An Introduction to VoIP and its Cost Savings
There are four main reasons why companies are moving from traditional phone systems to hosted VoIP.
1. Lower Monthly Rates and Fees
VoIP is available at lower prices than traditional phones because the technology used for VoIP calling is built on your existing internet connection. Voice data is far less costly to send over the internet instead of landlines.
A lower price is always an attractive feature. But it’s even better when you get a lower price AND enhanced service and quality. That’s what you get with VoIP.
2. Unlimited Local & Long Distance
Because VoIP calls travel from point to point over the internet, every call is technically a local call. Whether you’re calling a customer down the road or across the country, the call quality will be the same. That’s why most VoIP providers offer an all-inclusive calling plan for a flat monthly fee.
3. Premium Features Come Standard
VoIP subscriptions come with features that you won’t find from landline service providers. These include voicemail to email, auto attendants (or virtual assistants), voice and video conferencing, one-click calling, mobile phone apps, and a lot more. And you won’t have to pay extra to access these basic features.
4. Enhanced Flexibility & Scalability
VoIP eliminates all unnecessary costs. You can get specialized plans designed for your unique needs and make changes to your subscription on the fly. Add new features or new locations to your plan with the click of a button. There’s never any need to install new IT equipment.
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These are all great reasons to make the switch to VoIP. But to decide whether switching to VoIP is right for your company, you should have a complete understanding of the technology involved and the implementation process. Keep reading to learn the basics of VoIP and to get a preview of what VoIP can do for you company.
A Short Introduction to VoIP
You already know that switching to VoIP can save you money, but you should also know that it’s really easy to set up and operate. You don’t need a technical background or a deep understanding of the technology. If you know how to use a web browser, you can navigate a VoIP system.
What, exactly, is VoIP?
VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol. Basically, it’s a technology that lets you make phone calls over the internet. Phone calls become digital (instead of analog) transfers of information. Skype is a well-known example of VoIP.
The technology has been available since 2004, but since then there have been many improvements to quality of service and new features have been added to make VoIP even more attractive to businesses.
Who uses VoIP?
VoIP is used in residential, small business, and enterprise settings. Small and medium-sized companies are increasingly turning to VoIP to get enterprise grade features for a fraction of the price. How significant are the cost savings? On average, we’ve found that they range from 50% to 75%. And nearly every VoIP customer experiences a reduction in telephone expenses.
How VoIP reduces costs
The number one reason is that, with VoIP, there’s no need to install extra equipment. All the necessary equipment is owned and operated by your service provider. This makes VoIP essentially ‘plug-and-play’. You already have the infrastructure you need to use it.
Another reason why VoIP cuts telephone costs is that it’s easy to update. Because there are no physical hardware requirements, updates can be carried out through software. This allows VoIP providers to constantly improve the level of service they offer to business customers. It’s why we’re constantly seeing new features and VoIP applications arising.
There’s a lot of innovation in the VoIP industry. And that’s great news for customers.
VoIP also cuts costs by reducing long distance charges. Most providers offer free local and long distance calling. And many offer international calling at local rates. If your business operates in several different states, or even internationally, you’re going to see major savings when you switch to VoIP for long distance calling.
VoIP installation costs
There are typically no setup fees for moving an old phone number to a VoIP provider. If you need additional numbers, you can buy them through your provider for any area code in the U.S. Buying local numbers, by the way, is a great way to ensure that your business maintains a presence in strategic geographic areas.
In terms of equipment, you can use your existing desktop phones with the help of a simple adaptor to connect them to the internet. Adapters typically cost less than $50. You can also purchase specially designed VoIP phones. They range in price from $50 to $1000.
But keep in mind you can also use computers or other internet-connected devices like smartphones and tablets to make VoIP phone calls. Using a mobile device to make VoIP calls is sometimes called using a ‘softphone’. Pretty much any smartphone will work, as long you download your provider’s VoIP app.
Maintenance costs for VoIP are non-existent. IT support is handled by your provider, and any changes you need to make to your system can be done through web-based dashboards. No programming or IT expertise required whatsoever. You can even make company-wide changes from a single computer.
Read to give VoIP a try?
Consider our Risk-Free Roadmap to VoIP. We let your try VoIP at select offices or with specific team members before fully committing. You can test the technology using a temporary phone number before transitioning your entire system.
Contact us today to learn more about switching your business to VoIP. We’ll help you understand the transition process and work to provide you with a customized solution that works best for your business.