As of 2022, VoIP is a $40 billion industry, and by 2026 its value is expected to grow to $53.5 billion. Compared to the current $8.28 billion value of landline telephony worldwide, it’s clear this technology is far and away on the way up, to the point that for millions, the advantages of VoIP make it totally eclipse a traditional PBX.
Still, changing to a VoIP setup probably feels like a big step for your business, and a big investment. Even if you’ve heard vaguely about the advantages of VoIP compared to your broadband PBX, jumping off that old reliable technology into the internet can easily be intimidating.
But the fact is that, compared to analog connections, the benefits of VoIP for businesses make switching a total no-brainer. Even once you’ve considered both the pros and cons of VoIP telephony, there’s not much reason to stay anchored to your old analog line.
To give an overview of the biggest VoIP features and benefits, we’ve created this easy list of advantages and disadvantages of VoIP telephony from a business perspective.
What Is VoIP?
“VoIP” is short for “voice over internet protocol” or “voice over IP.” That just means that rather than relaying voice calls over an analog connection, a Voice over IP system relays calls over the internet.
When this technology was created in the late 1990s, the benefits of VoIP were more limited due to slower connections and the industry’s lack of maturity. But with 20 years of development, advancements to VoIP features and benefits have made the technology go far beyond its original novelty of placing phone calls over your computer. Now, the benefits of VoIP for businesses make these systems a must-have.
Benefits of VoIP
Today, there are countless benefits of a VoIP phone system, to the point that most businesses would have a hard time going back to a plain-old telephone solution.
Here are just a few of the main benefits of voice over IP telephony.
Easily the biggest benefit of VoIP for businesses is its lower operational expense. VoIP is typically charged at a monthly per-user rate, and because it makes phone calls over your current internet connection, providers can almost always undercut the monthly fee of most broadband phone lines. Better still, VoIP providers rarely charge installation fees, so the immediate switch won’t even cost you an up-front investment.
Since it runs entirely off an internet connection, VoIP benefits from giving users remote access to their PBX and their main office number via any internet connection, whether that’s via laptop, tablet or smartphone. This opens up the potential for smart working, making VoIP a must-have for organizations seeking to modernize their work model.
Instead of waiting hours for physical infrastructure to be changed, as you would with analog telephony, VoIP enables you to make changes to license types, integrations, user details and more right away, usually without even needing a technician on site.
Unlike with analog telephony, adding or removing users on a VoIP system takes a matter of minutes, because making that change is just a matter of editing your PBX’s software settings. You can even connect users to your digital PBX from a different location, so it’s just as easy to connect branch offices or even remote freelancers directly to your main phone system.
Keeping with the philosophy of Unified Communications, VoIP phone systems integrate with multiple other pieces of software. Some of the most popular examples are click-to-call, voicemails delivered via email and even syncing contacts and conversations from your CRM.
One of the most obvious benefits of a VoIP phone system is that, as computer software, it can track, record and even analyze call data. That gives you instant access to a treasure trove of information, including call length, call purpose, IVR inputs and more. For organizations with contact centers or other call-heavy departments in particular, this benefit of VoIP on its own makes it worth switching to.
When your phone system works through the internet, you’re always just a click away from advanced features like video, link and document sharing, chat, synced contact lists and call recording. Thanks to how much business efficiency they add, these are some of the most highlighted benefits of VoIP for business purposes.
Drawbacks of VoIP
Unfortunately, the advantages of VoIP do come with a set of disadvantages. There aren’t that many when compared to benefits of VoIP for business needs, but no overview of VoIP in comparison to analog telephony would be complete without them.
Like its name suggests, a Voice over IP system only works if it’s using the internet. Because of that, you’ll need a powerful internet connection to use this system at an office, especially if that one connection has to support multiple users. Any lag on that connection can create jitter or even drop calls if the system isn’t configured well enough. If your connection is a concern, talk to your VoIP provider about how to configure a VoIP system specifically for lower speeds.
Although VoIP on the whole has a great record of uptime, analog telephony still has a slight edge on reliability thanks to its use of a dedicated line. Avoid this by looking for a provider with a high record of uptime, especially by using failover servers. These backups work much like an emergency power generator, automatically turning on when the main server fails to keep your system going as normal. Without that degree of protection, you may just enjoy fewer benefits of VoIP and see more of its disadvantages.
These days, most countries require location data to be included in outgoing emergency calls. However, this practice — called Enhanced 911/112, or simply E911/E112 — is harder to implement on VoIP phone systems, as unlike landlines they don’t provide location data by default. Fortunately, solutions like Wildix include simple guides to E911/E112 setup to ensure your VoIP system is legally compliant.
Is VoIP Right for My Business?
Almost certainly, it is.
To recap, when you take advantage of the benefits of VoIP, you’ll get:
- Lower costs
- Advanced features
Of course there are a handful of drawbacks to a VoIP phone system, and when weighing both the pros and cons of VoIP you may find this technology isn’t a good fit for you. In particular, organizations with slow or limited internet connections may still be better off with a landline connection for now. Others may benefit from using an analog line alongside VoIP as a backup way of taking calls.
However, remember that one of the biggest VoIP benefits is that it effectively does everything that traditional telephony can — it just also does a lot more than traditional phones can, too, and always at a lower cost.
Even at a glance, the basic ease of using your office number from any internet connection on earth means the benefits of Voice over IP systems put them far ahead of their analog alternatives. Combine that with added benefits and lower costs, and it’s easy to see why for millions, VoIP has fully replaced analog telephony at their business.
And if it sounds like a stretch to call analog systems obsolete, consider that the UK and Spain will switch off their copper connections by 2025, with plenty others following suit later. Looking at the full advantages and disadvantages of VoIP, it’s not so much a question of if VoIP will fully overtake analog systems — it’s a question of when.
If you’re looking to switch to VoIP with a purpose-built solution that’s 100% secure by design, Wildix may be a good fit for your business. Discover more about what a Wildix phone system delivers to businesses.
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