In the past, it was imperative that businesses have a traditional phone system set up in order to uphold professionalism and reliability. This was usually a PBX system (Private Branch Exchange) for internal and external calling where the telephony hardware was kept on-premises.
But technology has evolved over the years to the point where today, if you receive a business phone call, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference if it was taking place over the internet or over a traditional phone line. VoIP technology is what has made this possible, and it’s opened up many exciting opportunities that businesses can leverage.
What is VoIP?
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that allows telephone calls to take place over the internet. VoIP isn’t anything new, though. It’s been around since 1995 and was first created to solve the problem of having to make expensive international phone calls. Turning an analogue signal into a digital signal, it doesn’t matter if the person at the other end is using a traditional phone line.
VoIP, sometimes also referred to as hosted PBX, involves a VoIP service provider who hosts the telephony service. You can either use a regular phone with a VoIP adapter, or you can use a digital headset that plugs into a computer. All you need is an internet connection. VoIP protocol sets out rules for this communication so the quality over the internet is to the highest possible standard.
Over the years, the emergence of new technologies such as cloud technology have allowed for many tech-savvy features and integrations to be added to VoIP, transforming it into a powerful telephony service. These include your standard voicemail services, call forwarding, and voice/video conference call services, right through to more powerful integrations such as Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS).
What are hosted or cloud-based telephony services?
VoIP and UCaaS are cloud-based and eliminate the need for on-premises hardware. A cloud solution such as UCaaS takes things a step up for larger-sized businesses, leveraging the power of cloud technologies through collaborative tools such as Microsoft Teams and the ability to communicate with audio and video and share files with ease. Through cloud providers such as Amazon or Microsoft, technology is accessed on-demand from anywhere around the world with any device.
One advantage of cloud technology is that it’s easily scalable, so you can add and remove resources with a few clicks, like virtual databases, or virtual servers, or telephone resources. The technology also supports remote workers and a remote workforce, and it has quick and efficient disaster recovery options.
The benefits of cloud communications such as UCaaS is that it incorporates, under one umbrella, all the communication tools you can think of and it puts them on one unified communications platform, with one interface. This platform allows staff to connect with customers via text, chat, email, phone, or video, with voice to email options. It incorporates VoIP technology to provide a powerful communication tool for businesses.
What are the benefits of VoIP phone systems?
Internet-based communication systems like VoIP can help your business grow. This is done firstly by reducing costs that traditional phone systems would consume. Over the internet, you don’t need to pay for calls and you don’t need any physical telephony hardware on premises. You don’t need staff to maintain it either. These cost savings can then be re-invested into the business to help it flourish.
VoIP also decouples a business from a physical space. Gone are the days where you need to be in the office to make a business call. Your business can still have a phone number and nobody can tell that the phone call is taking place over the internet. This benefit is especially important in today’s climate with the pandemic, where working from home has become the new norm and businesses need to be adaptable and mobile.
VoIP together with cloud technology can increase the productivity of a business. Cloud technology supports a centralized digital space where the entire organization can come together. It’s easy to setup virtual meetings, to collaborate, and share ideas and digital assets with ease. This means employees are spending less time working through communication hurdles and more time working on the priority tasks at hand.
VoIP service providers make it their business to have the quality of communication to a high standard, with all services available through their data centers, even when your internet is down. They offer options such as call forwarding to mobile phone numbers, and they also have backup internet providers they work with, so if one goes down, the other is available.
Need help with switching to VoIP or help to move to cloud services? Talk to the experts at PWR Technologies to find out more about a communications solution tailored to your business.