The Basics: What Is a VoIP Phone System?
With internet systems getting increasily faster, VoIP phone systems are also on the rise. These phone systems are an attractive option for businesses due to the many benefits these advanced systems bring.
Even though the benefits of these phone systems are well known, learning how they work and whats involved is highly important. By looking at the differences of other phone systems, pros, cons, and information about the setups for each traditional business systems and VoIP phone systems, your questions can be answered.
The Basics of a VoIP Phone System?
For those that are unfamilar with this type of phone system, VoIP stands for voice over internet protocol. This process will transmit voice messages, and other types of communication, from one phone to another through the internet. With all the advantsges that this provides businesses, many are switching over to VoIP sustems.
The VoIP process is very straightfoward. If you have this type of phone system, it will convert voice signals into digital data, in data packets, and send them across the internet via a router.This type of considered any form of communication thats trasmitted via the internet. VoIP calls offer many options for businesses including systems that multiple phone lines have, such as voicemail, call forwarding, call waiting, caller ID, conference calling, etc.
The largest benefit that a VoIP phone system offers is integrted software, that can cover other business applications as well. Due to this, coustomers will be able to go to you for a single source of all information.
The call quality while using VoIP calls is also something to note. VoIP call quality is known for having clarity and continuity during calls. But, its important to rememebr that in addition to having a strong, and stable internet connection, some computers, routers, phones, and VoIP service providers all play a role in call quality.
What is the Difference Between a VoIP System and a Telephone Line?
Ordinary phone lines found in offices and homes, use hardware that run primary rate interfaces, which refers to a set of communication standards for transmitting voice, video, data, and other network services over PSTN.
Most traditional phone cables use a PBX server, which is regularly housed in your office. With this type of system, there can be more phones than phone lines, which can cause some issues in the workplace. Some PBX networks can be routed through VoIP networks, and can be hosted through an existing phone provider or internet service.
On the other hand, VoIP only uses the internet and phone system software that is provided. WIth this type of system, there is no need for desk phones, cables, or any other kind of hardware.
Which System Should You Choose?
When first begining to decide what type of system one should chose, there is much one must learn and consider. Because this will be such an investment, its extremely important to look at all the factors that will affect your business in the long run.
7 Phone System Areas to Consider:
- Your current setup – If your current PBX setup is meeting your needs, and some calling operations arent an issue, it may not be cost-effective to change it. If this is the case, sticking to your current setup will still be ebnefical and shouldnt be changed.
- The reliability of your Internet – PBX systems operate mostly through the phone lines, so you will still have communication in the case of an internet failure. If your internet happens to go down on a VoIP system, you are still able to forward calls to another number, or receive them via voicemail.
- Remote teams – PBX systems limit you to onsite calls, and VoIP systems give you the option to set up remote worker for your employees, remote call center teams, and distributed teams.
- Cost of the phone system – You’ll have lower monthly fees for PBX systems, but youll end up paying more for additional features such as cable installation, equipment, and maintenance. With VoIP, you will be able to pay fixed monthly subscription fees, with no cost for calls or equipment.
- Features of each system – While using PBX, this phone system only offers users a few deatuers such as caller ID, call waiting, call transfer, and voicemail. If you switch to VoIP systems, you will get all the same features as a PBX system has, plus countless additional features like call queues, call recording, call whispering, and call routing. The best of this is that you can use VoIP with your CRM system and other software integrations that your business uses.
- Sound quality of calls – PBX systems usually have good sound quality because it travels along with landlines, but these systems sometimes have issues if the internet signal is weak. A VoIP system has great quality as long as the internet connection is strong due to the fiber optic cables.
- Availability – It’s rare now a days for companies to install a new PBX system for a business, due to the equipment and installation costs that it entails. With VoIP systems, providers can quickly and easily set up a phone system as long as you have a stable internet connection.
The Pros & Cons of VoIP Systems
These VoIP systems have many advantages over PBX systems, but sometimes they do not fit with your company. Here are some more additional advantages and disadvantages that VoIP systems can offer some businesses.
Advantages of a VoIP System
- The subscription costs will be lower
- You can keep the same phone number when you move carriers or switch phones
- VoIP offers basic features and has the ability to be used with your CRM and other software integrations
- Can use multiple social media channels at the same time-phone
- There will be no long-distance fees
- You will have the ability to add and delete lines quickly and easily
Disadvantages of a VoIP System
- You need a strong and consistent internet connection to prevent latency and jitter
- The bandwidth for good call quality
- There is a small risk of decreased voice and call quality
- Devices need a sustained power source, so you must either charged batteries or direct plug into an outlet
When to Consider Switching to a VoIP Phone System
If you find yourself or your business considering the switch to a VoIP phone system, then there are a few things you can use to help you make the fianl decision.
It’s time to consider switching to a VoIP phone system when:
- If you’re spending too much on constant PBX repairs, maintenance, and IT staff assistance
- You’re at a point where you need to have mobility, switching will be the best option
- If you have started to notice that It’s time to start using call center software, you should make the switch
- You’d like your phone to be able to ring on multiple devices at the same time in order to make answering calls easier
- It would help your business if you could use national or international phone numbers
- You’d like to start using distributed teams or remote working teams
Choosing the Right VoIP Phone Service
Of course, its always nice to have options, but when it comes to the vision, and future of your business, you need to make the right decision. When making the decision to switch to VoIP phone systems, you have to be sure that these goals align with what VoIP can offer your business.
If you are still on the fence about making the switch, here are the considerations that should help you to make up your mind:
- Current setup – If you are a startup business that hasn’t chosen a phone system yet, consider VoIP. Or have you decided to upgrade your current phone system from a PBX system? Can you transition to a virtual setup smoothly?
- Call volume – If you find that your inbound and outbound call volume is minimal, but you already have a PBX system that works well, it may not be worthwhile to make a switch. On the other hand, If your call volume is heavy and you have or need to implement a call center, it’s time to move to a VoIP system.
- Scalability – Some seasonal businesses can benefit from a VoIP phone system where they can add lines during peak seasons without added time or expense. Depending on when your business is more active, this can be a huge bonus for some companies.
- Budget – Most know that PBX systems usually have high upfront costs, and also required ongoing costs for repairs and IT maintenance. Due to this, VoIP might be your best bet for your budget overall.
- Employee adaptability – Because humans are fond of habit or routine, your employees will benefit from learning now to use all features needed to succeed in the workplace. Once this information is learned, employees can easily access their work and bring outstanding customer service whenever needed. Additionally, with VoIP can allow employees to work remotely, or virtually.
- Features – A VoIP system gives you nearly limitless features and will respond to future innovations, making it easier to upgrade again in the future. Also, a VoIP system works with other business software as well, making it easy to share ideas and communicate. The bottom line is that features are very limited with a PBX system.
Making the Switch to VoIP Migration
Once you finally decide to make the switch to a VoIP system, you will need to be ready for it. Start off by using a reliable VoIP service provider and be sure to plan ahead. Here are a few things you can do in order to make sure your business and employees are ready for the major changes.
- First things first, you need to make sure that you have your current network evaluated. Be sure that your current network can handle the voice traffic and maintain high call quality. After doing this, it will be smart to check and see if voice is optimized on your router.
- Use a reputable VoIP service provider because they will know how to best suit your needs and help you in what you hope to accomplish. This service provider should be able to see the process through from start to finish, making it a super easy transition.
- Schedule time with your VoIP service provider to map out the migration plan and understand how, if, and when the transition might interrupt your business operation. If the interruptions are too large and damaging, work with them on how to eliminate this.
- It will be in your best interest to hold a training session for your workers and network administrators so they’re ready to use the system as soon as it’s up and running. If you are on the front end of this transition, migration to VoIP will go seamlessly.
- It is smart to test the system before you make the change permanently. Before you dispose of your old PBX system completely, run a test on the new system to make sure everything works properly.
What Are the Technical Requirements for VoIP Phone System?
If you are looking to get a VoIP system installed, you need to make sure that the infrastructure your integrating it into has specific technical components in order to make it work. Below are some things that make the infastructure for VoIP successful.
- Hardware – Router, VoIP adapter, phone equipment, and headsets
- A strong internet connection – A reliable internet provider, preferably using fiber optic cables in order to enhance all features
- Bandwidth – Make sure to test your system to ensure it has enough bandwidth for your call volume
- Software – Applications, integrations, and a cloud-based phone system
All devices that you want to implement VoIP on should have at least 100 kbps upload speeds. The connections that these devices have should also be less than 70ms ping, in order to prevent problems with latency and stavility.
Installing Your VoIP Software Within Your Business
- Designate administrators for this process – By assigning one or more employees to control your phone’s system and settings, can alieviate issues with over crossing when it comes to implemeting this into your everyday business. Everyone needs to know who to go to for questions and who to ask in order to solve problems that might come up.
- Create Voicemails and IVRs – An IVR is an interactive voice response system where administrators will need to set in order to route business calls. Adminstrators will also need to create a professional, yet personal voicemail message to greet your customers so that whenever they call, they are met with a friendly voice.
- Set calling hours – You can set your phone system up so that it rings during your normal business hours on all extensions and at all locations. Yes, It may seem like a basic step, but don’t overlook it and risk upsetting customers who are calling your business.
- Integrate with other workflows – It will be smart to connect your phone with your other communication tools that your business uses. This is the exciting part of using VoIP because once you integrate your other business tools into the mix, it will automatically update across teams. With this thrown in, your customers get better service as well.
Integrating VoIP Into Your Business
Within the first few months you’ll be thankful to see just how VoIP integrations have enhanced your business and your employees performance. VoIP is so easy to use, and incredibly valuable in the success of your business.