What advantages can a VoIP communication system bring for small businesses?

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is becoming increasingly popular with all types of businesses. VoIP phone systems convert regular telephone calls into digital data, and deliver voice communications over the Internet, or a packet-switched network. VoIP phone services have become increasingly sophisticated, and fortunately the initial teething problems of the technology seem to have been overcome. Some industry insiders claimed it would revolutionise communications strategy for the better: others remained to be convinced, claiming it could never live up to its billing because the technology was not sufficiently robust. However, it’s fair to say that those who doubted the efficacy of VoIP have been proved wrong, not that there’s any gloating on the part of pro-VoIP lobby. Voice over IP has delivered on its promises and transformed the world of unified communications.

Although the principle advantage of using a VoIP phone service over a traditional phone system is that it is cheaper, it also has other significant advantages like convenience and portability, not forgetting the advanced communication features of the technology that are available at no extra charge. Using VoIP communication services rather than traditional phone systems will mean lower costs for both small and medium sized businesses. Businesses with a broadband Internet connection (DSL or cable) can make PC-to-PC phone calls anywhere in the world at no charge. Even those businesses making a PC-to-phone connection, are usually only charged a minimal amount, and this is generally much cheaper that a traditional phone service. Business with multiple geographical locations that are connected to a Local Area Network (LAN) or Wide Area Network (WAN), can share all features of the VoIP system without needing to set up separate phone systems in each location. Additionally, calls between long-distance business’ locations do not incur an additional charge as would be the case with a traditional phone service. This is particularly attractive feature for those businesses with a substantial number of international customers or varied geographical company locations.

Apart from the cost-saving benefits, VoIP phone systems are also convenient and portable. With a voice over IP phone service, businesses can make and receive phone calls from anywhere where there is a broadband connection available. This is particularly attractive feature for those companies which employ remote workers. Voice over internet protocol phone services let businesses use technologically advanced communication features like call forwarding, call waiting, voicemail, caller ID, simultaneous ringing across multiple phones, seamless call transfers, and three-way calling. These features are freely available and can transform the way a company does business. Data like pictures and documents are easy to share using VoIP technology, and it also works with various Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) applications, such as call center management. These popular, often vital, applications can prioritize incoming calls based on the caller’s identity. The application automatically brings up callers’ account information as the call is answered so the recipient of the call can easily and conveniently see who is calling.

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