We live in a time of unprecedented connectivity. Technology has surpassed even the wildest expectations of 50 years ago. There’s just one vestige of the past that remains to be culled: the landline phone. It’s been a staple of communication for the last century, but it’s finally ready to go. The last step towards a truly connected business is to switch to a business VoIP phone system. Why hasn’t everyone switched to VoIP yet?
Even though more companies use VoIP than ever, there are still many that haven’t taken the plunge. An estimated 31% of all companies have switched to VoIP. So what’s going on with the other 69%? There are many misconceptions about VoIP that still persist. Many people believe it’s too expensive, too complicated, or just unlikely to work well. Thanks to modern VoIP technology and increasingly fast internet connections, you have nothing to worry about. Welcome to the fast lane.
Welcome to the Fast Lane: Affordable High-Speed Business VoIP
VoIP Is Getting Faster
Let’s start by talking about speed. Speed can be thought of in two ways: Latency and transfer speed. Latency is how long it takes between the time a signal is sent, and the time it’s received. Transfer speed is how fast data can be transferred between two locations. A combination of better VoIP technology and improved internet infrastructure has made both of these problems virtually obsolete.
Latency Is Long Gone
Latency was, and still is, the biggest obstacle to a clean VoIP call. As anyone who’s experienced lag on a call knows, it becomes nearly impossible to communicate after a certain amount of delay. This was a major problem back when internet connections could only send and receive packets from one or two destinations at a time. But now, most internet connections can reliably keep several channels open, ensuring a low-latency VoIP call every time.
Internet modems now use multiple signal frequencies. Imagine if your TV could show you 10 channels at once. That’s essentially what happens over your internet lines these days. So your VoIP call can create a constant connection and stay open, meaning your data doesn’t have to wait for something else to finish up. But what about that data itself?
Transfer Speeds Are Ready for VoIP
VoIP was much more successful in the residential market early on. This makes perfect sense because businesses regularly used much more of their internet bandwidth than home users. Companies constantly transfer large files over the internet and use many other online services simultaneously. At home, you’d browse the web a bit and download some music. Besides, you didn’t need the absolute best quality call for grandma.
But businesses need the best. Thankfully, VoIP tech and internet networks have met in the middle. Not only are your connections today much faster than before, but your VoIP calls actually use less data than they used to. It’s all thanks to the wonders of compression. New compression methods mean that your computer or phone can make the voice data fit into a much smaller space without noticeably losing quality.
What Kind of Internet Connection Do Businesses Need for VoIP?
So with all that in mind, what do you really need to make your business VoIP ready? Not much, it turns out. Today’s VoIP calls consume very little bandwidth. However, you will need to consider how many simultaneous callers you might have. If you’ve got a call center with dozens of people, pony up for some beefy connections. If it’s just a handful of employees that’ll be using your system at once, odds are you won’t need to change anything.
A T1 or T3 line is recommended for most businesses with physical locations. You can still get by on a cable setup if you’re a small business using VoIP for up to 10 people. If your employees are working remotely, ask them to do a speed test. 25mbps is a decent speed for an individual working alone. But a larger family ought to have 10-25mbps per member, at minimum.
VoIP Is More Affordable Than Ever
Okay, so VoIP is fast now and it doesn’t run into problems with modern connections. But surely it must be prohibitively expensive, right? As a matter of fact, the exact opposite is true. Most businesses save money when they switch to a business VoIP system. Many small businesses cut their phone bill in half! How can a better product cost less?
It’s all in how VoIP works. Your local phone company has to lay down copper wires and rush out whenever one breaks. Your mobile phone provider has to build expensive antennas. VoIP providers do none of these things. The savings get passed on to you. And since phone numbers are portable, you can always switch to another provider. That competition has led to some seriously low prices.
Business VoIP Service Is Easy to Use
Let’s clear up the last misconception: VoIP is too complicated. It might seem that way at first. All these acronyms and abbreviations flying at you can seem confusing. What’s a cloud PBX? Do I need IP phones? What’s this I hear about auto attendants and voice menus? Relax, VoIP has never been easier to set up and use.
You used to need special hardware, but now everything runs on your computer or mobile device. You just go to your VoIP provider’s page, sign up for your account, pay for the number of users or lines you need, and then download the software and log into your account. It’s that simple. You can have your business phone number up and running in under an hour. That’s all due, in large part, to business-specific features that VoIP providers have innovated.
Features for Small Businesses
For small businesses, VoIP is a godsend. It can actually help you to save time in a number of ways. For instance, you can configure call routing or use an auto attendant to help callers find the right person in your company and minimize back and forth between employees. You can even see a colleague’s status before you transfer a call. Managing your numbers is likewise a cinch: just log into your account and assign them to your staff.
There are also lots of integrations with other apps. For example, say you want to have all of your Google Contacts connected with your VoIP system. Just link your Google account, and when you open your VoIP app, you’ll see them all there. There are even browser plugins so that you can simply click a phone number you see online and your VoIP program will start calling it immediately. You can get more done in less time with VoIP.
If you’re a big fish and you’re looking for even more advanced features, VoIP has something for you too. Many VoIP providers now have bundles with video conferencing so you can save money using one provider instead of several. If you rely on desk phones, there are systems that can connect VoIP to them, either by replacing them with IP phones or by using converters.
The most advanced VoIP systems use artificial intelligence to track your calling activity. But you don’t need a computer science degree to figure it out! Just look at your dashboard, which will show you the most important data instantly. VoIP is ready for the future. Are you?