Telephone communication is an ever-evolving service. With phone companies planning to phase out their landline services by 2020, it has never made more sense to switch to IP telephony than now. Below are eight ways that IP telephony can benefit your business.
What is IP telephony?
IP (Internet Protocol) telephony uses packets of data to transmit emails, faxes, and vocal communications, as well as other forms of communication, to a receiving party. In the past, faxes and telephone calls were transmitted through circuit connections on a public telephone network.
You may have heard of VoIP and SIP, but there is a difference between the two. SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) helps to support the control of messaging, video, and voice applications. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) refers to any phone call that is made over the internet and not over traditional phone lines. Instead of using the public telephone network, VoIP transmits data packets by using data connectivity.
Benefits of IP telephony
When you make a call on a traditional phone line, the phone company charges for each minute of call time. With businesses, this adds up as there can be hundreds, if not thousands, of phone calls per day. With cellular phones, monthly plans typically come with a limited number of minutes, unless the user has an unlimited plan.
If a person exceeds their minutes, they are charged more the following month. If someone has a prepaid phone plan, then they have to add additional minutes before they run out. With an IP, especially VoIP, the only charges that occur monthly are from the internet service provider. These savings add up quickly for a business, especially at 7 cents per minute for a landline phone.
Since companies who subscribe to a landline service have to pay for each phone line, as well as how long each employee is on an outgoing call, they are often limited by the number of phone lines they can afford.
IP phone systems have no such restrictions. If a business need to add another phone line, all they have to do is add an IP phone to their router and not have to worry about the cost of an additional phone line.
IP is wireless and all of the call routings are done in the cloud. This means that your business doesn’t need a dedicated call centre to handle calls. Furthermore, IP is highly portable and calls can be handled by a remote worker on the other side of the country or the world.
3. Worldwide access
Since IP is wireless and portable, more employers are seeing the benefits of hiring employees who can work remotely. This is often seen as a win-win scenario for both sides.
For the employees, working from home has many benefits. Not only do they not have to deal with being stuck in traffic, but they save on gas, wear and tear for their vehicle, and they can do laundry while working from home.
For businesses, having employees work from home saves overhead costs, makes it possible to have smaller office spaces, and makes employees more productive. Businesses will even save on the cost of office supplies, and they won’t have to worry about inclement weather preventing employees from making the drive to the office.
4. Better use of bandwidth
A Swedish study published in 2008 revealed that 35% to 50% of an average phone conversation is silent. If the average telephone conversation with a customer is 30 minutes, that is 11 to 15 minutes of silence.
If a landline plan costs 7 cents per minute, then employers are spending anywhere from $0.77 to $1.05 per phone call listening to silence. If there are four calls per day, then in an average month then the silence will cost a business anywhere from $61.60 to $84 a month. Imagine the cost of that silence from all the phones in your business.
The Swedish study brought up a method to reduce bandwidth consumption by 35%. Voice Activation Detection (VAD) does not transmit packages if there is no voice on either end of the line. Instead, comfort noise (an artificial noise generated at a low but audible volume) fills in the silence, to prevent fears of disconnection.
5. Feature versatility
There are many features that make using IP phone systems exciting, efficient and productive. If you receive a voicemail, that voicemail can be sent to three other people with just one click. There is also a feature where the person is automatically called on a list of specified numbers until the phone is answered or the call goes to voicemail. The first two rings can go to the office phone, the next three to the cell phone.
6. Easy to integrate
IP phone services are very easy to integrate into the business’ existing infrastructure. With IP phone services, faxes can be sent by email and credit card data is sent through the network a lot faster. Since everything is quicker, it’ll significantly improve productivity within the workforce. This also allows for greater customer service, as information can be brought up, sent, and received at a faster rate.
7. Better mobility
If an employee needs to move to a different desk, or if an office practices hot-desking, then IP telephony is the smart choice. With IP telephony, employees can work remotely from any location in the world. With traditional landline extensions, they have to be re-patched at the new location. With an IP phone system, all they have to do is to take their phone to their new desk.
8. Better conferences
Conferencing capability is factored into the price of the IP phone service, unlike traditional landline phones. With traditional landline phones, conferencing capability is often an additional service that costs extra. IP phones offer video conferencing capability and provide clearer pictures than traditional video conferencing methods.
Technology is advancing and improving at a rapid-fire pace and businesses and consumers alike have managed to keep up with the pace – except when it comes to the company’s phone network. With the advancement of IP phone technology, and landline phones being phased out soon, there are businesses who will be left by the roadside if they haven’t switched over to IP by that time.
Do you want to experience the benefits of IP telephony for yourself? Book a demo of Telavox’s communications platform Flow and feel the difference!