Understanding VoIP technology is simple. A VoIP set-up does everything your traditional phone system does: it looks and feels like a normal phone and allows you to make, receive and transfer calls as you need – you won’t even notice the difference. The biggest change in functionality is that it runs over the Internet rather than a phone line, meaning that it normally works out cheaper each month than a traditional business phone set-up, whilst making it easier to take advantage of new functionality for remote working and call management.
As technology continues to advance, the number of businesses using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has increased tenfold since its beginning in 1995. In fact, it is forecasted that 90% of businesses worldwide will move from on-premise telephony to VoIP technology by the end of 2021. What’s more, the UK’s main telecommunications provider, BT, announced that by 2025 the ISDN (International Services Digital Network) will be turned off. As ISDN is the current infrastructure for voice and data communication in the UK, this will require all their customers, effectively the entire nation, to have a VoIP set-up by 2025.
What is VoIP?
VoIP is technology that converts your voice into a digital signal, allowing you to make a call directly from a computer, aVoIP phone, or any device connected to the internet. So, you can make, receive and transfer calls just as you would with a traditional phone, except this way, it’s delivered over the internet using a stable connection.
Skype, WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams, Slack and Viber, are all examples of VoIP technology that allow users to phone or videoconference others on a global scale and at a low cost. Some businesses may require more robust VoIP systems that are dedicated solely to Business Comms, such as award-winning VoIP solution, Xelion.
How does a VoIP phone system work?
As VoIP runs over the internet, your data is stored securely in the cloud and you can manage the VoIP system through an online portal via your computer or mobile. This allows users to adjust contacts, business phone numbers, call forwarding, and add new phone numbers centrally via an easy-to-use interface from multiple devices.
VoIP also gives businesses the mobility to use a softphone: a software application installed on your PC, mobile or a desktop phone. This means that your VoIP phone doesn’t have to stay in the one place to work. So, your customers, suppliers, partners and your team can call via your main office number, and it can be answered by your team as if they were sitting in the office. As it only requires an internet connection, it will function in the office, at home or anywhere with a stable network.
Why should my business use VoIP?
For 50% of businesses in the UK, a VoIP system is at the heart of their communications, providing easy access and low costs. As a software package, it gives businesses more insight into telephone usage and allows organisations to connect with stakeholders, team members and customers worldwide.
Benefits of VoIP for Growing Businesses
Considered as the most valuable mode of communication for companies in search of affordable, scalable, and flexible communications around the world, below we have listed the benefits of a VoIP phone set-up for your growing business:
Due to the nature of VoIP, it can equate to huge savings compared to a traditional set-up. A 2021 study found that small businesses can save up to 90% on international costs when making the switch to VoIP. This is because there is no need to purchase additional hardware, such as a PBX system – an on-premises phone set-up – which is particularly beneficial to a growing business when opening a new office. Likewise, with a softphone application for your mobile or desktop, your hardware and installation costs are lowered even further.
As your business continues to grow, you need to know that your systems have the capacity to keep up with frequent changes or updates. As VoIP is digitally managed, it is inherently flexible, enabling your business to grow quicker. Your team can switch from mobiles, PCs, laptops and desktop phones, allowing your business to react to potential opportunities wherever they are, and equally resolve problems with more efficiency. On a practical level, VoIP facilitates remote working more easily than a traditional phone system as it removes the roadblocks of conventional office set-ups that may be stunting your business.
The above benefits of VoIP play a crucial role in allowing your business to scale. With lowered costs and the comfort that your phones are working securely and properly, you can focus on the growth opportunities for your business. As VoIP allows your team to connect with customers and stakeholders, you can reach locations anywhere in the world.
Likewise, your VoIP set-up grows with you. The software system you initially install, should be updated automatically by the provider, meaning that you can focus on enhancing your business while IT Industry Leaders do the same for their software.
Award-winning VoIP Provider and IT Experts: Xelion and Innovec
At Innovec, our VoIP solution of choice is Xelion, a winner of consecutive CommsBusiness Awards and used by thousands of growing businesses across Europe. This is due to its call quality, ease-of-use, and the range of features it offers to improve productivity, including: missed call alerts, team availability and messaging, as well as simple call recording and listening features for staff training. All you need to run our Xelion cloud phone system is an internet connection and either a VoIP telephone, app for your smartphone or ‘softphone’ for your computer.
To find out more about how we can help or to arrange a demo, click here.
Is there any downtime when moving to VoIP?
No – with Innovec, our IT Specialists will install and configure your VoIP set-up in the background while your team continue to operate from your existing line. This means business operations can continue as normal, with no hinderance to commercial activity or sales.
For 1-2 weeks, your VoIP system will use a temporary number and all calls will be forwarded from your traditional phones to VoIP phones, so that you can test the waters on your new cloud set-up. This way, we can make sure that everything is running smoothly, and your team are happy with the new software. If there are any issues, you can trust that your old set-up hasn’t been removed, and seamlessly transfer back if needed (although, this is just a safety net, we know what we’re doing!).
Do you need the Internet to run VoIP?
Yes. It’s a valid question to ask, and an important one. As VoIP technology operates using the internet, you need a quality internet connection for it to work – just as you need it to run your business computers and laptops. However, if your business Wi-Fi did go down, you can switch and connect to the internet via data usage, such as 4G, on business mobiles.
We understand the hesitancy around fully migrating your phone systems to the cloud and running off the internet. It’s a common concern, but with a strong Wi-Fi set up you really can diminish this worry. The internet itself can never disappear, so even if one portion of the network goes down, such as your Wi-Fi, users should still be able to access another network.
So, is it time to switch?
Research shows that VoIP technology is on its way to replacing traditional telephony operations, and as such, businesses are refining their approach by migrating to a Cloud set-up. Not only does this improve business costs, growth opportunity and everyday connections, it means you are on-trend with industrial changes and your business systems can react faster to innovative technology. Due to the advancement of internet technology, the ISDN will be turned off and IT Leaders predict VoIP technology will replace traditional landline.
The honest answer is that you still have a few years to decide, but our IT Specialists will be here for you when you do.
We specialise in supporting IT for growing businesses. We know that all you need is for technology to make things easier for your business and we make this happen.
At a time when your customers expect great service, speed and reliability, you need the valuable people in your business to be engaged and capable of doing what you hired them to do. Not losing time and momentum to avoidable tasks or processes. More importantly than anything else at the moment, you need them to be safe.
We manage your IT. You run your business.