The transition away from legacy telephone systems to VoIP based service is inevitable. More than 60 percent of businesses have decided to move to VoIP, according to a recent survey on business telecommunications. The reasons for the move to VoIP include speed, security, scalability, operational costs, and increased productivity. While there are significant benefits to VoIP, we will also examine some pitfalls of VoIP.
To help understand the differences between a hosted PBX and traditional phone service, we need to recognize each service’s fundamental structures. Hosted PBX is a virtual system that consists of multiple IP phone lines connected to one unified communication infrastructure (OUI). Each IP phone line has been provided with a unique IP address and assigned a specific functionality. There are no requirement for equipment upgrades and no separate hardware to manage calls. The hosted vendor manages all communication functions such as call recording, billing, technical support, and other services by serving them over the same network. Hosted PBX vendors offer advanced features that may be utilized by businesses in the form of integrated communication planning solutions (ICP), auto-attendants and business continuity plans.
With regard to the disadvantages of using VoIP, most businesses will find few.
One of the biggest problems associated with a VoIP service is the lack of portability. If your company moves around a lot, you may find that switching to a new VoIP vendor is quite difficult. Another disadvantage of VoIP is the lack of standardization of the features that are offered. Most businesses find that there are limited features and applications for softphones and standard phones which severely limit their versatility.
An advantage of VoIP compared to IP telephony is that there are far fewer problems associated with security. In IP telephony, security is a major issue because of the nature of IP networks and the possibility of malicious interference. As a result, all calls are protected using security algorithms and protocols. In comparison, most VoIP conversations are transmitted digitally. This means that there is very little or no risk associated with security issues.
The third advantage of using VoIP is that it can easily integrate with existing business phone systems.
Because all phone calls are sent over the internet connection and never via a traditional phone line, all present phone systems can be seamlessly integrated with the hosted VoIP solution. Changes to the existing network infrastructure can be easily managed and applied at any time. Unlike traditional phone systems, there are no additional technical requirements required to integrate VoIP with an existing enterprise IP or ISDN phone system.
One of the primary reasons that businesses choose to use VoIP over traditional methods of telephone communication is because there is considerably less cost involved. One key cost savings for businesses is the significant amount of money that can be saved on long-distance and international calling expenses. Many businesses that use VoIP as their main form of communication spend hundreds of dollars each month on long-distance and international calling. By using a hosted VoIP solution, all of these expenses can be eliminated. A hosted system also provides several other benefits such as advanced features, added functionality and the ability to seamlessly integrate with existing business phone systems. There is no need to purchase extra hardware or software or make any upgrades to your current systems.
Data centers are another reason why many businesses prefer to utilize VoIP over on-premises PBX solutions. Large businesses that have offices in multiple locations rely heavily on the data centers to provide uninterrupted phone service. A VoIP phone system with data centers can offer excellent call quality and a consistent high-speed Internet connection to employees located throughout the country. The lack of a centralized infrastructure reduces the maintenance and operating costs for the business and allows the company to reduce its dependence on traditional electricity sources.
One of the most important factors that businesses must consider before purchasing VoIP Phone Service is the switchover time required. Switching from business phone systems to VoIP-only systems takes significantly less time than switching from PSTN to IP phones.
- In addition, most providers offer various time-name options to accommodate clients with different time zones.
- This flexibility significantly reduces operational impact to employees and adds to the productivity of the organization.
- Businesses should evaluate their bandwidth requirements before choosing which switching options to select.