VOIP SetupVoIP has evolved in the last few years and has become a primary choice not only for home or small businesses but also for large corporations. It has become more reliable overtime and offers the same or more features compared to traditional phone lines at a fraction of the cost.

Another most important feature that attracts many users is the portability. No matter where you go, you can keep your existing phone numbers. Your business can run without any interruptions. No need to wait for the telephone technicians to do the switch over and possibly lose your existing numbers.

This concept of VoIP has no borders. Should you decide to move your business to a different city or even country, you may still keep your existing numbers – as long as you have an internet connection you could be up and running in no time.

There are people who will debate over the quality of calls and it is true that you may need a dedicated Internet connection that will solely serve the voice communication.  The quality of service is often affected by latency and jitter. However, this could be addressed by mechanisms which will ensure VoIP quality even in high traffic.

Overall, switching to VoIP service over the Public Switched Telephone Network is most advantageous when it comes to lowering communication costs and improving communication efficiency.

Firstly, getting started does not require a huge capital investment. Aside from your dedicated internet connection you would only need IP phones which are less expensive than the so-called “executive” phones. IP phones can be purchased for $100 or less. Secondly, operational costs are significantly lower – at the most it is lower by 80 percent. This is made possible by the flat rate that small businesses pay monthly per seat. This predictability in your communication’s operational costs helps a lot in financial planning. Thirdly, software upgrades are automatic and offered at the best price, FREE! There may be a premium for new features, but this option is optional.

As mentioned earlier, when small businesses use the traditional telephone system, technicians are required to move, add or change the phone equipment. These would mean additional costs to businesses. In a VoIP setting however, regular staff members or employees can do all these on their own without the need for a phone technician. This eliminates the need to book an appointment and the waiting time to get the work done.

Another cost-saving advantage of VoIP is its unlimited calling feature within North America (U.S. and Canada). Even with international calling, the costs using VoIP are extremely lower compared to traditional phones. Inbound calls from other countries are also charged lower.

In order to be competitive, companies need to address their communication needs efficiently. VoIP brings that to the table. It allows employees to share resources which minimize the number of missed calls. Reporting features, meanwhile, allow management to evaluate performances which can help optimize the service as well as provide information for VoIP expansion plans. Reporting features may include end-of-day call reports, bandwidth usage; targeted user’s call activity and call quality information.

VoIP does not only improve communications with clients, but within your staff as well. It has a feature for three-four digits dialing to reach co-workers. This eliminates long distance calling when employees are at different locations. This is another cost-saving feature of the technology.

Also a perfect feature for not losing customers is VoIP’s “find-me-follow-me” aspect. Similar to call forwarding, the system can be set up where multiple numbers can be programmed to ring simultaneously or sequentially so that all phone calls from customers are answered. In some systems forwarding rules can be set up according to the time of day or day of the week. Indeed, it is a system that allows a lot of room for customization.

Another basic VoIP service is voice mail, for the odd times that none of your employees can take the call. An added perk is the e-mail alert sent to your inbox when your system receives a voice message. For advanced systems, a digital recording of the message is e-mailed to your inbox.

With an evolving VoIP technology, more features are being offered with the service to include: audio conferencing, IM or SMS messaging and video calling. The last three, however, are most likely offered at additional costs.

Aside from cost-savings and improved communications efficiency, VoIP gives small businesses the image of a big corporation. Imagine calling a number and getting an automated answer to “press 1 for sales, press 2 for customer service.” You then visualize a big company with 500 employees – that’s how it will appear to your customers. It will also give you the efficiency of huge companies with receptionists or switchboard operators as your client’s calls will be directed promptly to the right party. This reduces the time that clients are put on hold and further enhances the image of your business.