Voice over Internet Protocol networks have become central to many companies’ business models in recent years. The fact that calls can be sent over the internet instead of from landlines or mobile phones brings a wide range of exciting new options into play.
Corporate VoIP services which are cloud-based will give you a virtual number, allowing you to call clients or colleagues anywhere in the world. Without roaming fees or international charges, these services let you take the first step to making a truly international business sustainable and will enable you to share information around the globe quickly and efficiently.
The web-based nature of VoIP systems means that many can be slotted together with other systems in your working life to create a larger, focused system. For example, VoIP services can be used alongside sync-able calendar apps and Outlook.
This is one of the largest advantages of VoIP. Exchanging a normal phone line with a system which uses your broadband can drive call costs right down by 75-90%. The savings can then be invested back into the company. As the Federal Communications Committee says, it is also sometimes possible to avoid having to pay for the use of a telephone line if you pay for broadband.
There are two models of VoIP: premise-based and cloud-based. Basing your VoIP on your company premises will involve sizable upfront fees, as the VoIP system will require specialist equipment to be sent to your office – and you will then have to pay for upkeep.
However, if you opt for the cloud-based model, you will gain access to the network without having to buy it or pay maintenance, as this shall be handled by another company over the cloud. These savings and the lack of national restrictions can help give your firm a competitive edge on the global stage.
Flexibility – SIP Trunks
As BT discontinues the analogue PSTN and simpler digital ISDN in the next decade, VoIP systems are going to be the future. The SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) Trunk is a VoIP cloud-based approach to communications, as SIP Trunks let companies keep existing Private Branch Exchange switchboards which have worked very well in offices for years. This blend of the best of the old and new allows workers to be flexible and creative in their approach to problem-solving.
Things to be wary of
If you rely on cloud-based VoIP, there is a risk that, should an issue arise with the cloud, you will not be able to fix the problem like you would have been able to if you had bought the product outright. Alternatively, if you buy the system outright but then decide that you would like to upgrade to another VoIP system, it may not be possible for you to return or refund the system that you bought.
One downside of VoIP systems in comparison to conventional phone lines is that, when you do not have internet, you cannot make calls. This could be very damaging if the office were to lose all of its internet connectivity due to, for example, extreme weather conditions.