The days of businesses having to spend large amounts on communications due to a lack of affordable, flexible options are over. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and IP telephony allows the creation of appropriately scaled services to meet the requirements of businesses everywhere, especially multi-site ones. Advantages of migrating to VoIP include:
- Lower costs
- Improved control over technology
- Simpler system management
- Bundled services
- Improved network efficiency
- Potential for future application enhancement and development.
VoIP solutions offer businesses the chance to select a scaled-down system that does not rely on large volumes to provide better pricing, unlike wire-line public switched telephone networks (PSTNs). Further, network convergence technology means that the business’s phone systems provider will also take care of data service needs. A single connection will be the delivery channel for multiple service offerings — data, telephony, and video — and this immediately reduces telecommunication costs. Moreover, fewer specialized staff resources are required to manage the systems.
A company's network will be utilised to its full capacity. This offers improved efficiency in addition to standard features such as teleconferencing, integrated voice mail, e-mail, fax and messaging options, encryption and integrated information services. It also bypasses long-distance phone charges. And once a VoIP platform is in place, it’s incredibly easy to add further applications or upgrade system settings.
But there are some downsides that must be considered. One drawback is that if the network is down, neither the computers nor the phones will work. Further, although there have been dramatic improvements in voice clarity and quality, some vendors' systems are better than others in terms of infrastructure robustness and service reliability. To overcome these concerns, many providers offer guarantees and certified assurances of quality of service (QoS) and availability.
But most problems are related to lack of clarity on actual user requirements and attempts to simply throw bandwidth at the problem. Before choosing a platform, you need to determine your usage requirements. Once you've done this, you can work with a VoIP vendor to choose the most appropriate solution for your needs.