office communications needs. After all, the phone company has been around for decades.
Its technology is time-tested, and the sales pitch strong.But such decisions should not be taken lightly.Chances are, the phone company’s service will be
sufficient but will also drain the budget and won’t provide all the features available with newer,
Internet-based phone systems. These systems, often referred to as VoIP phones, are just as reliable
but a lot less expensive and more feature-rich than what traditional phone companies offer.
How is this possible? VoIP systems don’t rely on the phone company’s costly network. Instead,
voice communications are converted into bits of data that are carried over the same network as Web,
email and other Internet traffic. The savings are tremendous, as are the features.
And don’t worry,
VoIP systems always include the basic functions of traditional phone systems (and more), and they
integrate with the regular phone network, too. You can call and receive calls from anywhere.Here’s a look at five reasons why a VoIP-based virtual phone system makes sense for small businesses:Lower Cost
Simply put, it’s a lot cheaper to shuttle bits of data around the world than voices. In bypassing the
traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), you’re also avoiding high rates, fees and taxes.
With VoIP phone systems, there are no per-minute rates on domestic calls – they’re included in the
monthly bill. Even international calls are orders of magnitude cheaper (pennies per minute) compared with traditional phone systems.
In addition, VoIP phone systems offer PBX (private branch exchange) services without the closet full of telecom gear required by traditional PBX systems. Instead a hardware switch in a closet in your office, your VoIP system does its switching via software. If there’s a problem, it can usually be resolved via a software update. It won’t require the phone company’s costly truck roll.
With a VoIP virtual phone system, you’ll get all the basic features you’d expect from a PBX or traditional phone service, including call forwarding, auto attendants, custom greetings and voicemail. A virtual phone system, because it’s running on the same data network as your computers, can integrate with software that’s on your computers. Here’s an example: Let’s say you’re at your desk. The phone rings. On your monitor, the caller ID appears. You can choose to pick up the handset – or click an on-screen button to send the call to voicemail. You could even click to chat over the PC’s built-in microphone. If the caller also has an integrated VoIP system, you could launch a video conference with a single click of the mouse.
Wow Your Customers
From your customers’ perspective, the features are even more impressive. When they call your company, they will be greeted by professional messages and directory features that rival the phone systems of the largest companies. They can lookup employees, dial extensions, opt to listen to messages, send faxes and more. As a business owner, you know that first impressions are important. A VoIP phone system gives you total control over the customer experience when they’re calling your company.
VoIP phone systems are easy to manage. Features can be added or deleted from a simple administration portal that’s accessible through any Web browser. If you want to add or delete a feature, there’s no need to call the phone company. Just open the portal, click a button or two, and the changes will be made.
Finally, if you want to add a line, it’s as easy as plugging a phone into your data network. There’s no need to run an additional cable. If your data network doesn’t reach the new desk, you could always use your office’s Wi-Fi.
Your employees also can administer their own lines from their Web browsers. If they need to forward calls to another extension or to a cell phone, it can be done with a few intuitive clicks. There’s no need to dig up the PBX instructions and decipher how to do it via codes punched into the telephone’s keypad.
If you have a sales team, they can easily set up their virtual phones to follow them wherever they might be – hopefully, out in the field with potential customers and not sitting in the office.
It’s easy to be tempted by the traditional phone company’s sales pitch, but VoIP phone systems offer all the features of a PBX and more at a fraction of the cost. These days, you’re just throwing money away by paying for two separate networks and all the extra fees that are charged by the phone company.
Thanks the TIB Team