Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a set of technologies allowing multimedia communication over the Internet. VoIP has had a substantial impact on the functioning of businesses and communication. The key benefit is obvious — saving money. With no long distance or toll charges, VoIP became an instant hit after launch.
According to IDC, voice over IP (VOIP) is the driving force for the next generation of enterprise and consumer communications solutions. The advantages of IP-based real-time communications services are too important to ignore. As a result, The migration from TDM-based systems to VOIP is accelerating in both wireline and wireless networks.
Over the years, the application of VoIP has grown at an enormous pace. Most organizations today use VoIP and many are investing heavily in it. The initial trend of small and medium businesses (SMB) taking up VoIP had to do with the cost saving features.
In a market survey conducted by IDC among organizations that have deployed VoIP, one-third of respondents reported they have deployed a hosted VoIP solution, and an additional 29.6% of respondents said they plan to implement hosted VoIP in the future.
Additionally, among organizations that intend to deploy UC, 71% of respondents said they plan to implement a hosted, cloud, or managed UC/UCaaS solution, compared with 29% of respondents who said they intend to implement on-premises UC. Businesses are also expressing a growing interest in hybrid UC, a combination of premises and cloud-based solutions — 10% of current UC users said they had deployed a hybrid solution, while 13% of UC intenders said they planned to implement a hybrid solution in 2014.
Finally, IDC forecasts that business hosted VoIP services will expand from 2.5 million seats in 2013 to more than 6 million seats by the end of 2017, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.8%. In addition, hosted VoIP services will generate more than $2.8 billion in revenue for CSPs by 2017, compared with nearly $1.4 billion in 2013.
With this in mind – The question becomes what else can VoIP do for the SMBs?
VoIP — Unified communication
Let’s have a look at what VoIP has to offer to small and medium sized businesses and how it can take them a step further in today’s highly competitive corporate world.
VoIP are protocols that allow the transfer of media over a network. Unified communication uses VoIP and integrates all your modes of communication — voice, video, and data — into a single element. Born out of this unification, video conferencing has been widely regarded as the future when it comes to corporate communication. Video conferencing has been given so much importance because it completely changes how you interact with people. It allows people in different parts of the world to exchange ideas and let them have face-to-face conversations without spending a huge amount on traveling, making it a viable option for small businesses.
Advantages of VoIP
There are certain other advantages of unified communication. Here are a few of them:
- Coordinating various changes in a file being shared by different people can be a very difficult task. However, with VoIP many people can work simultaneously on a file while being connected through instant messaging or video conference.
- Mobility is of the utmost importance in today’s world. People are working while on the move and even from their homes. This makes it important that the employees stay in touch with the company and the customers through a suitable mode of communication. Companies have devised a very simple method of doing this by providing their employees a fixed number where they can be reached at any time.
- This is much better than the earlier process where employees had no choice but to give their private number to customers. The customers would have their numbers even if the employee left the company. This can hurt a small-business.
- The concept of open-source technology has always been confusing for businesses. Although it has a great edge when it comes to pricing, customization, and licensing, open source technologies might turn out to be a bit difficult to implement, especially for those who are not familiar with it. However, things are slightly different when it comes to VoIP. VoIP open source implementations are user-friendly. This allows smaller businesses to spend money on other technologies as they save money by using open source VoIP applications.
Certain things should be kept in mind before opting for VoIP. Network capacities have definitely increased over the past few years, but bandwidth is still not as freely available as many would like it to be. You may need to check with your service provider about any new set of applications that you plan to use on their network.
When using VoIP, one of your main concerns will be employee usage. You should make sure that the employees do not use it for personal purposes, or in any way which proves harmful for the company. For this purpose, you should have the ability to save these conversations or meetings so that you know that none of your employees is going against company policy.
VoIP is a boon for smaller companies if used correctly. It can allow you to cut down on expenses and manage the work a lot better. Having this technology is a must for any business looking to grow and make an impression in the industry.
Remember – it’s not just VoIP. These technologies are the cornerstone revolving around advanced collaboration and unified communication capabilities. Organizations must allow their employees to communicate more effectively to create real-world competitive advantages. To make this happen, you must work with technologies which align with your use-cases; and it’s critical to work with a partner which can help you deploy these new systems. Reach out to MTM today to learn more about next-generation VoIP systems, where collaboration can help, and how to evolve your communication capabilities.