It’s the new buzz-word, but if your business has yet to adopt it, it may not mean much to you.
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Internet Protocol could be thought of as the way computers communicate over the internet.I’m sure you remember the dial-up days of the Internet—originally, the Internet was designed mainly to transmit and receive relatively small amounts of data. In those days, fast business Internet was a rarity, and voice communication over the internet was unheard of.With the appropriate equipment, VoIP allows for audio (and sometimes video) communication using an internet-type connection rather than a phone line. These days, computers aren’t even a requirement—many smartphones and tablets integrate seamlessly with VoIP services.
One of the most useful benefits of VoIP is that you can take it literally anywhere that has an internet connection. There’s no need to change or transfer numbers if you’re moving, and you can take it with you no matter where you are, meaning that you no longer miss calls because you’re out of the office! This makes VoIP the perfect choice for business owners and employees who are always on the go.
Another benefit of modern VoIP systems is that they offer a number of multiple functions to the user. VoIP not only allow for the transmission of sound, but also offer rich media service that allows you to use other forms of communication such as text, picture, and video. As a result, the wide range of interaction allows for a far more satisfactory user experience, and allows for an enhanced communication process between users.
Many VoIP systems are easy to use and maintain, making them perfect for small businesses that don’t have the resources (or patience) to train their staff to use a new system. Not only that, but VoIP systems can be easily installed without the need for additional installation of hardware, meaning that you won’t have to pay expensive wiring or cabling fees nor be cluttered by the additional hardware. Of course, VoIP is easily maintained, since much of the processing is done using software rather than hardware, which allows for the easy monitoring or alteration of the network.
VoIP can easily be integrated with other applications such as email, instant messenger, social networking, and other applications. As a result, there is a whole new range of possibilities for users as they enjoy the synergy that is developed through this integration.
VoIP systems allow your workers to be more productive. Employees can carry out other functions or activities without being interrupted by conversation. They can instantly send documents, pictures, or other media to others, taking away the need for follow up meetings. With the increased level of communication and data sharing allowed with VoIP, fewer mistakes are made and as a result a higher level of productivity can be achieved.
The biggest advantage of VoIP is the amount of money that it can save small businesses. With calling rates for VoIP service providers significantly lower than traditional phone companies, along with no need for expensive cabling or wiring, your business can save money right from the very beginning of your switch. Not only that, but there are far fewer costs with regards to any changes you make to a plan – for example costs for employee moves, adds or changes are virtually eliminated saving your businesses money for each employee. In addition, many of the features that are additional costs on a traditional phone system are provided free of cost on VoIP systems, saving you even more money.Estimating the cost for a VoIP solution is like asking for the length of a piece of string—with different requirements come different implementation fees. Costs of a VoIP solution can range anywhere between $20-$50 to several thousands of dollars. It really depends on your requirements.When deciding on a VoIP solution, Australian businesses must consider:
Companies that offer VoIP service usually offer better customer support to customers than traditional phone companies. With customer service reps now available online, you can easily and quickly receive the support that you need. Not only that, but VoIP providers can make changes far more quickly and easily than traditional providers, since they don’t have to struggle with the challenges that traditional providers face with having to upgrade old legacy infrastructure.With increased productivity, savings of up to 50 percent off of your traditional phone costs, and a host of other benefits, it is plain to see why using VoIP for your business is a no-brainer. Contact Greenlight in order to receive answers on any questions that you may have and get your free quote so that you can start receiving the benefits of your own VoIP system right away.
For a cheap and quick way to make VoIP video and audio calls, Skype can often do in a pinch. Available on Mac and Windows, Skype is free to download and use with other Skype users.There is a premium version available, which allows for more than two users to videoconference together. Furthermore, Skype allows the purchase of ‘credits’ where calls to landlines and mobiles (internationally) are required.While Skype rates are often very competitive, Skype itself is generally a choice for personal use rather than business, due to the inconsistent quality often being deemed unprofessional.Note that for Skype to work, it needs your computer to 'behave' like a server, with constant internet access. Using Skype for business will impact your existing office VoIP system (if you have one), and it is also worthwhile mentioning that having Skype running on a business network can represent a security threat to the network. This is the primary reason why we discourage our clients from using Skype for things other than personal calls.
Companies such as Greenlight ITC provide dedicated business VoIP solutions—the value proposition is typically a rate of X per month for $X worth of calls.While these services do cost money, what they offer is a DSL (digital subscriber line) dedicated exclusively to voice transmission. This minimizes the degradation in voice quality and likelihood of dropouts.There are also a number of features provided by business VoIP such as call reporting, CRM integration, and often an overall reduction in phone call expenses when compared to traditional phone systems.
While most businesses just need a standard business VoIP package, there are situations where a custom VoIP solution makes more sense.Let’s say that your business is in constant touch with a certain key supplier—you are making phone calls to this supplier several times a day, for weeks and months on end. When you look at your internal call costs, you realise that 40% of your call costs are all coming from the same place. In these types of situations, a dedicated link can be set up between two private networks, allowing for clients to make unlimited phone calls for a flat monthly fee, letting you re-invest the money saved into growing your business.Hopefully that clears up any confusion, and gives you some ideas on how you– or any sized business– can use VoIP to get things done! Remember to get in touch with us for a free quote on (02) 8412 0000, to potentially add greater flexibility to your business as well as reduce your telephony costs.