Voice-over-Internet Protocol, or VoIP service, has been talked about for a number of years but is now being adopted by mainstream businesses in order to save money as well as deploy powerful new capabilities for end-users.
Recent product launches by Baby Bells and long-distance carriers, as well as an onslaught of “network convergent” companies offering both voice and data services, are successfully penetrating a range of industry sectors. By now, it is likely you have heard the terms “VoIP” and “convergence” – possibly in the same sentence – in some high tech article or in a speech. But, why should this matter to your company? This paper will explore the benefits of VoIP technology to businesses as end-users, as well as steps for acquiring service.
Benefits of VoIP Telephony
By combining voice calls over the same infrastructure that delivers Internet connectivity, businesses can save money. Most businesses have high-speed Internet connections, and most businesses also have separate phone lines.
Consolidating all this over one access pipe permits substantial cost savings for small and medium-size businesses – 20% or more per month. In addition, eliminating onsite phone equipment (key system or PBX) and consolidating wiring, also saves money.
Beyond cost savings, VoIP technology makes the most eye-catching features viable for both small and large businesses – transforming telecommunications in much the way Windows now supersedes DOS on your PC. For example, imagine arriving at the office and turning on your computer in order to read your emails – and listen to your telephone voice messages! With VoIP telephony features, you simply click on voice messages that have been delivered to your computer. You will listen to them (in the form of wave files), forward, delete and respond to them, all with simple mouse-clicks. Furthermore, you’ll toss out your old phone system “cheat sheet” – the one with all the asterisk-number combinations for saving, forwarding, replaying or deleting voice messages, and for invoking call transfer, 3-way calling, and so on – and you’ll just use point-and-click commands from an intuitive web interface on your computer.
You will also enable your business phone system to screen calls according to your personal priorities. And, calls will follow you whereever you choose – to your cell phone, to your home phone, to your home-office phone – again controlled by you through easy point-and-click commands. How about having your prospects and customers in Atlanta call a local Atlanta phone number that rings at your call center in Charlotte? These are just a few examples of what you can achieve with VoIP.