There’s no doubt about it: it’s the era of the smartphone. With more and more developments in technology emerging on a daily basis, breakthrough communication tools are expanding and revolutionizing the ways businesses manage their everyday tasks. With tech giants like Apple and Uber recently announcing their expansion of WiFi and VoIP calling and the anticipation that our technological abilities will become 32x more advanced by 2025, businesses are going to have to adapt their communication to the times. And if the tech giants making the switch now doesn’t convince you, consider that a report by Global Market Insights says VOIP will see its highest growth rate in the next five years – about 15%.
So, what is VOIP anyway and how does it work? VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol – is a way of making phone calls through the Internet, rather than a traditional phone line (ie. a landline phone). It sends and receives digital audio “packets” of data between any two places in the world via IP connection. Now, there are now desktop phones that use an IP connection, as well. But because VoIP’s utilizes WiFi (a cost virtually all businesses already pay for)and doesn’t depend on specific desktop equipment to operate, businesses of all sizes across the U.S. are jumping on board with this “less is more” idea and recognizing it as the best business phone system.
At 360Connect, we investigated this business trend and determined the biggest factors driving the switch to VOIP telephone systems in the workplace. Here are the top 5:
1. Smartphone Compatibility
The days are gone where professionals need to use multiple electronic platforms to communicate internally and externally, access business information, and maintain productivity. The rise of the smartphone as a business solution makes sense – it streamlines all our work processes into one easy-to-navigate platform. At the same time, American employees are already bringing their smartphones to work – and using them! As of a 2017 Samsung study, 93% employees surveyed used a smartphone at work every day.
Also think about how over 55% of American households are now landline-free, and over 60% of Americans have canceled cable packages this year. We’re cord-cutting as a country across the board in recent years, and industry reports show businesses are next. Because VoIP systems use WiFi to route calls, they’re smartphone-compatible and utilize an expense businesses already have. Currently, approximately 36% of U.S. businesses are doing away with desktop equipment and choosing VoIP as their telephone service, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg compared to what’s to come. Learn more about why cloud-based VoIP systems are gaining popularity!
2. Away-from-the-Desk Flexibility
Regardless of where your business (or downtime) might take you, with VoIP you never have to worry about being away from your desk or missing a call. VoIP options offer call forwarding to any other devices you might use for work (or travel!), so you can be reached at one single phone number from anywhere in the world.
Also, because of their mobility, VoIP systems are becoming more and more popular with companies with multiple locations or offices. In fact, if your business grows and you have to relocate, re-routing a phone line is a non-issue. Additionally, they’re great options for remote employees and those whose jobs require them to travel often, since VoIP lets you skip long-distance call fees. Not to mention, the number of American employees who say they either travel or work remotely is increasing – about 45% as of 2017.
3. Productivity & Workflow Efficiency
One of VoIP’s biggest perks is its easy-to-use dashboards that streamline handfuls of work communication necessities into one place. Workers no longer have to juggle multiple devices throughout their day. Through one universal online dashboard or smartphone app, you can…
- Make and receive audio calls (with one or multiple phone lines)
- Conduct video conferences
- Utilize caller ID
- Record phone calls for later business analysis
- Send faxes (FoIP)
- Send and receive SMS messages
- Access work emails
- Forward voicemails to email
Imagine stepping into a conference and instead of switching from email, to audio, to a separate video platform like Skype, your communication system is an all-in-one business-wide hub where you can accomplish several things at once. Considering Americans’ attention spans are shorter than they once were in this informational age, the need to multi-task quickly at work is more important now than it once was.
4. Cost Reduction
As mentioned, since VoIP technology uses a company’s already-existing internet connection, it’s a more cost-efficient option right off the bat. But switching to VoIP also means…
- You don’t pay for long distance calling, since using local internet connection technically means all calls are local!
- You don’t worry about the cost of upgrades, maintenance, or adding new lines.
- You can easily scale your VoIP system depending on your business’s needs, whenever. Instead of purchasing new equipment anytime your business hires or grows, the cloud-based system lets you easily configure new VoIP members using a web or app interface.
- You lower your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). The cost of entry (ie. cost of equipment and installation fees) with VoIP systems is much cheaper than with traditional phone lines. In fact, industry research shows that they cut monthly bills by at least half overall.
5. The Future Looks Bright
No doubt, VoIP is changing the future of the telecom industry. Although residential VoIP users currently outnumber business users (see chart), more and more businesses switching to VoIP over traditional telephone systems signals the death of the desk phone is near. With technology on mobile devices and VoIP systems improving exponentially every year, the future looks promising for VoIP. Here’s why:
- While it used to be a common misconception that VoIP audio quality was inferior to standard telephone lines, VoIP is surpassing them now in terms of quality. According to the IBIS World Report, VoIP’s quality and reliability is consistently increasing, which signals an increase in number of businesses using it over next few years.
- VoIP has a higher capacity for data security through encryption protocols than other telecom options, and with cyber security threats increasing in America every year, businesses are looking to take precaution.
- Call recording technology in VoIP systems is improving, which makes it easy for business to perform internal analytics and make responsible business decisions moving forward.
At the same time, though landline phones may stick around a bit longer, phone companies are no longer committed to updating their technology and features. Many are instead focusing now on creating a digital infrastructure (using IP technology) to stay competitive in the industry. Some industry experts have recently gone as far to say that VoIP will entirely replace the traditional phone system in the workplace – it’s just a matter of when!
If it makes sense for you to evaluate how your current telecom system is best serving your business goals and now is a good time to start, you can start by looking into VoIP costs, or connect with us here. By taking a minute to fill out our free, no obligation form, we get you in touch with our highest qualified VoIP suppliers in your area so they can talk to you about how to compare options and make the best decision.
If you’re as drawn to this new telecom trend as we are and want to explore business VoIP options a bit further, 360Connect’s team is ready to help. Last week, we received 400+ quote requests from businesses of all sizes across America looking to incorporate VoIP technology in their workplace. Just by taking a minute to tell us what you had in mind, we give you up to 5 free, zero obligation quotes from local suppliers in your area so you can best weigh your options. Visit our website or give us a quick call and let us know what we can do for your business.
Remember that for the best buying experience possible, we recommend comparing just 3-5 different suppliers and what they have to offer (don’t over-complicate the decision by comparing too many options!) and prepare for your call with these tips to get the most out of your phone call with each supplier.