To say that Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) business phone systems have revolutionized business calls is an understatement. By placing calls over the internet, rather than over copper or fiber-optic cables, costs for calls are no longer influenced by geography, and the infrastructure needed for even elaborate business phone systems is miniscule in comparison to what the first office phones required. Here is a look at how VoIP works in small and large businesses.
Small Businesses and VoIP
Tabarka Studio makes hand-crafted decorative ceramic tiles in Scottsdale, Arizona. These tiles are used in high-end bathrooms and kitchens in the United States and the UK. Until recently, the company had a legacy business phone system with two phone lines. Only two workers could use the phone system at a time, and callers would get a busy signal if both lines were in use. The answering machine Tabarka had hooked up could only take messages and had no other useful functions.
The company installed a hosted VoIP system with multiple phone lines, toll-free and local numbers, voice mail (with email voice messaging), and dependable call routing. Extras included auto-attendant, online fax, and number portability.
Tabarka manager Ilan Cooke was thrilled with the new system, saying, “We are now able to handle all incoming phone calls and the professional-sounding hold and voicemail messages make us look bigger than we actually are.” Not only did their VoIP system enhance productivity, it saved 60% compared to the old phone system.
Big Businesses and VoIP
Nationwide Equity, a large brokerage and mortgage banking firm that is in the process of expanding to all 50 states, had a particular branch office with a balky phone system that was expensive and didn’t offer the features that businesses count on, like interoffice transfer. The top priority for replacing the system was adding features like call forwarding, auto-attendant, and call transfers. Up-front costs for a new PBX system were prohibitive, so Nationwide started looking at VoIP systems.
The new system was easy to set up and had flat-rate pricing that included an 800 number for customer convenience. Unlike with the old phone system, interoffice transfers on the VoIP system could be done with one button.
Said Branch Manager Mark Daniel, “Customers can’t tell whether we’re speaking to them on VoIP or a regular phone line and that’s the way it should be. I expected to have to pay significantly more each month for the level of quality we experience. It feels like we’re underpaying for the incredible value we’re receiving”
Economies of Scale and VoIP Systems
With VoIP systems, unlike older PBX systems, economies of scale apply even to very small businesses. Excess bandwidth is shareable and can be allocated wherever it’s needed. This alone allows businesses of any size to cut costs for calls. The different traffic patterns for data in VoIP systems versus PBX systems makes VoIP far more efficient.
What’s more, infrastructure costs with VoIP are low enough that large businesses don’t benefit as much from buying equipment in bulk. In fact, some start-ups use a “Bring Your Own Device” strategy where employees bring their own mobile device to work and are able to use it as part of the business phone system. This can be very efficient and cost-effective for new businesses, since around 90% of employees already bring their own mobile devices to work.
VoIP: Great for Businesses of All Sizes
VoIP benefits businesses of every size, from one-person offices to Fortune 500 companies. In fact, when you buy PBX systems today, those systems almost all use VoIP telephony in their gateways so that they can remain competitive.
If it’s time to replace your business phone system, you will probably be pleasantly surprised at how cost effective VoIP business phone systems are, no matter how big or small your enterprise is.