In this blog, we answer four key and commonly asked questions:
- What is VoIP?
- Why do I need it?
- Why should I want it?
- What are the pitfalls?
What is VoIP?
The short answer is: VoIP = Voice over Internet Protocol
The slightly longer, jargon free answer is that it is a modern way of making voice and video calls using computer and mobile devices as well as more traditional handsets with an Internet connection
Businesses will need to switch to Internet Protocol (IP) based services for their communications systems by 2025. This is because the UK’s legacy systems are being phased out.
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) has been the basis of company phone systems for many decades. Millions of UK businesses still have an ISDN connection. But it is old technology and those still using it will need to adopt alternative methods to avoid being left without a phone system.
Why do I need it?
The short answer is: if you still want a phone system after 2025, you need to move to IP-based communications and away from ISDN. But, as we reveal below, there are other strong arguments for switching. You may conclude you ‘want’ to move well before you ‘need’ to move.
Why should I want it?
When VoIP first emerged as an option, the main driver for change was the relatively lower cost of calls. However, whilst cost remains an important factor in choosing the right package, features and flexibility have also become the key considerations.
IP-based systems now allow businesses of any size to enjoy an advanced, cost-effective, professional telephony service. There are a huge number of systems and options available, but here are some of the principal advantages.
For smaller businesses, or businesses with a distributed workforce or multiple sites, a cloud-based system can be a great option (meaning your phone system is no longer physically on your premises). This gives workers flexibility such as having both a desk phone and an app on their mobile which rings simultaneously so that they never miss a call, irrespective of where they are. And as the system is based in the cloud it is very easy to scale up as your business grows or moves premises.
For larger businesses, the more traditional option of having an on-site phone system remains, giving all the advantages of the mobility of VoIP technology but the cost benefits of owning and hosting your own system.
Furthermore, 5G is on the horizon and with it the prospect of mobile internet speeds that are currently only possible over physical, direct fibre connections. This means that even when away from the office, users can expect to experience a high quality service and the confidence that working remotely will not compromise their ability to communicate effectively.
What are the pitfalls?
As with any major purchase, do your due diligence and ensure you choose a credible supplier who talks you through not only the exciting features, but also the essential foundations needed to deliver the benefits.
First and foremost, any VoIP system needs a good quality internet connection and a business class router. If you don’t have an adequate or reliable internet connection, you will be disappointed by the results of the switch to VoIP, and your customers are likely to notice poor call quality too.
And do not forget about security. Like any computer system, VoIP can be vulnerable to cyber attacks if not properly protected. A good supplier should help you to invest in a safe, resilient system, as well as one which gives you the features and benefits you want to achieve.
Find out more
The team at EasylifeIP are specialists in VoIP and Unified Communications systems with decades of cumulative experience in IT, networking, cyber security and telephony services of SMEs. Contact us today to ensure your VoIP journey is the success you expect.