Resolving the myths about business phones and VoIP

25/09/20

Peter Kelly

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Illustarted example of a VoIP system

When talking about communications within businesses, either old or new (or startup), a lot of terms are often thrown around, such as VoIP, cloud, PBX and more, which can cause confusion and frustration and can stop businesses making the best decision for themselves when it comes to choosing a phone system.


Undoubtedly, calling by telephone is still the most common way for any customer to get in touch with a business. The phone provides a simple, well understood way of communication that lets you talk directly to a human being, and any modern phone system should fit in unobtrusively into a twenty-first-century-based workplace (and perhaps, more relevantly, a post-Covid-19 workplace).


A ‘traditional’ phone system is locked firmly to the premises where your business normally operates, using a physical phone line. This means that, when your number is called, it will ring in your premises and nowhere else. It may be possible to add divert commands and other strategies to redirect calls, but these will normally attract extra call costs and be relatively inflexible when compared with a VoIP platform.


A VoIP phone system is based in the cloud, i.e. on the internet. This means that, when your number is called, it will find its way to the cloud, which is completely disconnected from your business premises. The call can then be delivered to your staff members wherever they happen to be in the world. This will typically be in your existing office, to a physical phone, or it could be to a desktop app, or an iPhone or android app connected to a 4G or Wi-Fi network. If a member of staff is unreachable, a voicemail can be left in the cloud and emailed directly to the staff member, or other extensions can be tried; many other options to reroute your calls are also possible.


This basic in-built flexibility makes VoIP perfect for a modern start-up business that may move premises multiple times, or which may be directly connected to individuals who are moving about all the time.


It goes without saying that the businesses that had VoIP in place were those best placed to react when the Covid-19 outbreak took hold in early 2020. These businesses could typically take their desk phones with them and plug them into their internet at home, or they could quickly install an app to receive and make their calls. 


VoIP brings communication into the twenty-first century. It makes worries about needing to be in the office, or a single physical location, a thing of the past.


Another major benefit to having a VoIP based phone system is control. The Callwise portal, for example, will allow you to order more numbers, instantly, whenever you need them. If you need a number in a new area code it can be yours within five minutes; likewise, a number in another country, such as the USA, Europe, or even an 0800 number. You can also decide quickly and easily how all your calls should be managed in the same portal, and how and where your voicemails will be routed.


Call Recording is another feature that a modern VoIP-based phone system will bring to your business. Whether you need to record calls for compliance or legal reasons, or whether it’s just a nice feature to have at your fingertips, it is now commonplace to record all calls; it also allows you to be in control of your own data and have a better understanding of what’s happening in your business.


There are many other benefits to a modern phone system, but we think the ones listed above, in particular, go a long way to providing justification for having your own VoIP-based phone system in 2020 and beyond. 


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