Let’s Look at VoIP for Business
While newer forms of communication like email and text messaging are certainly here to stay, a reliable telephone system still plays a critical role in internal and external business communications. Yet companies have new hurdles to face when it comes to calls, like the need for flexibility, scalability, and the ability to operate internationally, just to name a few.
These concerns are, in part, why VoIP business phone systems have become increasingly popular. But is a VoIP phone system for your small business the right move? Keep reading to find out more about VoIP and just how reliable it really is.
Do Businesses Use VoIP Phones?
The short answer is yes, businesses of all sizes frequently use VoIP phones. Why have more and more companies switched to this technology? VoIP phone systems offer added flexibility, empowering businesses to make and receive calls wherever an internet connection is available. This is especially important given how many employees now work in remote or hybrid positions. There are also several additional advantages of VoIP that make it a great option for businesses, like:
Lower average costs compared to traditional phone lines
Increased access to advanced features with Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)
If you’re unfamiliar with the technology, let’s take a step back for a moment. A VoIP phone system uses the internet to make and receive calls. Essentially, it converts audio conversations into digital packets, which get routed through the internet in real-time. This is different from a traditional landline system that relies on physical, copper telephone lines to transmit calls.
Fortunately, installing a VoIP phone line is a fairly easy process that doesn’t involve purchasing much new equipment — if any at all. All you need is:
Broadband or high-speed internet access: Because VoIP is powered through the internet, a high-speed internet connection is required. This could be in-office internet, home Wi-Fi, or even on-the-go hotspots.
Internet-enabled devices: From laptops and desktops to tablets and smartphones, anyone with an internet-enabled device can make VoIP calls.
VoIP adapters: For those who love their existing headsets and phones, VoIP adapters allow you to transform your traditional phones and hardware into VoIP-enabled devices.
Is VoIP Reliable for Business?
Yes, VoIP is a reliable technology for businesses to use. This is a common question and concern. In its early days, internet connections were often unreliable and call quality suffered. These days, however, VoIP is extremely reliable. All you need is access to high-speed, broadband internet, as we discussed in the previous section, in addition to reliable internet-enabled devices. Many businesses also implement backup power and internet sources to ensure the system can still run in the event of an outage.
But what exactly does it mean for VoIP to be reliable? When we talk about reliability for phone systems, we’re talking about two key features: uptime and call quality.
For VoIP, uptime refers to the amount of time that a VoIP provider’s service is available and functioning as expected for its users. At Vonage, for example, our uptime reliability is at 99.999%, based on averages from July 2021 through February 2022. For the vast majority of the year, your users will be able to reliably access VoIP from their Wi-Fi, ethernet, or LTE connection. This is an advantage when comparing landline vs VoIP for business usage. While landlines are reliable, outages can involve hardware and physical power lines, which can take some time to repair.
Another key feature related to reliability is call quality. After all, if your call quality is low, your employees and your customers may have a difficult time communicating. Fortunately, assuming you have a high-speed connection, call quality over VoIP is exceptionally clear — you won’t experience static or delays.
When you suffer a power outage, it doesn’t mean the internet is inaccessible. These days, ISPs typically install battery backups along their lines to prevent issues like this. But, if you operate with wireless internet service, you’ll still need power to access it. Fortunately, there are a number of options available:
Use a battery backup: Battery backups are fairly straightforward. Simply apply it to your router. Should your power surge or go out entirely, the battery backup will kick on and power your device.
Employ an uninterruptible power supply (UPS): UPSs combine the functionality of a surge protector and an advanced battery backup. Essentially, when the power is on, the UPS charges itself while also constantly delivering filtered power to devices. Because of this, when the power goes out, the battery kicks in nearly instantaneously to support devices plugged into it.
Purchase a generator: Another option is to purchase a portable generator. These devices are used to provide power to homes or offices in the event of a power outage.
There are also options for when your internet service goes down, including:
Use data: If you only need to supply internet to a smartphone or other 5G or LTE device, you can simply use data to access internet services.
Employ a mobile hotspot: With access to a smartphone with a 5G or LTE network, you can simply use a hotspot to provide internet to a laptop or other internet-enabled device. You can also purchase external hotspots to use in place of smartphones.
Purchase a Wi-Fi USB dongle: Sometimes called internet sticks, these devices provide internet services to laptops or desktops.
Vonage: VoIP Your Business Can Trust
When it comes to your business, you need reliable tools that’ll get the job done, day in and day out. There’s too much at stake to risk a phone system that isn’t reliable. At Vonage, we strive to empower businesses with communication tools that drive success.
When you work with Vonage as your VoIP provider, you’ll have access to:
Reliability: With an average uptime of 99.999%, we’re here when you need us.
Support: We offer training, technical support, and more to get your team going on day one.
Scalability: When you want or need more services, our UCaaS plans offer flexible features. And you can quickly add lines and numbers when needed.