A VoIP phone system, or Voice Over Internet Protocol voice system, is a type of telephony system which utilises an internet connection in order to facilitate telephone calls. In the past few years it has emerged as a viable, and in some cases more effective, alternative to traditional telephony systems.
Utilising codecs which encapsulate audio in data packets, VoIP transmits packets through IP networks, before converting the packets back into audio on the other side of the connection. It is the negation of networks which are circuit switched that enables VoIP to make the savings which can translate into better value for many users.
Best for business
As VoIP, sometimes referred to as IP telephony, allows data and voice to be operated in one single network, it has become a compelling option for many businesses. Companies which make a large number of telephone calls, both within their country and abroad, stand to slash their overheads by switching to VoIP. The resiliency of VoIP means that it can be a good solution for businesses concerned about the reliability of their current telephone lines when calling overseas. There are a plethora of other benefits which business, and non-commercial users, can receive from VoIP, and we will cover them in the 'advantages of VoIP' section below.
The value of versatility
One of the major reasons why VoIP phone systems are valued by modern day enterprises is the versatility which they provide. The same VoIP system can be used by a business to operate their desk phones and mobile phones, as well as functioning directly on their PC. For 21st century firms with mobile workers who could be in or out of the office at any given time, the flexibility of being able to use these devices with the same unified system is valued highly.
Next, let's look at both the advantages and disadvantages which a VoIP system can hold:
Advantages of VoIP
So what are the main benefits of VoIP? They include:
As outlined above, businesses stand to save a pretty penny by consolidating their voice and data needs into the same network. Initial set up costs can also be cheaper when compared to a traditional system, and you will only have to pay one bill for both your internet and phone requirements.
As mentioned, VoIP does not restrict you to landlines or mobile phones, and can be used on both. But it can also offer more flexibility when it comes to the number of phone lines which you can install. While you might have a limit imposed on you with traditional systems, with VoIP that doesn't have to be the case.
Distance and location need not make a difference with VoIP. If you have become accustomed to a long delay or low volume when talking to a customer, colleague or supplier in another country, with VoIP you can expect consistency of quality, regardless of where you are calling.
Full of features
VoIP is a digital telephony platform which offers many different features, some of which you could already be accustomed to from more traditional systems. You will still have access to functions such as voicemail and call waiting, but you can also enjoy new features like three-way calling and video calls, as well as the opportunity to send through files to the person you are speaking to.
Disadvantages of VoIP
There are some potential downsides to VoIP, and in this section, we take a look at them:
Reliance on power
You might have noticed that even when the electricity is off in your workplace or home, your landline telephone continues to work. That's because it requires a very low voltage and can stay running thanks to the telephone exchange. That is not the case with VoIP, which relies on a) electricity and b) an internet connection.
Counting on a connection
Similarly, if you have an internet connection which can be shaky from time to time, it might be best to switch to a more reliable network before moving over to a VoIP system. That's because VoIP needs a steady internet connection with enough bandwidth to function.
It should be noted that there is some risk of poor call quality with VoIP, and this is largely down to complications with data packets which can cause delays. However, as VoIP systems become more sophisticated, these issues are becoming less prominent.
Are you ready to make the switch to VoIP, or want to discuss the potential business benefit further? Call Amvia today on 0333-733-8050.