Unified Communications: An Intro to VoIP Phone Systems

Landline phones, once the backbone of fast communications in business, are making their way to the junk heap alongside the telegram and the typewriter. Many homes don’t have landlines anymore and rely entirely on smartphones to stay in touch. Phones are rarely even phones anymore, thanks to texting, social media, instant messengers and other apps that connect users in different ways. Some businesses have adapted this model as well, but many hang onto their landlines out of a need for reliability and tradition.

Business owners looking for something that combines the reliability of landlines with the flexibility of smartphones should consider looking into a VoIP system for their business.

Voice over Internet Protocol – The Future Is Now

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Instead of a traditional landline, a VoIP setup transmits through your Internet connection. It works in a similar way to streaming services that send movies and music to your devices at home. All of the functions that your business needs, like call waiting, conference calls, and voicemail are handled by your computer instead of a secondary system.

These systems integrate your computers, your phone systems and your mobile devices into a lean and efficient communications machine. VoIP systems have all kinds of great features. For example, you can attach voicemails to emails, save conference calls for later review, and send more detailed message alerts to your smartphone when you’re out of the office.

Say Goodbye to One-Line Emails

These services go above and beyond being just phones. VoIP systems integrate with computers to allow direct chat and instant messaging between your employees. Not every question needs an email. Chat integration allows employees to work together on projects no matter where they are. Your employees can be in different parts of the building or different parts of the world. There are plenty of free, web-based chat systems that allow this, but when used as part of a dedicated system, you get better archiving and reference tools, plus overall integration with all your office communications. These chat clients are made for productivity, functioning as a calendar for tasks as well as allowing for great ideas discovered during a chat much easier to recover and implement.

Talk Through The Cloud

Not so long ago, teleconferencing was only available to big companies that could afford expensive equipment and a staff dedicated to keeping it up and running. VoIP services now integrate with videoconferencing software like Hangouts and Skype, allowing you to talk face to face with employees, customers and investors all across the world. Cloud programs such as these bring you all the benefits of modern technology without the cost of upkeep or the need to buy expensive programs that only ‘the experts’ can run.

Break Free Without Breaking Your Budget

Investing in new technologies can be a reality check on finances. Luckily, there are several levels of VoIP systems that scale to your organization’s current communications budget. Often, they can be had for about what you’re already paying for a traditional landline or phone service provider. Basic VoIP services often function directly through the cloud, without the need for additional equipment or with moderately priced leases for such equipment if the need arises. Mid-range VoIP services offer more options that cater directly to businesses, integrate more closely with your digital office, and have options that are usually only available to traditional phone lines, like emergency 911 compatibility. Complex VoIP services bring all the advantages of VoIP on-site, which means you can set up a system highly customized to your needs.

Answer the Call of VoIP

There’s a lot more to Voice over Internet Protocol than can be covered in an introduction like this. If you have the time, educating yourself on the subject can prove to be a budget-friendly way to respond faster to your customers and make your employee’s lives easier.

If you don’t have the time, there’s no harm in calling in an expert opinion and seeing if an upgrade like this is right for your business. We’re all moving into the future one way or the other, and VoIP is a perfect example of a growing technology built to make your business run better.