VoIP Service Options for Small to Medium Businesses and their Advantages
by Nate Rand
Technology has invaded the telecommunications arena and today different from the conventional landlines, business owners and their employees can access their office telephones remotely, thanks to the VoIP service. Here are some VoIP service options, their advantages and the factors to consider.
Factors to consider
Before delving into the issue of the VoIP service and options that exist, it is important to make clear about the guiding principles in choice of a telephone system for your business. Some of the aspects worth consideration include;
a) The kind of service – you need to establish the kind of service that suits your business from the options available. These options include the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system that runs on the internet, and the conventional landline telephone service that a local or regional phone company provides.
b) In case you opt for VoIP, you also need to verify whether the service provider will host the system (cloud-based hosting), or will have the system within your business premises (self-hosting).
c) The phone system – you also need to determine which phone system is best for your business; whether a full phone system that includes traditional physical office telephones or the virtual phone service, which operates purely on cell phones.
Attributes of VoIP phone systems
There are several advantages of opting for VoIP phone systems over the conventional landlines. These are;
1. Landlines employ the use of copper wires and incidences of cable cuts are regular experiences, which may take long to fix. The VoIP option, on the other hand, makes use of the internet connection you have at your premises, instead of cables.
2. VoIP systems give you access to features that large businesses with expensive PBX hardware use such as the automated attendants, call queues, and computer integration for voice mails, where laptops and email in boxes receive voicemail alerts from the telephone system.
3. Mobile options to access the phone system at your premises through mobile devices are also available for remote workers in the case of the VoIP system.
4. It is comparably cheaper than landline systems and works well for businesses that need functionality of an intelligent system; that staff members can connect to remotely as well.
VoIP service options
Self-hosted VoIP systems
The implication, in this case, is that if you opt for the self-hosted VoIP system, you need to buy the private branch exchange (PBX) hardware that runs the whole telephone system. The PBX equipment also makes circuit switching possible within the premises.
The advantage of the self-hosted option is that you have control over the system, and you can configure it as per the need of the business. You can also monitor the system in-house to ensure that it runs efficiently and if technical hitches emerge, follow-up on repair and maintenance is easier and faster. It is the best option for businesses that want to gain control of their phone system, and if they have in-house IT personnel, they are in a better position to maintain their self-hosted VoIP phone system.
Cloud-based VoIP systems
For the cloud-based VoIP system option, you only need IP phones for your business, which implies that there is no cost of purchasing necessary hardware, as well as maintenance costs to incur. The service provider houses and maintains all the PBX equipment, and through the cloud technology that this option offers, it is possible to add new lines, and charges are on a monthly, per user basis.
You save on cost of purchasing hardware with the cloud-based VoIP option, in addition to the benefit of configuring the system from your computer, to suit the needs of your business. If you have a fixed budget, then, this is the best option. Get in touch now for more details.
July 26, 2018