What is VoIP?
Stop and think of any business you’ve ever visited.
From a swanky restaurant downtown to your favorite clothing store, the most important part of any well operating business is its channels of communication. Phone systems help a business connect with customers as well as with their own employee team. However, the systems used today are far more advanced than the archaic analog systems of yesterday called PBX/PRI. Chances are they use VoIP.
What exactly is VoIP?
VoIP stands for voice over internet protocol. If you have a reliable internet connection you can direct your phone calls through your internet connection, rather than your phone company. This is done by changing analog phone signals into digital signals which can be transmitted over the internet.
As with everything though, there are pros and cons to using VoIP versus the old PBX/PRI. One of the main benefits of using PBX/PRI is the voice quality, which can sometimes be an issue when using VoIP. However, the cost involved with maintaining a PBX/PRI system can be draining. The equipment is expensive, there's a high monthly cost, the cost of maintenance and support, and after all that monetary investment, it lacks features.
VoIP Pros and Cons
The main reasons to convert to VoIP is the lowered cost and increased functionality. VoIP uses sophisticated systems hosted in the cloud. There is also a large number of features such as unified voice, conference, video, chat, mobile, fax, presence management, and more in one, easy-to-use platform. The customer also has access to additional features they can add on ala cart style, based on their business needs.
Additionally, there are no maintenance and support fees. Changes and edits to the system can be made by the customer from anywhere. For example, if a user wanted to change the extension number with the old PBX/PRI system, he/she would have to contact the phone company to get a tech out. This process might take anywhere from 2 days to a week, wasting time and money. Then afterward, there would be a charge for that service. With a VoIP system, the user would make the change to the extension within minutes, with absolutely no charge. This could be done at the office, or anywhere in the world.
Lastly, there is mobility. Your phone is not connected to a physical location and can be used anywhere. Business is evolving to the point that workers need to be able to travel and work remotely. With VoIP, they can connect their cellphones to the system and still have access to all of the features from anywhere. You can learn more about phone system technology here on our site.
All of the disadvantages of VoIP have to do with whether or not there is a strong internet connection. Voice quality can be distorted at times if there isn't enough bandwidth. As well as power outages that compromise internet connections.
There is a solution to get the best of VoIP without any of its disadvantages. It's called a hybrid VoIP. Keep in mind, however, that many hybrid solutions are offered old PBX companies still running on the old platform. The Computer Guild partners with Star2Star®because they apply hybrid technology in a way that works best.
Check out this video below for a short explanation