Choosing your small business VoIP is a decision you will want to get right. Though computer networks deal with most of a company’s workflow, an operational phone system is essential to the efficient functioning of any business.
For decades, the traditional analogue PBX phone system has been used for office phone systems, but nowadays small businesses are compelled to upgrade to the more modern digital solution of Voice over Internet Protocol. This guide to small business VoIP solutions will highlight the problems small businesses face with traditional phone systems and the advantages of upgrading to VoIP.
Challenges for Small Business
The PBX system is the traditional analogue phone system that for the longest time was the dominant phone system for offices, and involves an exchange making direct line-to-line connections. A PBX system comprises a cabinet of electronic equipment in the office.
Buying the equipment, maintaining it and its associated monthly charges add up to significant cost. You may have to make international calls, the cost variance of which can be quite substantial for a small business to handle. A small business may also not have technical resources available to put a system into operation and maintain it effectively.
There is also a limit to the PBX system’s size; it’s only designed for a certain number of telephones and lines, and in order to add capacity, you have to pay extra.
Many small businesses are mobile and rely on being easily mobile. A PBX system does not easily fit with such a business model as PBX hardware is cumbersome. The bandwidth and frequencies needed to transmit the Local Area Network’s signals require a lot of room as well due to their width.
A lot of trust needs to be placed in a PBX provider, as they will be the system administrators.
Expansions may be added to the system, making it excessively complicated. If the provider goes bust, then you’re left with the task of managing the root problems of the system.
A loss of power or system failure means that callers won’t be able to get through to you, which halts business. Such a malfunction can be particularly detrimental for a small business that always needs to be accessible to the customer, as all of its processes could come to a standstill in the event of such an occurrence.
What are the Advantages of Small Business VoIP Solutions?
For many, the biggest selling point of Hosted VoIP is that it saves businesses money. Installing VoIP removes various costs that a cumbersome physical system brings, for example:
• the setup
• physical installation
• the associated costs
On migrating to VoIP, all your system needs are some VoIP-enabled phones and an internet connection.
Additionally, calls are considerably cheaper. Overseas business calls with a PBX system can quickly add up, so upgrading to VoIP can be a smart investment to save money in the long term, whilst allowing your business to maintain a quality phone system.
Every step of the setup, installation and maintenance is easier. It’s no longer necessary to install separate cabling for traditional phone systems, which cuts down installation time. This also reduces clutter and danger associated with extra electrical wires such as risk of a fire.
Unlike PBX, VoIP is easily scalable. This means that you don’t have to worry about accurately approximating the number of phone lines you need to use so as not to waste any money on unnecessary lines. A Hosted system does not have this problem and can maintain precisely the number of lines you need; a line can immediately be added for a new employee, and can just as easily be removed or reassigned if an employee leaves. VoIP’s flexibility is only limited by your network’s bandwidth.
Hosted VoIP software allows the straightforward addition of new users, and a web portal is capable of changing, improving or amending the system’s software.
Because the calls are internet-based, a VoIP system can easily integrate with your current systems as well, meaning it is now possible to talk to someone over the phone whilst accessing other applications, including the Internet. This lets you bring up a customer’s record with his inbound calls, or place outbound calls through an email client.
Adapters can be taken anywhere, so VoIP users can hold phone calls anywhere with an Internet connection. Voicemail accounts are accessible through email for remote workers, and this feature can transcribe voicemail messages into text and send them to your email, eliminating the need to take notes whilst talking. This ability to multitask can increase your company’s overall productivity. The money you would have spent on phone bills can be spent on more useful facets of your business.
Upgrading to VoIP does not mean sacrificing any of the features that you would get in a traditional call system. VoIP supports call hold, call transfer, call hunt, conference calling, find me/follow me, and auto-attendant phone menus.
VoIP can also support old technology such as fax, as virtual faxing is often a feature of the system. You won’t need paper or toner as faxes can be sent and received through the email account you have on the VoIP system. VoIP technology has advanced to a point where voice clarity matches and in some case even improves upon traditional phone systems.
How Software Advisory Service Can Help
You may agree that a VoIP solution would be beneficial for your small business, but you’re still left with the difficulty of choosing a solution that suits you. There are many Hosted phone systems out there suited to a wide range of businesses of different sizes, needs and objectives.
In order to find your perfect solution, Software Advisory Service can help. We offer non-chargeable technology buying advice that will lead you to the VoIP system that will suit your business’s needs. Follow the 'compare providers' button on the right and we’ll get back to you with a shortlist of the best potential partners specially chosen with your unique requirements in mind. Why waste time and money looking for a VoIP system for yourself when you can get our experts to lead you to one through their experienced, impartial advice?