Voice over Internet Protocol ("VoIP") allows you to make phone calls via the internet. It bypasses traditional phone lines, which lowers the cost of long-distance phone calls. A VoIP phone connects to a server that can be either be on-site or in the cloud. The server then transforms the number you dial into an IP address, allowing you to connect and speak with the other person through the internet.
VoIP can be used on virtually any device. You can place a phone call through a special VoIP phone or a softphone—software you install on your computer or smartphone. By utilizing VoIP, you're able to combine phone platforms, including traditional landlines, smartphones, email, voice, and videoconferencing, which allows you to collaborate from anywhere.
What are the benefits of using VoIP?
Your VoIP service provider can easily add voice lines to your plan at any time. This includes a branch office or to your remote employees. VoIP phone systems don't require expensive upgrades and regular maintenance like traditional phone systems. Also, VoIP provides a multitude of benefits in the following areas:
- Mobility—all you need to use VoIP is an internet connection. This allows you to access VoIP from almost anywhere: at home, any office location, a coffee shop, or the airport – anywhere with Wi-Fi. You can perform call blasts or transfer phone calls right to your cell phone. One of the most significant advantages is that it gives your employees flexibility.
- Continuity—VoIP also offers reliable business continuity. When used with the cloud, backups help provide quick recovery for voice and video calls. If there is a power outage or the Wi-Fi goes out, VoIP service providers can quickly re-route calls to alternate locations, devices or third-party phone services.
- Security—VoIP solutions connect you to a private network, offering greater security than connecting to a public network. You must use discretion with your network, ensuring it requires the use of end-to-end data encryption. It's essential to inform your employees they should never connect mobile devices that use or contain any company data to an unsecured Wi-Fi network.
A significant factor in VoIP security is user-based security. We advocate you enforce best practices, including changing passwords often and enforce strong password rules. Regularly check the VoIP phone logs for inconsistencies or strange activities such as a mysteriously deleted voicemail or an uncommonly large number of calls to or from a number you don't recognize or a number your employees shouldn't be accessing. These examples can indicate hacker schemes and activity.
- Cost Savings—VoIP providers generally set a monthly fee for service, as VoIP services are all run on a single network. The pay as you go option keeps costs steady, and rates for international calls are undeniably lower. The costs for setting up a VoIP system can be high if you've never adopted a communications platform before. In the long run, implementing VoIP is significantly cheaper than using a traditional phone service.
If you're interested in implementing a VoIP based phone system, let our VoIP consultants determine your business needs and guide you through the process of choosing a provider, installation, and migration, implementing best practices, training, and support. We help oversee the entire process to ensure a seamless transition.
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