Is VoIP Right for My Business? There are many factors to consider when answering the question – “Is VoIP right for my business?” Below we look at some of the key pros and cons of VoIP.
VoIP offers many significant advantages. It provides cost savings through the elimination of phone costs and long-distance fees. Employees no longer need to carry cash or checks when making a telephone call – they only need a phone and Internet access. For businesses, this means that they no longer need to rent additional office space to have phone lines. This also means no more need for fax machines or photocopiers, and no more need to buy ink for copiers.
Video and audio conferencing are becoming increasingly popular with both small and large businesses. Video conferencing allows two or more remote teams to communicate with each other in real-time. Video can be used to update current information or present previous information to teams. Audio conferencing allows employees to collaborate with one another by providing them with the opportunity to exchange data with each other. Employees need not fear being in different locations, as they can view each other in real-time.
File transfer is another area where VoIP has a leg up on the competition. Through the use of file Transfer Protocol (FTP), a business can transfer a large number of files to one another without the use of email. File transfer is especially important for businesses that send out a large number of documents, and for which sending a file is a time-consuming chore.
Some areas that face challenges from VoIP technology are remote offices. Remote offices are usually small or virtual, and because they are located off-site, many times remote employees don’t have the same access to local phones and network equipment as traditional employees do. This can be a major deterrent to using VoIP in remote offices. However, all office communication can be eliminated through the use of an IP network.
A third area that can benefit greatly from VoIP is call distribution. Many businesses send employees and customer’s voice mail. VoIP offers advanced features that allow call centers to route these calls through their servers, cutting down on overhead and reducing labor costs. It also provides features that will allow multiple operators to work in tandem with one another. Some of these features include automatic redial, caller ID, and caller ID block. All of these features can help increase efficiency and ultimately save money.
So why should I use VoIP for my business? The primary reason is that it allows you to cut costs. By eliminating long-distance and possibly international fees, along with administrative expenses, you can improve your bottom line. The cost savings and efficiency improvements are paid back by higher profits, which will allow you to pay less in capital expenses and more in profit.
The next question is what kind of features do I need in order to maximize the benefits of VoIP. Depending on your company’s specific needs and objectives, you may find that basic features such as call forwarding and call conferencing are enough. On the other hand, VoIP provides a host of other services that will allow you to reduce costs, increase productivity, and expand your business. As VoIP providers continually strive to enhance their services, more features and options are becoming available. If your business is growing, and your needs are growing along with it, VoIP may be exactly what you need to keep your business on track.
Is VoIP right for me? Only you can determine this, but the important thing to remember is that if your business requires a high degree of telecommuting, then you need to make sure that your service provider offers this capability. Otherwise, your employees will have to rely on video conferencing or staying at their office to meet with clients. You may find that this functionality is all that you need in order to keep your business on schedule.
So how do I know if VoIP is right for me? The only way to find out is to test it yourself. Most VoIP service providers will offer a free trial period during which you can try out their service and see if it meets your particular business needs. During this time, you don’t need to commit to a long-term contract. You can evaluate your needs and reassess whether or not VoIP is right for your business. If you’re not satisfied, you can cancel your service at any time.
Is VoIP right for my business? Only you can decide, but the important thing to remember is that if your business needs are unique, you should be able to find a service that meets them. Choosing a VoIP answering service is only part of the equation, however. You also need to choose a company that has smart engineers who can navigate the technological maze that is VoIP.