By now, the term voice over internet protocol is familiar, but some decision makers still are unclear about VoIP benefits such as flexibility, scalability and affordability.
As a small business owner, it’s important to have flexibility in terms of where business can be carried out. An SMB that adopts VoIP only needs to have an internet connection to enjoy the benefits of a full-featured enterprise communications system, with features like integration of the phone system with software such as customer relationship management solutions. This flexibility not only makes it easy for a business to relocate offices, but enables a more mobile workforce, able to tap into the company communications system via the web from home or on the road.
Particularly when run as a hosted solution through a cloud provider, a unified communications solution featuring VoIP telephony is a highly scalable option, making it easy and cost effective for a company to add new workers or eliminate features that become unnecessary. SMBs that adopt cloud-based telecommunications are also positioning themselves for a cloud-dominated future. “By 2014, 60 percent of the world’s server workloads will be done in the cloud and the scalability of this new technology will help the developing world sustain the rapid growth of the internet economy,” wrote University of San Diego, California, researchers in a recent report, “Unlocking the Benefits of Cloud Computing for Emerging Economies—A Policy Overview.” Just as developing nations are turning to cloud computing for its scalability, businesses that are in growth stages will benefit from this aspect of cloud-based communications.
In an article for PC Advisor, Brad Chacos put it succinctly: “The low cost of VoIP is its biggest attraction.”
Chacos pointed out that there is very little hardware involved in most VoIP implementations, saving SMBs from spending money on equipment that is specific to a particular telecommunications provider. In addition, monthly charges for VoIP are often less than the charges for traditional phone systems.
"VoIP is cheaper than a traditional landline if you have staff in far-flung locations," Chacos wrote. "Since in-network calls travel exclusively over data networks and don't need to hit the public phone lines, most VoIP providers let you make calls to your coworkers for free, even if you're in New York and they're in San Francisco"
These are by no means the only advantages that businesses enjoy by choosing VoIP, but they are among the most significant and most commonly cited by satisfied VoIP users. If you’ve experienced these or other VoIP benefits, we’d love to hear about it in the comments!