VoIP vs SIP: Which Communication Solution is Right for Your Business?
10 Ways That VoIP Crushes Regular Phones
Traditional landline based providers have offered a core set of add-ons for many years for business. Things such as caller ID and caller hold are standard. Maybe, on the higher end packages, even voicemail and private extension numbers are bundled in. The technology for these extra features is provided by hardware at your telephone company's local exchange. If you want additional features beyond these, then you are probably out of luck.
VoIP is a different proposition entirely. If you think of a business VoIP system like your cell, you just add apps to get more functionality. If your business hasn’t yet joined the VoIP revolution, then we invite you to consider the following ten amazing advantages that you are missing out on.
1. Have Multiple Extensions
Install a VoIP app on all your mobile devices (Ipad, Android, etc). Start the program and put your VoIP provider's details into each device. Next time you get a call, they will all ring in perfect harmony. Pick up any one, and the rest will stop ringing. Vonage calls this “SimulRing” and it’s included as standard.
As with most parts of technology, a system is only as good as its weakest link.
For VOIP systems, this is your broadband/internet connection. If that goes down, your phones go down. If your broadband speed is slow or erratic (say you bought a cheap broadband package) then you could get call distortion.
These days however, most respectable VoIP line providers will enable you to reroute your calls if the internet link goes down. These providers will also help you if you have line quality issues. They’re great to have on hand to give tips on how to fix or work around problems.
Landline based systems are a different proposition. They operate over a dedicated line that is solely for your use. The speed and capability of the line is fixed.
It’s a very rare day when there’s a genuine problem with the link between your business and the phone company’s local exchange. Rock solid reliability is a hallmark of these type of systems. For that reason, traditional landline systems are still the first choice of many.
Not for long, though. The gap is closing all the time. If you install a dedicated broadband line and operate your VoIP system over that, there is very little difference between the two.
3. See Who You Are Speaking To
VoIP was designed from the outset to carry video as well as audio. It is a standard that everyone follows. That means that video calls from one app or VoIP phone will work with any other app or phone at the other end. Try it and see.
4. 24/7 Availability
Decided to work on the beach today? Good for you. You can program VoIP software and VoIP providers to forward calls to any device wherever you are. Keeping in touch has never been easier.
5. Ultimate Call Control
Most traditional phones don’t have options where you can block dubious sales calls or international calls, without paying extra. You can get your phone to work just like your email account. You can control spam and unwanted mail in your email account. With RingCentral VoIP for example, you can program your VoIP device to block, divert, and drop calls dependent on their origin. Peace at last!
6. Make Your Social Media Come to Life
Have you seen those websites with "call me" buttons on? It’s a great way for businesses to keep in touch with their clients. It's also a great way for you to speak to friends and family. Put a VoIP “call me” button on your Facebook account. Then, you can chat away with your nearest and dearest about your latest post.
7. Add a Virtual PA
You can buy services that analyze your voicemail messages. You then get a text with the transcription. It's great if you're not in the mood for talking but you still want to see what people want to talk to you about.
8. Have a Local Number Everywhere
You can buy local phone numbers from any country and tell your VoIP provider to use that as your caller ID. Thanks to VoIP, you can truly have a global presence. This is a real bonus if you're a business that makes and receives international calls.
With landline based systems, depending on where you are in the world, your choice of providers ranges from one to maybe three or four, as a general rule.
Less providers leads to higher prices. However, VoIP systems operate in a much more competitive field. Therefore, the packages you are offered by landline companies are nearly always more expensive. With line rental, call costs and allowances, we’re talking higher prices.
VoIP depends on two key things. The first is your choice of broadband company. The second is your VoIP provider. These are generally two separate companies.
The number of companies competing for broadband and VoIP will always be higher than the available traditional systems. When it comes to keeping costs down, VOIP wins.
10. Conference Calls
VoIP is the only option for businesses interested in coordinating between offices and reaching out to customers with conference calling. The options go well beyond traditional ideas of what conference calling can offer. Services offered by business VoIP providers, such as Vonage, include:
Fully hosted audio conferencing for up to 300 participants
The ability to host or participate in conferences from mobile devices
HD-quality video conferencing
Web conferencing options for training sessions or webinars
Now that you know the difference between VoIP and landlines, take a look at our expert reviews. These will give you all the key features and deals available for the top business VoIP solutions out there.