Imagine this: you go to your favorite VoIP provider’s website, and a representative greets you with enthusiasm. Six states away, your cellular phone rings. You answer the call and as soon as you hear the male voice speaking on the other end, you can tell that the VoIP representative is really excited about something that they just told you.
If you had a superior experience with their VoIP service, you might be inclined to think that they have phenomenal customer service. But the thing that surprises many customers about VoIP phone systems is that they cost so much less than traditional PBX phone systems. Many people find that they are only able to use their new VoIP phone system for one or two calls a month – even if they use the Internet and their VoIP call coming in over the high-speed Internet connection at home. Other people wonder how they ever used VoIP without the massive convenience of a conventional PABX. With all the new features that are being integrated into the VoIP technology, this is changing. And it is changing fast.
One example of a new feature that is starting to show up in more VoIP phone services is the integration of VoIP phones with mobile device capabilities. Now you don’t have to get your cell phone ready to go when you want to make a call – you simply have to download an app that is designed specifically for your mobile device and then you can speak as if you are making a regular on-line call. If you are traveling, the same functionality can be provided to you by your mobile service provider as well.
But what types of VoIP phone services are offering this capability to their customers?
How are they doing it? And how do they intend to change the way we do business in the future?
Probably one of the first areas of VoIP technology that most people will notice is the introduction of a “virtual PBX”. A virtual PBX provides all the functionality of a standard PBX except for the fact that it is not a physical unit but rather a hosted solution. The logic is implemented entirely on the provider end and is then copied and distributed to all the clients of the virtual box.
This is a great feature for small businesses and home offices alike. With a traditional PBX solution, businesses would have to find a way to justify the high cost of maintaining a PBX. Most businesses would also need special equipment and wiring in order to be able to use the traditional phone system. And businesses would be forced to choose between voice over IP or voice over Ethernet over a data network (VoIP). This choice often had a dramatic impact on the success of the company because some IP systems often failed because of network failures.
But with VoIP, all the functionality is provided by the provider end alone. Businesses can get unlimited calls to cell phones, landlines, and so forth without any additional hardware required. The provider simply pays for the calls that are made and there are no more hefty phone bills to pay. Imagine being able to eliminate your phone bill entirely! That’s what most small businesses hope to achieve and they are starting to see improvements with this technology.
One of the biggest advantages of VoIP is that it can lead to significant cost savings for businesses.
- Traditional phone systems often charge a monthly fee to users in addition to the cost of maintaining the phone system.
- If the business is fortunate enough to get a contract with a service provider that offers a low per user cost then this will be even more favorable.
- An added benefit is that the auto attendant in a voice phone system knows when to ring for assistance, as opposed to having to do so based on when the person answered the last call.
- These and other reasons are why many small businesses are switching to VoIP and seeing significant savings in the long run.