If you haven't heard of VoIP, or Internet Telephony, then it is time to pay attention. If you have heard of it but are currently stuck with an all-TDM or hybrid telephony system, we have one question for you... Why? VoIP has been around for decades but has only recently been considered ready to implement as an architecture for business phone systems. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), IP-Enabled Services. VoIP historically referred to using IP to connect private branch exchanges (PBXs), but the term is now used interchangeable with IP telephony. VoIP today is often referred to as is a type of phone system that uses technology that allows you to make voice calls with an internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line.
According to Cisco's 100% IP Telephony Infographic, in 2016, only 28% of all companies were all VoIP. Though VoIP systems are steadily becoming the standard for business communications, many still have concerns about adopting it. We're going to debunk the 5 most common VoIP myths.
1. Poor Quality
There's nothing worse than playing a good old-fashioned game of phone tag because of poor or lost connection. When VoIP was first introduced, users complained about the quality- echoes, background noise and delays. While many companies still may be wary of this connection, these services have since upgraded their technology resulting in consistent crystal-clear phone calls. The quality of your call is in direct correlation to the quality of your device.
2. Features & Upgrades Are Too Expensive
With most services, you pay extra for premium features and system upgrades. Management time is then spent on allocating the funds to "needs," while slowly weeding out the "wants." CIO's find themselves asking what the company can do without, but what if we told you that you didn't have to choose? VoIP systems often come with many features, depending on the provider. But if you do your research when choosing your provider, more often than not you can truly get your money's worth in services. Flexability and scalability are two of the prominent benefits to VoIP. Upgrading generally means that you select a different payment plan for any extended services, so these additional costs are completely up to the company's demand for additional services.
3. Limited Mobility- Is it Really Reliable?
The new workplace reality is simple, if an employee doesn't need to be in the office, they're likely going to stay home. As a result, employers are looking for ways to cater to remote workers. VoIP allows for a seamless connection from any location. When addressing mobility needs, it's important to look into a softphone application. A VoIP softphone bridges the gap between an office handset and a cellular device. When integrated, the softphone allows the users device to mirror the functionality of a desktop- protecting the device, the number and all other confidential information on the company's end. This not only creates efficiency from any location, but allows for continued presence even when away from the desk. This connection is as reliable as your internet connection. If you don't already have issues with power outages, service interference or network latency, you shouldn't expect to have any problems with VoIP.
4. Questionable Security
We've covered this topic before in our post VoIP Security Threats- What can I do? Though we have plenty of reasons to worry about online security, the worries centered around VoIP can be avoided if your company is properly prepared. If you know what level of security you're looking for, vendors can bulk up on security first and foremost. It is important not to ignore the fact that just like every other device on a network, there are vulnerabilities to hackers and cyber attackers if not protected. What can you do? Providing a virtual private network (VPN) is a great way to keep your data encrypted across your network as well as from the outside. Constant monitoring ensures that even when someone isn't watching, your network is safe. Strong passwords are a given and this almost goes without saying that password123 just isn't going to cut it. Substituting numbers for letters based on their appearance is a great way to start improving your password strength (i.e., 1 instead of L, 2 instead of Z, etc). Combine uppercase and lowercase letters as well as symbols and numbers for maximum security. Ready firewalls are a corporate expectation and should work effectively to protect your VoIP system in the long run.
5. Only For Large Businesses
While large companies find VoIP useful for call centers that use high volume calling, small and mid-size companies are more than capable of reaping the benefits too. VoIP allows for small business growth without the need for expensive upgrades or costly downtime. Small companies can also utilize VoIP and its extensive feature set to make their organization look bigger than it is, with a more professional telephony solution aimed at optimal customer service. Mid-sized businesses can implement VoIP at multiple locations, saving in inter-company calls.
Switching telephony systems isn't a small decision. Make sure to do all of your research and triple check your sources before shying away from the idea of a Hosted VoIP solution. VoIP is simply the most cost effective and efficient way of handling business telecommunication needs.