If you run a business, you may have heard of hosted VoIP. But what exactly is it? And how does it improve your communication?
What is VoIP? And why does it make business life easier
VoIP stands for “voice over internet protocol” and it is essentially a telephone system that transmits information via the internet instead of regular phone lines. It works by converting regular analog calls (from regular client-side phone lines) into packets of data that can then be distributed throughout your business network.
Usually, data arrives in the form of audible voice calls. However, VoIP systems can perform a wide range of additional functions, including transcribing audio information into text, recording sounds in digital formats and sending voicemails as email attachments.
VoIP sounds like a small change to your business model but from an operational perspective, it opens up a world of possibilities . Benefits include:
- Reducing the cost of calls
- Improving service mobility (because of the ability to make and take calls anywhere with an internet connection)
- Adding additional features, such as call queuing
- Simplifying conference calls
- Improved reliability
How do I implement VoIP into my business? What is the transition like?
Implementing VoIP into a your business is actually relatively straight forward,
First you need to either choose a new phone number or port your existing one. Vendors typically recommend porting so that you do not have to change your contact details. If you decide to port, there is usually no downtime, so you can continue accepting calls as your number ports.
The next step is to add users to your VoIP phone system. If you hire multiple employees, you will need to ask them to log on to the VoIP portal and sign in on their devices. Once inside the app, you can give users different permission levels, depending on the features you authorize.
After that, you have all the basic systems in place to begin making calls via the internet. Thus, the transition is relatively simple. In the following days and weeks, you can integrate your VoIP with other services, such as Dropbox, payment processing software, CRMs, and chat apps.
You may also want to create a system for routing incoming calls. For example, you might implement an auto attendant – a piece of software that greets customers and then directs them to the correct department. Furthermore, call queues let you treat all your clients fairly if all your reps are busy.
How managed IT service providers can help set your business up for success
When you upgrade your phone system with VoIP, you experience multiple benefits. However, for best results, most firms get a managed IT service provider to do it for them. Professionals port numbers and then set up software to convert incoming analog phone calls into digital information you can share throughout your company.
Managed IT service providers understand VoIP infrastructure comprehensively. This allows them to offer hands-on support and levels of customization that would be difficult to achieve in-house.