Have someone call your desk line and let the system route the call to your phone as you walk to your car. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the technology that makes such a process simple and cost effective. We’ve been talking about VoIP a lot recently in posts that discuss how to pick the right path to VoIP and reasons to move to VoIP. Continuing on that theme, this “Walk me to the Car” blog post looks at high level business reasons to consider VoIP for your organization.
What is VoIP?
VoIP technology has been around for many years, but it is constantly evolving. VoIP refers to using your organization’s existing data network (e.g. the LAN) to carry voice telephone calls. It replaces copper lines, hard-wired desk phones and PBX systems that have been around since the 1970s. Generally, VoIP saves money and increases flexibility. Newer VoIP offerings far outpace what has been available previously. New iterations of VoIP include hosted VoIP, where a service provider like CenturyLink does it all for you once you plug the phone into a network port. And SIP trunking which enables you to keep your existing PBX but get the advantages of VoIP.
The top 3 things you need to know about VoIP today:
- Avoid the time and money drain of legacy PBXs – if you don’t like paying to maintain phone hardware on site, VoIP gets you out of this obligation. Someone else is tasked with running the VoIP system in their data center, not yours.
- Save on CapEx – With hosted VoIP, there’s no hardware to buy. In most cases, even the phones come included as part of a subscription hosted VoIP service. If you select SIP trunking, you can leverage your existing investment in your PBX system and phones, but gain the advantages of VoIP.
- Be consistent with voice and UC – Everyone can have exactly the same voice and UC features, including things like video chat, instant messaging, conference calling and desk-to-mobile call routing. With legacy PBX, you often had variations in what people could do with their phones from building to building.
Give me three good reasons to do it.
- Improve employee productivity – Let people be mobile and flexible in work. With soft phones and automated routing to mobile devices, people can work anywhere and never risk missing a call. UC features like online chat bolster collaborative productivity further.
- Reduce communication costs – There’s only one network to manage, not separate data and voice networks like you have with legacy voice communications. You save on CapEx, toll charges, phone system management, phone support staff and physical space that you used to need for phone equipment.
- Move people around with ease – The “Move/Add/Change/Delete” (MACD) process used to be a hassle. Now, people can move from one office (or city) to another without any disruption of phone service or need for IT to do any manual setup. This contributes to agility and productivity.
Where are the risks?
There are really no risks to moving to VoIP. In fact, VoIP offers back up and redundancy that your PBX system may not. As with any IT project you’ll need to make sure you have a plan in place to migrate from your existing solution to VoIP. Consideration factors include:
- Your network needs to be ready – Your data network may need an upgrade before it can deliver a good user experience for hosted VoIP. There will be time and expense associated with this process.
- Users may require different levels of training – Not everyone likes VoIP or the “soft phones” that come with it much of the time. A soft phone is a “phone” that’s actually the user’s PC.
What is the takeaway idea for me?
VoIP has proven itself as a money saver and enabler of increased employee productivity. Getting it to work right can take some investment in network capacity.
The Crib Sheet
CUT ME OUT for the WALK TO THE CAR
The top 3 advantages of VoIP
- Avoid the expense and time drain of maintaining legacy PBX equipment
- Reduce costs with one network to manage – lower CapEx and OpEx
- Move people around with ease, spur productivity and be consistent with voice and UC features for all employees
Two things to be worried about
- Your network may need an upgrade
- It can present a behavioral adjustment for employees
What is the takeaway idea?
VoIP saves money and time by converging your voice and data networks, with end user features that spur productivity and mobility.
Ready to make the move to VoIP? Schedule a consultation with one of our experts today.