If you know me, you’ll know I’m not a ‘geek’ or especially techy but in this industry it’s easy to fall into the trap of talking in technical jargon. But if I ever mention VoIP in conversation I STILL get a lot of blank looks!
This got me thinking. I need to do so much more ‘educating’ on the benefits of VoIP to businesses. Maybe people just don’t know enough about it.
What is VoIP and what does ‘in the cloud’ actually mean?
VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol. What’s Voice over Internet Protocol? Well basically all your calls will travel over the internet, they won’t use a physical landline. They will be hosted ‘in the cloud’. Essentially, it’s a phone solution that is cost effective, flexible and very easy to use.
‘In the cloud’ doesn’t mean 30,000 feet in the air it actually means connected via the internet to a secure dedicated data centre rather than in a physical phone system or server in your office.
Disappointing I know.
But, it does mean you can manage all your calls, phone system and what it does from anywhere in the world (as long as you have an internet connection).
Here’s why VoIP is so beneficial and, in some cases, critical for businesses in today’s society:
The list of benefits is huge but here are my top 11 features!
- A business continuity solution- Unexpected events such as snow, floods, strikes or utility roadwork’s won’t disrupt your business. Because VoIP sits in the cloud, the service provides business continuity features that allow your organisation to carry on making and taking calls, whatever the circumstances.
- Call handling- Never miss a call and never get an engaged tone (EVEN in a power cut). VoIP can seamlessly move calls between users, divert to mobiles and even play marketing messages while on hold. This ensures your customers have the best experiences when calling your business.
- An on-demand service with no hidden costs- VoIP systems are hosted on your behalf, you only pay for what you need on a simple per-seat basis. As you’re not buying a PBX, there’s no major hardware investment and no financing costs to consider.
- Lower call costs- With VoIP you can either choose to have all your landline* and mobile calls Included for one fixed monthly fee or charged on a pence per minute basis. (*01, 02 & 03 calls)
- Features you can easily control- VoIP puts you in complete control of your phone system and comes with an extensive range of call handling and management features.
- Enables flexible working – VoIP helps businesses become more efficient by enabling flexible work environments through hot-desking, home working, and extending the service to mobile devices.
- Number choice– You have total flexibility with the numbers you want to use. You can keep your existing numbers or get new numbers. Extend your business reach and use any local area number no matter where you are located. Have a London number in Leeds!
- Ideal for multi-sites- The service is provided centrally so you don’t need an expensive system at each of your locations. VoIP connects offices together, calls are free from one office to another. Users can easily transfer calls from one site to another as if they we in the same building.
- Billing- With a fixed pricing option you can budget in advance and avoid any nasty surprises. A single bill for all your landline and mobile phones rather than wasting hours checking bills from multiple suppliers
- Call recording- An option on VoIP is call recording, you can choose to record all your calls or just a percentage on any chosen user. Recordings can be played, downloaded and saved directly from an online portal.
- Easy to scale and upgrade- With VoIP you can easily add additional phones and features as your business grows, unlike some traditional systems you’re not paying for services you don’t need.
VoIP should be a serious consideration for small to medium sized businesses. It really can revolutionise your business. Having said that, I am aware that there are many horror stories out there about ‘VoIP gone wrong’!
Got a story you’d like to share? Send me an email with the details and I’ll send a prize out for the best one!