Desk phones have been an integral part of business for over a century. And in that time, they have evolved significantly every few years. From the rotary phones that jingle when you put them down to the "touch-tone" phones that make use of number buttons instead. Soon 'digital phones' were the hot new thing, with displays and Caller ID, accompanied soon by 'cordless phones' that charged on their docks. If you recall, the good ones had a base that made the handset beep so that you could find it between couch cushions or on in a desk drawer.
Each evolution of phone has been more convenient and more versatile. Cordless phones were the beginning of the track that led us to cell phones. Then cell phones, in turn, led us to WiFi and the new wireless world. Long-time business professionals probably remember some or all of this telephone transformation, including the constant wiring in of new lines and replacing old desk handsets with new ones.
VoIP Is the Latest Business Phone Technology
This brings us to the final link in the chain. Or at least, the most recent. VoIP or "Voice Over Internet Protocol" is the latest development in business phone technology. It not only bridges the gap between work desk phones and cell phones, it also bridges the gap between online communication like chat, email, and video conferencing with traditional business phone lines. VoIP is the modern mobile company's answer to an all-channels communication solution.
There are a lot of articles out there on the benefits of VoIP, counting out long lists of perks and singing the praises of new technology. But what you really want to know is how the change will impact your everyday workflow, and that's exactly what we're here to share today. The real benefits of VoIP, and why businesses across the globe are making the switch for practical and strategic reasons.
No Phone Lines: Convenient and Scalable
Running phone lines is the single most difficult part of traditional office phones. Every desk must have its own phone, which means an individual line and arranging a new line with the Telco company. Installation, running cables, these are limiting factors. While they were necessary and offices did what they must in the past, there's no need for phone lines in today's wireless world.
VoIP doesn't need a phone line because it runs on your high-speed internet connection. This means that your employees can connect to their phones through the exact same data line they use to connect their computers. In many offices, this will means switching almost 100% to wireless data connections for both computers and phone calls. You can even keep the handy handsets with all the familiar buttons your employees are already trained to use because VoIP mimics every phone feature you need, and much more.
Having no phone lines also means that you can expand, retract, and even split your locations with no trouble at all. VoIP numbers are location-agnostic, meaning you don't have to be any particular place to log in and use one. To get new numbers, simply register new employee or office accounts with your VoIP provider. From here, the number can be used by any employee with the correct login no matter where their office is located. Or even if they don't have a permanent office at all.
You can release numbers, get more, and assign them at-will with no installation process needed and a minimal change in monthly cost.
A Step Toward Mobility: Office Freedom, Business Trips, and Remote Positions
Replacing your office phones with a VoIP system is also an incredible step toward business mobility. Mobility gives modern employees the freedom to work from anywhere almost as efficiently as they could sitting at their desks. With smartphones and cloud-based platforms ruling the day, mobility is something that is possible for any business and VoIP is a part of this.
VoIP un-tethers employees from their desks by making their phone number available to them from anywhere. With scheduling or manual controls, a professional can arrange to have calls forwarded to their cell phone when away from the desk, to a computer in another location, or their mobile workstation depending on where they are located.
Where before, clients might need two or three different numbers for one professional, VoIP makes it possible to answer your official 'work' number from anywhere and to make calls from that number on any capable device. This makes life much easier for professionals who find themselves working away from the office while on business trips or even just avoid missing important calls while out to lunch.
Not to mention the fact that a VoIP number is the perfect solution for remote positions. Whether you have a regular contractor or full-time positions for people who work away from the office, a VoIP number makes sure that they can always connect through familiar channels no matter where a remote employee's computer happens to be located.
Connect From Anywhere: Emergency-Resistant System
One of the really interesting things about VoIP is how it can be used in a hardware emergency. With traditional telephone services, the office handset is the end of a physical line, and the only way to answer your work number. If that handset breaks or the line is damaged, you are essentially cut off from clients and colleagues until a repair is enacted.
Cellphones are similarly limited due to the SIM card. No other phone can answer from or use that number. If your phone dies, gets wet, or is otherwise damaged during a business trip, there is simply no recourse. With VoIP, on the other hand, the number is still available if your employees are clever.
The Broken Desk Phone
Let's say your desk phone breaks right before an important conference call. Having a VoIP number means you can snag a headset and connect on any available workstation in the building. because the login is your number, not the handset on your desk. You could even connect through your cell by quickly forwarding the number to your mobile setting.
But it's even useful in more dire straits. An employee on a business trip stays connected through email but also needs to be a part of calls with the client. But at the last minute, their phone dies or breaks. With a mobile hotspot, they could log into the VoIP number with their laptop instead or even borrow a hotel or public library computer to connect on the exact same number the phone would have answered from. VoIP numbers are practically disaster-proof.
Software Integration: All the Phone Features You Ever Wanted
Finally, VoIP allows you to do everything with your phone calls you always wanted to do. Any time you thought "It would be great to have a transcript of that call..." or "I wish the contact information would enter itself", now this is possible. VoIP is software that runs on a normal network connection, and it can absolutely integrate with business software you are already using.
VoIP connected to your CRM can make it easy to make calls directly from a contact page and with the right features, can create computer-generated transcripts of any call. Not to mention all the usual hold, phone-tree, and call waiting features you're used to.
If you've been wondering what it's really like to integrate VoIP into your office, just ask around. The functionality, mobility, and disaster protection alone are worth it and other businesses are sure to tell you the same. For more information about how VoIP can change your office environment for the better and the steps to upgrade your business communication system, contact us today!