VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) lets you use a telephone service via the internet. Calls are now no longer dependent upon older conventional telephone lines. VoIP delivers greater performance at a lower price for companies. Many business owners report significant cost savings as much as 70% just by switching over to VoIP. This is due to the substantial amount of time and money saved by using VoIP for making international long distance calls. These savings are realized through reduced operating costs, and better return on investment (ROI).
Some providers provide their customers with a “SIP Trunking” service as well.
This feature provides the same features that would be offered from a regular fax machine. The difference is that these calls are transmitted over the same network as your voice and are not subject to the limits placed on traditional telephone calls. Some providers offer SIP trunks for free with VoIP service, or at discounted rates when purchasing bundled services such as VoIP service and traditional tax services.
Most businesses will want to replace their current PBX system with a hosted VoIP solution.
Hosted solutions are provided by many different vendors, including ATA, Verizon, and Cisco. The majority of hosted VoIP providers include some of the features that are currently available from traditional phone systems: auto attendant, call forwarding, call transferring, call waiting, music on hold, etc. Most of the hosted solutions also include features that you can’t find in a traditional PBX phone system, such as a virtual receptionist, voicemail, fax to email, and the ability to block phone numbers.
One thing that many people don’t consider when replacing their existing phone system is whether they need a VoIP phone service or not. Many small businesses are only interested in using voice (Voice over IP) for domestic and business calls. VoiP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a form of phone service that allows your callers to make phone calls over the Internet instead of using your normal phone lines. You can get unlimited long distance calls and international calling minutes for a low monthly price, making it an affordable option for many small businesses. However, there are limitations to VOIP phone service if you’re looking to use it for international calling, and here are some of them:
Number Porting: Because most VOIP systems allow you to place calls from your computer, your integrations and call forwarding will be much easier if you’re able to use your computer as the number porting device. Unfortunately, not all IP phones support this function, so your best bet is to check the list of VoIP integrated devices that your provider provides. Some providers don’t have any number porting options built-in, but instead include their own custom integration solution. If your provider doesn’t offer any special integrations, you may want to consider purchasing one separately to take advantage of the functionality. Most of these custom integration solutions are more affordable than purchasing a dedicated VoIP number porting device, so this option should be seriously considered if you want to keep the cost of your phone bill down.
Customer Service: As with any business, your VoIP phone service should be backed by a good customer service strategy. Ideally, your service should be available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This way, you always know you can talk to a real person, even if the person isn’t in the office. A good VoIP company should also offer twenty-four hour customer service should you experience any problems with their service, which also takes care of finding the right adapter, configurations, or updates that your business requires.
Connectivity: Last, but certainly not least, you need to look at the speed of your phone lines when it comes to VoIP phone systems. Most VoIP providers offer fiber optic connections, which allow for quite fast transmission speeds. Remember, the biggest problem with using traditional phones is they are very affected by things like snow and other elements that slow down traditional phone lines, and when you consider how many people use cell phones throughout a typical day in a typical business setting, the amount of time that traditional lines spend idle is not helpful for a growing business.
- These are just a few of the things you should look for when evaluating VoIP phone service.
- In particular, you need to make sure you’re choosing a provider who offers a reasonable price, has good customer service, reasonable prices on upgrades and other services, and has strong fiber optic connections.
- By taking the time to do a little research and consider your unique business needs, you will be able to find the right VoIP phone system that fits you perfectly, saving you money and allowing you to get the most out of your VoIP service. Get started today!