When it comes to using technology to enhance business operations, VoIP stands in the category of those providing seamless communications internally and externally. VoIP — Voice over IP is an IP phone service that relies on the internet to receive and transmit call data. It can be used to call all telephone networks including VoIP phones, mobile networks, and standard telephone lines (PSTN).
VoIP technology is powered by a cloud-based IP Private Branch Exchange System (IP PBX) or services with onsite installation. What makes VoIP fascinating is the flexibility and quality calling which can be free or at very competitive rates.
This article explores the advantages and disadvantages of IP calling and what it means for your business. We’ll cover the following specifics:
- Performance Quality and Flexibility of Use
- Scalable To Business Size
- Advanced Features
- Supports Remote and Hybrid Working Models
- Voice Quality Issues (Latency and Jitter)
- Power Requirement
- Shared Connection
- Emergency Calls Issues
Let’s dive in.
Advantages of VoIP
VoIP is the calling and communications technology of the future. The reason most companies are abandoning PSTN (traditional) lines for VoIP is because of cost savings on both installation and operational cost, as well as its array of features that support the increasing communication needs of businesses. Top of the advantages of business VoIP are:
Cost is one of the reasons small business owners prefer VoIP. VoIP allows them to operate and communicate like large corporations at no extra costs.
For example, VoIP systems require little or no installations, especially when using cloud-based VoIP which is entirely supported by the services provider. So there are no setup costs. All you need is to get VoIP phones or headsets and pay a monthly subscription per user and enjoy seamless national and international calls.
Even if you will need to install an IP PBX solution on-site, the cost is not as huge as what would be required when installing traditional lines. Medium to large businesses too can benefit from cost savings on VoIP as there is the portability of existing phone numbers and telephone infrastructure to VoIP.
2. Performance Quality and Flexibility of Use
With the right systems in place, VoIP enables crisp and clear sound quality. It creates high-definition calls by digitally converting sound, and removes static and fuzziness before transmitting them over the internet. This produces efficient and unified communications and connectivity.
Another advantage of note is the flexibility a VoIP service provides. The use of VoIP is not restricted to a device or location. A single phone number can be used on multiple VoIP devices including on a desktop interface and mobile app. Traditional phones can also be converted and used with VoIP numbers. What that implies is that your customers can contact you using your business telephone number and your staff can answer calls irrespective of where they are, as long as they have quality mobile internet or are connected through a Wi Fi.
3. Scalable To Business Size
VoIP is expandable and reduceable depending on your current business needs and future projections. Therefore, if you are currently a small business, you can get VoIP phones for your staff and as your business grows and you add staff, you can get additional phone numbers and devices.
Also, if you are at a stage in your business where you are trying to cut down on expenses, you can deactivate and reassign phone numbers or scale down the number of users on which you are paying subscriptions on a monthly basis.
4. Advanced Features
VoIP is not only about cheap voice calls and top-quality calling experience, it comes with an array of tools and features to enhance audio and video communication. Some of these features include business SMS, instant messaging, video conferencing, toll-free & vanity numbers, caller-ID, auto-attendant features with interactive voice menus (IVRs), call queueing, automatic call routing, call transfer, voice mail, and many more.
You won’t need to commit additional resources to video conferencing solutions if you have an active VoIP system in place.
5. Supports Remote and Hybrid Working Models
Your employees can stay connected to your organization from wherever they are using internal communication tools such as VoIP.
So if you hire people from other cities, states or countries, they can all be on your VoIP network, without the need to install different infrastructures in different places. All they need to connect is a VoIP phone, or VoIP web interface, and mobile app.
Each user can choose to access VoIP service on different devices and they might even program where they want to receive calls depending on where they are; in the office, at home, or elsewhere.
Disadvantages of VoIP
1. Voice Quality Issues (Latency and Jitter)
Some of the common issues with VoIP are latency and jitter which are a result of the delay in voice transmission and faulty data decompression.
VoIP phone calls are enabled by the transfer of data packets from one end to the other. Communications created in the form of audio, video, and texts are first compressed into smaller data packets before they are transmitted, decompressed, and delivered; all within split seconds. Any form of interruptions in this process can cause latency or jitter.
Why will latency or jitter happen? Sometimes, it could be a problem with your network, and it could also be from your internet providers. The data route might have been modified by ISPs and this may affect the call quality.
To minimize the incidences of latency and jitter at your end, ensure your internet connection is in good shape. Your VoIP network requires top-speed internet beyond what is used for normal office operations. So you might need a bandwidth upgrade in line with what is sufficient to sustain the load on your VoIP network. A T1 line or cable internet will be appropriate.
Also, use specialized VoIP routers that are configured to prioritize voice traffic over data to avoid disruptions in the calling experience. Lastly, using low-range ethernet cables for VoIP can lead to poor calling quality, therefore, install Ethernet cables such as CAT-5e or CAT-6 Ethernet cables on your VoIP system.
2. Power Requirement
Unlike traditional phone lines, power outages can disrupt your VoIP network. This means that your workflow can be affected during those times of losing power. However, you can mitigate things by installing a PoE switch on a UPS, and connecting your ethernet cables to the PoE switch. This will last some minutes before you switch over to another source of power.
5. Emergency Calls Issues
If supported by your service provider, you can implement an e911 emergency address. With this, you can update changes to the physical address connected to your VoIP number. You can do this for each VoIP phone and phone number on your network.
Still have questions about IP telephony and how to set it up for your business in Los Angeles? Flagman Telecom is your trusted provider of the best and most affordable VoIP phones and services in Los Angeles. Flagman Telecom has a highly qualified VoIP team that is always ready to support you to understand your business needs, recommend the most suitable VoIP systems, help you set them up, and guide you on how to optimize them.
Give Flagman Telecom a call at (848)-800-8008, toll-free, or check out their self-service quoting system, and you can get started right away!