Benefits of VoIP Business Solutions
Here are the advantages of choosing a business VoIP solution:
- Simplifies telecommunication: when you go with a business VoIP solution, all voice and data communication services are streamlined with one provider. VoIP business solutions are also very scalable, so you can add or remove phone lines as you please.
- High cost-savings: when you use VoIP, you can share minutes across multiple office locations. Handle local and long-distance calls, and add extensions at no additional costs. Also, you do not usually need to purchase any equipment or software.
- Increased productivity: with more user-friendly and advanced features than traditional phone systems, it's faster to manage frequent and large volumes of calls. Even more, you can integrate various types of telecommunication devices and increase access.
Features of VoIP Business Solutions
Features of typical VoIP solutions for business organizations:
- Auto attendant
- Music on hold
- Voicemail and voicemail-to-email
- Call forwarding
- Find Me/Follow Me
- Toll-free number
- Call conferencing
- Call queueing
- Auto attendant
- Interactive voice response (IVR)
- Long distance and international calls
- TTS/ASR (text to speech/automatic speech recognition)
VoIP Business Solutions: Phone System Types
There are several types of VoIP solutions for business, which can integrate desktop phones, softphones, wireless devices, SIP phones, and other telecommunication devices. IP PBX systems are on-site systems, unlike off-premise PBX systems that are hosted or cloud-based.
A virtual PBX phone system is an automated attendant service. A virtual PBX is one of many affordable VoIP solutions for business organizations with five users at most because of its various limitations.
This VoIP business solution only lets you manage incoming phone calls and route them to the appropriate extensions (call forwarding feature). There are no call control features and each user needs its own separate phone service. In addition, calls between users or locations are not free. You have to pay for the call forwarding feature in addition to the overall service. Like a hosted PBX system, there are no hardware or software components to buy and maintain.
A hosted PBX system is an off-premise unified communications system that offers a variety of advanced phone features—from traditional outbound calling features, (call routing, desktop handsets, voicemail) to business call control features (call transfer, 3-way, call parking, conferencing, video).
Hosted PBX users can handle phone calls in one location or from a variety of locations because the phone service with the equipment at an offsite location, such as a data center or a building of a service provider. It is an ideal system for small or home offices, especially those that require mobility and remote working. For example, a hosted PBX is good for multiple small business locations, such as four offices with 5 people at each location.
However, large or enterprise-class companies that require more than 20 extensions at one location should get an on-premise PBX system.
The upfront cost are limited to installation fees, cost of IP phones, and handsets if needed. Other than that, there are no other hardware or software purchases.
If you do not want to purchase a new phone system, you can keep your existing traditional phone and only purchase equipment (router or Ethernet cable, depending on the service) needed to convert the analog signals to digital ones. (This would be a hybrid PBX system.)
Factors to Consider When Choosing VoIP Business Solutions
With virtual or hosted PBX VoIP solutions for business use, consider these factors and how they fit with your business needs.
Stability: This is a given for any type of service provider, but make sure that the provider offers a reliable uptime guarantee with redundant servers, routers, and Internet. This ensures a dependable phone system during the most busy times of operation for your business.
Contract and usability: If you purchase hardware, is it permanently yours or do you have to return it once your service is over? If there is a cancellation section in the contract, factor that into the overall cost because there is a chance you might not like the service. Look carefully at the contract terms to see if there are any hidden fees or penalty charges.
Support: Is technical support available 24/7? What do you think of the service provider's customer service? In addition to the hours of operation, the expertise and effectiveness of the support are crucial to your customer satisfaction — especially when you face technical issues during critical business hours.
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