The landline is facing extinction and soon small businesses around the UK will need to find communication alternatives. One stand out device to replace traditional ISDNs is Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) which allows calls to be made over a secure internet connection.
While considering VoIP for your small business communications we outline whether cloud phones are a good choice for small businesses and weigh up both the advantages and disadvantages.
What is the VoIP difference?
VoIP, also known, as cloud phones allow simple, high-quality calls to be made via the internet. Unlike traditional phone lines, there are many features at your disposal such as low-cost international calls, free WiFi calls and access to over 40+ features.
Many business VoIP providers offer a ‘Hosted System’ meaning that you don’t have to own or install any equipment into your office(s). Businesses can simply utilise an app and connect a VoIP telephone to an internet connection and all of the call routing, call forwarding, voicemail, transfer-ability and many other features are handled by the provider.
Advantages of VoIP
To begin with, let’s look at the advantages of using a cloud-based phone for both internal and external communications.
Most providers offer VoIP without the need to sign up for a contract. Meaning that VoIP is available on a month to month basis avoiding large purchases at one time and lengthy business relationships. Furthermore, your business only pays for what it uses and can be a factor in lowering costs.
Compared to having broadband bundled with a landline, businesses could see their costs cut in half.
Hosted VoIP solutions are more affordable than on-premise solutions. These systems cover support, maintenance and updates. Furthermore, providers will also implement advanced features at no extra cost to you.
If you prefer an on-premise solution, the system can function on existing hardware and network. VoIP will also save your small business on domestic and international call charges.
By using VoIP calls, small businesses have access to multiple channels such as instant messaging, call conferencing. Some services can also transcribe voicemails and transfer into emails
Expansion and Location
Work from anywhere in the world: as long as there is wi-fi available, you and your staff are able to work from anywhere in the world.
Cloud phones aren’t disadvantaged from geographical restrictions meaning small businesses can also set up offices abroad at no further cost.
Backup and Security
With cloud technology, security and software updates are handled by the cloud provider and updated automatically.
Disadvantages of VoIP
While VoIP is popular and a fast-growing option for small businesses, it still has its disadvantages.
Bad Connection Means Poor Call Quality
As previously mentioned, VoIP uses the internet to transmit calls, so a fast and stable connection is needed for it to work to full capacity.
When VoIP first entered the market it was known for unreliable service and poor call quality. As internet speeds have become faster and more reliable over the years, VoIP has also improved and is now often as good as traditional landlines.
If your business is in a remote area where you don’t have good Internet service, you may still want a traditional phone system.
In the event of a power outage, customers will not be able to reach your business. You can still use your cell phone and cellular data, but it won’t be as reliable. Consequently, even business who switch to VoIP sometimes maintain a single traditional phone line, just in case of emergencies.
So, is VoIP good for small business?
As seen above, the advantages of VoIP clearly outweigh the negatives of implementing cloud phones to your business. VoIP offers a cost-saving and professional phone service alternative for small businesses. Landlines are an obsolete technology, which has remained stagnant for decades whereas VoIP is constantly improving.
To put your business communications to enterprise levels and to explore how to install a phone system for your business click to find out more about our packages.