According to the latest United States census, there are over 16,000 firms that employ over 500 employees, which give jobs to a total of over 60,000,000 people. But no business is so big that it can afford to be wasteful. The biggest advantage to business VoIP is that it is scalable, which means that the service can be capable of handling the needs of any business from the smallest to the largest. There is fierce competition between business VoIP providers, which means that large companies can negotiate the best deal from top companies with proven reliability records.
Large business such as Burger King, Delta Airlines, Irving Materials, TMW Systems Transportation, Agilent Technologies, Allstate Insurance, and Farmers Insurance, have reported savings of up to 60% on their telecommunications expenses, with savings up to the six figures. There has never been a better time to upgrade to Voice over Internet Protocol. Here are the top reasons why you should upgrade to VoIP for your big business needs.
- Cheaper Outbound, Inbound, and Toll Free Minutes
Voice over Internet Protocol, for all its amazing features, is best known for how cheap it is to make a call. The low prices are, in part, due to the fact that VoIP is built upon the existing infrastructure of the internet, and because the voice data is cheaper to send over internet protocol compared to the circuit-switched PSTN. Calls that connect to SIP addresses rather than phone numbers are cheaper still. International and toll free minutes can cost only pennies per minute. Whether you understand the science behind it or not, you can definitely understand your bottom line. The monthly OpEx of VoIP telephone services is an average of under only $20 per employee.
You can further add to your savings by tailoring your phone service to each division of your business. Certain buildings, such as warehouses, make mostly internal calls; other buildings, such as offices, make and receive many calls; a customer service center primarily receives calls. Whatever combination of calling plan you want– internal calls, inbound, outbound, Toll Free, metered or unlimited plans—your VoIP provider can customize your plan down to each individual phone, saving you money every single month.
- Internal Calls are Free and Easier to Make
Cell phone networks have free calls between subscribers of their service. Business VoIP service providers are the same way, but business VoIP services are made with features designed specifically for business. The simplest example I can give is that of extensions. Being a big business, you probably have a private branch exchange, or PBX, which connects different phones within the same building and allows free calls within the network. An IP-PBX connects not just a building, but your entire company. You can have extensions with three or more digits, so calling a colleague half a world away is as simple as pressing three buttons. When you have hundreds of employees spread across the world, having your own internal network of free calling can save you tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars compared to the cost of older PBX systems.
Business surveys have shown that at about half of organizations, coworkers can’t reach each other at the first phone they call. Because VoIP is connected to your computer, there is desktop software that lets you see if your coworkers are on the phone or not, and you can click their icon to call them, and you talk to them using your desk phone. If they are busy, the same software lets you leave a message on their voicemail without disturbing their phone call, and lets you email or IM them. This adds up to more productivity, less down time, and more profit.
- Get The Same Enterprise-Class Software, But at a Lower Price
VoIP solutions are customized to the needs of each client. Whether you are a call center, a multi-faceted business with many different departments and specialists, or a business that does a high number of online meetings and webinars, hosted VoIP includes many features you need as standard, or as an affordable add-on.
Hosted VoIP includes many Fortune-500 company features at an everyday price. If you are fortunate enough to be on that exclusive list, there’s still no reason not to take advantage of the low price and hefty feature set of VoIP, including:
- ACD Call Queues
- Auto Attendant
- Call Parking
- Conference Call
- Dial by Name Directory
- Group Ring
- Music on Hold
- Voicemail Transcription
- New Technology=Better Sound Quality
Voice over Internet Protocol is a continually evolving and improving technology. One aspect that is being continually developed is sound quality. Customers come from all walks of life. Sometimes English is their first language, sometimes it isn’t. Agents at call centers can also come from anywhere in the world, especially the Philippines and India.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong when your customers and your customer service representatives misunderstand each other. While it’s unlikely that either party will be truly offended by a miscommunication, it is entirely possible that either party will only be partially able to understand the other, and ask to repeat themselves. Wideband audio, also called HD Voice, extends the frequency range and doubles the sample rate of telephone audio, making it easier to distinguish between syllables in the higher range. Better sound quality makes for easier negotiations, better business to business communications, and better filtering of background noise.
- International Presence
VoIP calls overseas are very cheap, usually about 3 cents per minute to most of the world. But low international rates are just the beginning. All calls within your own network, including international calls, are included with business VoIP plans. Business VoIP service providers have premium plans that include free calling to a number of worldwide area codes. And you can even use your smartphone or laptop to connect to your VoIP network over a Wi-Fi hotspot, saving you international roaming charges.
But the truly remarkable thing about VoIP is telepresence. With telepresence, you can converse with your colleagues half a world away as if they were in the same room with you. There are cameras with software that follows your face, or changes the angle according to whom is speaking at that moment. The world, as Thomas Friedman would say, is flat. You need a communications platform that lets you connect all your worldwide offices together.
- New Tools to Aid in Time-Management
Your time and attention, and your employees’ time and attention, is valuable. With VoIP, you have a wealth of tools to help manage that time. Call Center programs, for instance, keep track of how long callers are on hold for, how long conversations take, and even how often employees take lunch or bathroom breaks. State-of-the-art software allows multiple callers to jump past a queue and connect directly to available agents.
As another example, calls can be routed according to complex directives. Everything from the time of day to the person calling can be set, and the calls can be routed to any number of assistants, to any of your extensions, to your office or cell phone, and so on. You can even set up your own private “batphone” for the most important calls you receive. There’s no need to give VIPs a new number, although you certainly can; you can program the phone to recognize the caller ID and route the call to the right phone.
- Take it With You
With VoIP, employees are empowered to work anywhere. Instead of building a new satellite office, and having to pay for rent and utilities, you can have them log in from any computer, or use any IP phone, and have them telecommute. Your telecommuting employees will use the same software that your call centers use, but they can work from home.
Similarly, important business calls can be made from anywhere in the world. With VoIP, you can prevent incurring expensive roaming charges and instead connect smartphones to your VoIP provider over any Wi-Fi hotspot.
- Unified Communications brings it All Together.
Unified Communications and Collaboration, sometimes called UC or UCC, is quickly becoming a buzzword in the business world. It’s easier than ever to combine discrete technologies and platforms like Skype, email, phone, and fax into one program. Connect your Facebook, Yahoo, and AOL list into one chat. Click an email and call the person that sent it to you. Receive a phone call and have a screen pop up with the caller’s last outstanding bill. With Voice over Internet Protocol, you, and your employees, will have all the tools you need to get the most out of your busy workweek.
VoIP is the future of telecommunications. The market for VoIP is growing by leaps and bounds every year, because it helps businesses large and small cut costs and even make more money. GetVoip.com has an extensive library of terms, and a number of user- and staff-generated reviews to help you find the business VoIP provider that is best for your business.