5 Ways Voip Can Enhance Your Business

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, a technology that uses the Internet to make phone calls, has come a long way since its debut back around 1995. The quality and robustness of the technology has greatly improved over the past decade, especially in the area of hardware based VoIP. I remember back in the first half of the noughties, working for an Internet wholesale company, when VoIP became a real buzz-word among those in the Internet Service Provider industry. This was their chance to usurp Telstra’s domination of the voice market and take a piece of that lucrative pie. The impending ‘voice revolution’ was upon us and the imminent downfall of Telstra’s network monopoly was eagerly awaited by would-be competitors. The revolution was stalled by a market that failed to appreciate the significant savings and added value that VoIP could deliver. It was seen as too complicated, the technology not robust enough, and the incumbent telco still had line rental and call termination costs by the short and curlies. Although adoption of VoIP technology by Australian businesses is still only reached around the 17% penetration mark, there are some very good reasons to take a serious look at VoIP as an alternative to giving your money to those bad old telcos.

Perhaps the most compelling reason for businesses to switch to a VoIP system is the massive savings to be had on phone bills. Tradition telephone infrastructure is expensive to maintain and is reflected in the call costs. Because VoIP technology sends voice across the Internet in the form of data, calls largely bypass the expensive PSTN copper voice telephone exchanges so that much of the termination cost is avoided. This is especially so for long distance and overseas calls.

Telephone line rental has until recently been a mandatory cost that could not be avoided unless you were happy with paying mobile rates for all your communications. New telecommunications rules now allow DSL Internet providers the ability to offer what is called “Naked DSL” which is an unbundled telephone line installation that is for data use only. This means that you no longer need to have a Telstra owned telephone line along with the associated line rental fee to have a broadband Internet connection. Combining Naked DSL with VoIP means businesses can run their cheaper voice calls over a dedicated, robust Internet connection without having to give any money to Telstra! I don’t know how you feel personally about Telstra but to many people this prospect gives them a tingle. In any case it is a victory for competition over network monopoly.

Another great benefit of using VoIP as your voice solution is that unlike the traditional telephone service, it is not tied down to a physical location. If you happen to move premises, you can take your VoIP numbers anywhere you can access the Internet. With the old office telephone infrastructure, moving the system to another location is a costly experience. With an office VoIP system, you can simply move the equipment to another location, plug it all in and you are good to go.

If you or your employees are working away from the office, you can still be available using the call forwarding feature at a much lower cost than if it was provided by a traditional telco. Better still, workers who travel and are wirelessly connected to the Internet either via notebook computer or mobile phone can now take their VoIP number with them to make and receive calls and save on mobile minutes.

When a business is looking to expand their telephone system to meet growth, often scaling up the telephone system is an expensive process. Fixed-line PBX’s, used traditionally to extend one or more telephone lines to create “virtual phone numbers” have limits to how many numbers or extensions you could have, depending on the equipment you use. The old PBX equipment was often proprietary technology, requiring expensive licensed technicians to deal with maintenance and upgrades.

With a VoIP system, such restrictions are a thing of the past. Unlimited phone numbers and extensions can be created within an office environment, even between remote offices, much more easily and therefore less expensively than its traditional counterpart. Also, in most cases the VoIP PBX equipment and the software that drives it is open source. This means that unlike proprietary equipment, there is no restriction on who can setup, configure and maintain your VoIP system and license fees are not being syphoned off to some big company with a monopoly on the hardware and software infrastructure.

If you have offices in more than one location, or you have employees that work from home, imagine how much money you would save on phone bills if calls between locations was free. A major cost saving feature with using VoIP is that calls between VoIP telephone numbers is free. This is because there is no call termination cost, which is the tariff that traditional telcos charge your provider to transfer your VoIP call to the “old world” landline telephone number at the other end. In other words, a VoIP to VoIP call completely bypasses the traditional copper telephone network and therefore avoids all costs that would otherwise be associated with it. Put simply, by using a VoIP service to communicate between your business locations, the call is treated as data and the cost savings are similar to how email has reduced the cost of text based communication.

If your with one of the big incumbent telcos for your business telephone solution, you probably feel a bit gouged by them over all the extra charges they levy on you for additional features and functions. Extra charges for voice mail, caller id and other seemingly simple services are common if you are on a plan with the major telcos. Traditional voice technology does actually make these functions difficult for telcos to implement because all of these additional functions have to be implemented at your local telephone exchange. The alternative is to have these features set up and configured on an office PBX system, if it supports the features you want and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to get a licensed tech who is most likely the only person allowed to touch it.

VoIP is far more clever and can do much more. Because VoIP is data based, the technology is naturally more flexible to facilitate a vast array of features, mostly free, that would previously stack up on your traditional phone bill. VoIP software, being open source and non-proprietary, can offer much more than the traditional extras offered by telcos, such as IVR and other rather innovative ways to integrate software with voice. In fact, call centres have been at the forefront of VoIP integration with software to capture and interpret call stats, generally with a Customer Relationship Management package and call recording technology. Company call menus (you know, “please press 1 for sales…” etc etc) are more easily configured and reconfigured using VoIP rather than older alternative.

Whether you have a small or large business, AWD can provide reliable, robust and cost effective set up of a VoIP solution that suits your needs and can grow with your business without hassle. VoIP technology can help your business compete effectively without letting voice related overheads get out of hand. If you are interested in saving a significant amount on telephone bills for your enterprise, as well as stop giving your hard earned money to the telco dinosaurs, contact us today.

AWD are Business IT Consultants providing IT support and security, web design, web development, business telephones and Internet marketing  services in Melbourne, Australia.
Contact:  1300 855 651

Source: http://www.awebd.com.au/news/24/151/

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