Business VoIP: Features, Benefits and What to Look For

Business VoIP: Features, Benefits and What to Look For

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Want to learn more about the Benefits of VoIP phones before transitioning to cloud-based business VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol (IP) is a set of technologies, methodologies, communication protocols, and transmission systems for delivering voice conversations and multimedia sessions over IP networks like the Internet.

VoIP, sometimes known as Internet telephony, has grown in popularity among organizations of all sizes. The reasons are straightforward: businesses must discover less expensive ways to communicate without sacrificing efficiency or production.

Organizations can benefit from business VoIP systems in a variety of ways. In addition to providing beneficial features for customers, using the Internet for voice calls is often more cost-effective and makes the management of the company’s phone system easier.

The following are some of the most significant advantages of business VoIP.

Reduced Call Expenses

According to a 2010 poll performed by Better Buys for Business, 55% of current or potential VoIP customers cited cost as the primary reason for using or considering the service. Many business VoIP services charge a set monthly fee per phone and include unlimited local and long-distance calling.

Greater Manageability

Connecting a telephone system to a company’s computer network makes it easier to manage users’ phones. Rather than major re-wiring, adding or shifting extensions involves a simple modification in software settings.

Enhanced Mobility

Employees can make and receive calls on their work lines when they’re away from the office using computer software that mimics their real phone using corporate VoIP. Many systems also offer call routing features that route calls to users’ cell phones or home phones, depending on their location.

Advanced Features

Many commercial VoIP systems come preinstalled with robust calling features that boost users’ productivity because they’re software-based. The most common features are a display screen with a name directory, call logs, other information, multiple folders for organizing voice mails, and PC connectivity. These features allow users to contact a number straight from a web browser or address book in an email client.

Integration with Other Software 

Business VoIP systems can boost productivity by integrating with the company’s other software applications. Software technologies, for example, can help firms better manage phone activity and improve the productivity of their call centers.

Preparing to Use VoIP

Adding voice service to a company’s network on top of everything else that needs to be done can significantly strain IT resources. Businesses make common mistakes when deploying a VoIP system by failing to examine current network capabilities and upgrading accordingly.

Experts advise organizations contemplating VoIP to do a call volume study before installation, either on their own or with the assistance of a third-party consultant. This will help evaluate how much more strain the network will be under and what enhancements would be required if any.

Aside from the hardware, you must consider how capable your company’s present IT team will be in operating the VoIP system, as well as what technical support you’ll require from the VoIP vendor.

Choosing a VoIP Provider for Your Business

There are many different corporate VoIP vendors, each with varying pricing, features, and delivery methods. One of the most important decisions that organizations must make is whether to use a vendor-hosted system. Vendor-hosted is a system that the company purchases and keeps on-premises, or a managed system owned by the company but serviced by the vendor.

Here’s a rundown of the various delivery models, along with their benefits and drawbacks:

  • Hosted System

The vendor owns the hardware. IP phones are leased or purchased by the company, but the service provider owns and maintains all other major equipment.

The company pays a subscription to use the VoIP system in addition to phone service rates. The benefits of a hosted system include fewer upfront expenses and no upkeep. This is a particularly appealing choice for small enterprises. One disadvantage is that it is less adaptable and can cost more in the long run than an on-premise system.

  • On-Premise System

The company owns an on-premise system. The hardware is stored on the firm’s premises, and maintenance and upgrades are the company’s responsibility. The upfront costs for key hardware purchases and voice service fees are necessary for an On-premise system.

The company can tailor the system to match its needs, and it may cost less in the long run than a hosted system. The disadvantages include a substantial upfront cost, making it a desirable alternative primarily for larger businesses.

  • Managed System

Even though the company owns the equipment, the vendor is paid to set up, administer, and maintain the system. Up-front hardware costs, as well as maintenance and voice service fees, are required.

Benefits can be customized with full ownership, reducing the strain on the company’s IT department. Up-front and ongoing costs, as well as a higher chance of downtime, are disadvantages as compared to a hosted system.

Business VoIP Features to Look For 

VoIP services come with many features and pricing alternatives. The following is a summary of the most common options; businesses must decide which are most important and then narrow their list of potential vendors to those who can provide all of them:

  • Charge Per Seat 

The most widely used pricing approach, in which the business pays a fee for each user. Paying per call is a strategy that works best for companies with a low number of outbound calls but a high number of incoming calls.

  • Standard toll-free North American Calling

This is often the case; however, some businesses charge extra for it, while others do not provide it at all. Businesses that only make calls inside a specific geographic area can save money by purchasing a bundle that includes that area.

  • Existing Phone Numbers and Extensions

Some companies will maintain their existing phone numbers and extensions for free, while others will have to pay a fee.

  • 24/7 Tech Assistance 

Contracts should specify when support is accessible and time obligations that have major ramifications for the provider if not reached.

  • Security

One disadvantage of business VoIP is that by putting voice service on its computer network, it is exposed to the same security risks as other IT resources. Learn about the security procedures in place by providers to keep the system safe from hackers.

Since VoIP numbers aren’t tied to a specific location or phone line, more specialized software is required to address this problem. The software may be standard, optional, or unavailable, depending on the provider.

  • Combination Internet/VoIP Solution

Some companies save money by getting their Internet and VoIP services from the same company. However, this increases the risk of both systems failing at the same time.

  • Vendor Trustworthiness

Most businesses rely on phone service to flourish, so check vendor references to determine if a business VoIP service is trustworthy, how the vendor prevents major outages, and how they respond in the event of an accident.

That is all there is to it. You now understand the fundamentals of corporate VoIP systems, including their capabilities and benefits. To make the switch to VoIP technology easier, all you need is one of the best VoIP service providers.

Contact Aavaz FreePBX now!

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