Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP (sometimes pronounced “voyp”), is a technology that Los Angeles-area businesses are becoming increasingly familiar with. Essentially, VoIP is a telephone system using the internet instead of traditional land and cellular lines. But VoIP is more than an interesting technology and a funny name—it’s an opportunity to transform your operational processes.
Naturally, VoIP offers an opportunity to save money—by as much as 50 percent over standard phone systems. However, any organization burned by a “cheaper” option knows that cost shouldn’t be the only consideration in switching technologies. Fortunately, VoIP solutions, when implemented properly and expertly, offer benefits far beyond the IT budget. Here are three reasons why your organization should think about switching to VoIP:
1. A workforce on the go
The days of office workers stuck in a cubicle all day are all but over. Today’s employees are more mobile than ever, working from other areas of the office, another facility, the field, the train, home, a coffee shop, or anywhere else they can get an internet signal. In the past, that big, clunky gray desk phone was the only thing getting in the way of workers achieving more mobility—but then cell phones and, eventually, smartphones happened, allowing those workers to go to where the work is and easily communicate from those locations.
VoIP takes mobility and flexibility to the next level. With a VoIP solution, users can make calls that are faster, are more reliable, and don’t cut into their minutes or data plans—and do so anywhere there is a Wi-Fi signal. Also, employees can take calls, check work voicemail, forward messages, and more without actually using the phone function on their device—it all goes through the VoIP service providers app. Workers stay connected and may even increase productivity via this added, VoIP-fueled mobility.
2. Personnel changes and onboarding efficiency
Employees leave your organization and new ones take their place. Or workers switch roles, departments, or locations. The logistics behind these moves are a pain for managers, human resources, IT, and other departments tasked with ensuring new employees have all the access to systems they need, or, in the case of departing employees, ensuring that access is revoked.
VoIP solutions simplify at least one aspect of personnel changes and onboarding: phone privileges. With just a few clicks, new employees can be set up with an extension, voice mail, text messaging, and other features. Similarly, just a few clicks eliminate privileges and redirect calls that might have otherwise landed in the mailbox of a former employee. And all this efficiency doesn’t even account for not having to physically go to someone’s desk and manually update his or her phone. If a new employee starts at 9 a.m. Monday morning, he or she can literally be making and receiving calls at 9:05. No more calling your phone system vendor to come on site to make changes!
3. Delivering the data
You and your employees use phones and other communication technologies in your everyday work, yet often, there’s no easy way to track usage and determine which channels are working best for various tasks and processes. How often do employees make outgoing calls? How long on average do customer calls last? What time are most outgoing calls made? Are people leaving voicemails? VoIP solutions can provide instant data to answer these questions and more.
With such data, you can make efficiency decisions about staffing, customer support, operational strategy, and so on. Moreover, usage can be tracked so that you can determine which employees are active on the system—important information for sales and customer support teams. This leads to more efficiency, which, in turn, leads to more indirect cost savings, delivering even more return on investment from the switch to a VoIP solution.
The #1 reason people want to throw their shiny new VoIP system away is poor call/voice quality. It’s very important that the Internet, firewall, switches, and phones are up to snuff to be able to achieve sufficient VoIP call quality. One cost a lot of smaller organizations don’t factor in to VoIP is the need for a “business grade” Internet and network infrastructure system. These can actually make the costs higher than traditional systems if you don’t have the infrastructure in place. We can spot these issues before implementation. Do you use VoIP, and if so, are you happy with your system?