Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems were a game changer for businesses during the pandemic. With staff scattered and working remotely from home, VoIP solutions allowed businesses to operate professionally and efficiently despite the disruption. This is because VoIP systems are not dependent on physical location, unlike phone lines. They allow businesses to operate remote and flexible working while providing the assurance that their teams are connected.
So, ‘what is the VoIP debate’ you may be asking? Well, it comes from two key angles. Firstly, the push by some businesses to return to office locations has many owners considering what the best communication solution is for their businesses, especially as phoneline will become obsolete by mid 2025. Secondly, many businesses have adopted Microsoft Teams as an all-encompassing business communication platform, but the question is if this is the best option going forward? Here, we look at both and consider if VoIP is the best solution for businesses in 2024.
The advantages of VoIP compared to a business phone line
There are two key points when it comes to comparing VoIP and landlines, cost and support.
Cost of VoIP
VoIP systems provide an entirely software based option. This makes VoIP systems a more cost-effective solution to landlines when compared with the cost of physical handsets/headsets and the option of on-premises installation or a cloud solution, which is much cheaper.
While the range of cost difference between VoIP and a phone system can vary, according to research by Tech Co, a business’s average VoIP savings are between 30-50%. This is likely to become even greater as time goes on because, as Gartner states, “businesses will not be able to fully execute on their digital strategies without the use of cloud-native architectures and technologies” such as VoIP. Gartner also estimates that VoIP costs are likely to keep declining as much as 5% annually as new tech advancements enter the market.
A VoIP system, then, is not only providing a saving on hardware and instillation costs, it’s also a significant step towards a business’s future digital transformation.
The nightmare scenario for a business is having their comms systems go down, resulting in a standstill to operations. In the worst cases, this may even lead to business shutdown and loss of revenue. This is why a number one priority for any business’s continuity planning should be a well-supported communication system. Yet, sadly, when dealing with a big communication Tier 1 provider, businesses may not receive instant help. You are governed by their processes and capacity, not yours. So, if the worst happens, you may be in for a very long wait.
On the other hand, our VoIP systems are supported with a dedicated helpdesk on-hand to rectify any issues that arise ASAP and keep you up and running.
What about Microsoft Teams vs VoIP?
Microsoft Teams was arguably the most adopted business resource during the pandemic and it’s not hard to see why. Teams provides an all-in-one selection of communication, planning and management tools that integrate with Microsoft’s wider offerings. The question going forward, then, comes down to tailoring and wider integration.
VoIP also provides an all-in-one solution that gives a wider variety of unified communication features than Microsoft Teams, while remaining straightforward and usable for staff. These features include a more multi-faceted communication platform that can be tailored to the business and their needs. There’s also the potential for wider integration with other platforms, such as Dropbox and Google Drive, as well as Microsoft Dynamics.
Perhaps the biggest advantage though is the capability to customise phone features, which makes VoIP ideal for businesses who want to easily configure their solutions, for example to integrate their communication system with their CRM solution.
VoIP is a more cost-effective option when compared to other video meeting solutions and it gives greater opportunity for customisation and better flexibility for growth. Businesses need to consider carefully both the current cost of their communication and management systems and the potential operational improvement a tailored VoIP system could bring to their business going forward.
No matter the solution that is adopted, businesses will want this to be well in place by 2025 to ensure their business communication structure is future-proofed.
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