, especially for long-distance or international calls, where the rates are typically much cheaper than traditional providers.
The flexibility of VoIP is another key advantage. Users can make and receive calls from a physical VoIP-enabled desk phone and any device with a VoIP application, including smartphones, laptops, and desktop computers.
Scalability is another benefit. Adding additional lines or numbers to a VoIP system is straightforward as businesses grow and don’t require significant investment or business infrastructure changes.
Features of a VoIP Phone
VoIP phones offer a range of features that go above and beyond those of traditional business phones.
Standard VoIP features:
- Usually include caller ID – know who’s calling before you answer, just like a regular phone system
- Call transfer – transfer callers to other users on or off-site
- Call hold – place calls on hold much like a traditional system. Play custom hold music and messages, or utilize call-back technology
Advanced VoIP features:
- Video conferencing – connect callers via video for a more personal experience
- Monitoring of other users – know when other users are available for a call
- Alert notifications – get important alerts and push notifications sent to all connected softphone devices for ultimate awareness
- Call recording – record calls for quality assurance in an effort to improve service
Unique VoIP Features:
- Voicemail-to-email – voice messages are automatically transcribed and sent to your email with an attached recording of the message
- Follow-Me – allows calls to be forwarded to different or multiple numbers
Business VoIP Phone Services and Providers
The VoIP market provides many options for supporting individuals, small businesses, and large corporations. You’ll see many different pricing models, features, and customer service options when comparing providers. Your VoIP system can be as unique as your business, and it has to work for you!
When comparing VoIP providers, consider their experience, training available to clients, on-site installation, features, reliability, and cost, and understand how you’ll receive service and support after installation. Your provider needs to be able to accommodate your specific needs.
Full-service VoIP providers can offer turnkey solutions, or you may have the option to unbox, assemble, and install the system yourself. It’s also important to consider how your staff should be trained and what level of support your users may need once the system is up and running.
Providers should also give you options for managing the VoIP system. You can do it yourself or have a provider administer it. Check with your provider how long simple tasks may take – like name changes or password reset. The support wait times and time zone availability must align with your needs.
VerCom is a reputable provider of VoIP service and support. We offer a comprehensive range of customizable services, including on-site training and local support. We pride ourselves on promptness, efficiency, smooth installation, and continued care after the installation.
What Do You Need for a VoIP Phone System?
Hardware is vital in setting up a reliable and efficient communication infrastructure. Let’s break down each component so you know what to expect:
- Computer Network: This is the core of your VoIP system. A network will facilitate connecting devices and make voice data transmission possible. It can be wired or wireless, depending on your organization’s needs. A wired connection usually offers better stability, while a wireless connection is more flexible and mobile.
- High-Speed Internet: A robust internet connection is essential for VoIP systems. Voice calls are converted into data packets and transmitted over the internet. A reliable and quick internet connection ensures clear voice quality and reduces lag time. Check with your ISP to ensure your bandwidth can accommodate the anticipated call volume and any other network activity.
- VoIP-Enabled Phones: These are unique phones designed to work with VoIP technology. Many different models exist and can suit a variety of preferences and requirements. These phones may look like traditional desk phones with a handset, but they connect directly to your network through an ethernet cable and offer familiarity with extra features!
- Softphones: Softphones are installed on computers, laptops, or mobile devices and act like traditional phones, making it possible for users to make and receive calls. They will use your device’s mic and speakers to enable voice calls. The interface will be very user-friendly and come with additional enhanced features.
In addition to the hardware mentioned above, you’ll also be required to have other networking hardware, a firewall, and a UPS power backup system to ensure your system stays as stable as possible.
How to Choose the Right VoIP Phone for Your Business
VoIP phones are available in a wide range of options and at various prices. Some other things you should consider are:
- Aesthetics and Ergonomics: Does the VoIP desk phone suit your needs for use and appeal? Do you want a corded or cordless headset? The look and feel of your phone can be tailored toward your needs. We can find a solution for any environment. A VoIP system can tailor your phones to your needs and preference.
- Connectivity: Do you need Wi-Fi or a wired connection? Do you have a separate wired connection for the VoIP handset to connect to, or do you need a VoIP handset that can accommodate connecting a PC or laptop? Whether you work in an environment requiring a Bluetooth headset, a mobile device, or a corded phone, we can meet your needs.
- Features: Do you need to be able to monitor other users by having a button showing if they are available? Do you need specific messages to play during holidays? Do you need advanced call routing capabilities? VoIP systems can integrate advanced technology features that make employees more efficient and effective. With these features, you can monitor the availability of your colleagues, create specific menu options for inbound callers, and integrate queues into your call structure.
- Softphone: Softphones should support push notifications to allow the phone to “wake up” when it is in the background, or your lock screen is present. The softphone provider must be able to keep up with software updates on the underlying device (Windows PC, laptop, tablet, or cell phone). VoIP softphone applications make travel days and remote work days possible! Users can log in from their computer or other device while the caller on the other end is unaffected.
Conclusion and final thoughts on VoIP phone systems
In conclusion, VoIP phone systems offer more robust features, increased mobility, and cost-effective alternatives to traditional telephone handsets. The advanced features and ease of use of VoIP technology make it an appealing choice for businesses. The freedom of mobility and comfort with which you can make changes makes the VoIP handset an obvious benefit for businesses of all sizes. As companies look for ways to improve communications, the potential of VoIP technology will only continue to grow, making it an increasingly important part of modern communication.
Time to Upgrade Your Communication System? We’re Here to Help!
If you’re considering transitioning to a VoIP phone system for your business, we’re here to help. VerCom Systems can answer any questions regarding upgrades, advanced features, customization, and pricing. It’s our goal to provide a seamless and transparent environment.
When you choose VerCom Systems, you’re linking arms with experts in VoIP technology. We will gladly help you choose the right system for your business needs and budget. We want you to confidently switch to VoIP, ensuring your business enjoys superior call quality, improved functionality, and significant cost savings.
One of our agents would love to connect with you to discuss how we can make your move to VoIP technology seamless. If you’re ready to start exploring how to migrate to VoIP, let’s work together to bring your business communication into the future! Contact us today!