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VoIP – the great dividing line

VoIP – the great dividing line

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Communications have always been linked to business processes. As an essential business tool, the advent of corporate telephony provided businesses with the ability to communicate and coordinate activities across numerous locations and time zones.

Traditional Telephone: linking communication with a static process

In the last century, telephony has changed looks, bought in more functions and become more cost effective to run. However, they still function pretty much like when they were first developed: a call originating from one physical device, travels along on pre-routed telephone network, and arrives at a specific physical location.  

As a result, companies still using conventional phones have been constrained by this set process —more than they know. So when forced migration to new internet based technologies such as VoIP and SIP happened last year, many companies were taught a painful lesson by the legacy phone systems they’ve depended on for so long.

VoIP: flexible, inexpensive and with many possibilities

VoIP (voice over internet protocol) - this technology lets users make and receive calls  via the internet.  It has come a long way since it was invented, and it is now becoming a catch-all business phrase for digital telephony and hardware.

Commonly referred to as hosted PBX/VoIP, virtual PBX/VoIP, Cloud PBX/VoIP, or cloud phone, the internet-powered alternatives to landline phones can be used on a large variety of devices and come with different feature sets:

  • Some VoIP solutions are computer-to-computer only, and other VoIP allows calling any phone number on computers, mobile devices, VoIP phones, or traditional telephones with a VoIP adapter.
  • Some VoIP support not only calls but also texts, messages, and meetings via video. SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) was developed in 1996 to enable text and video transmission on the Internet. VoIP doesn’t need SIP to function if only voice communications are required. But if you need a full suite of unified communication or cloud communication, you will need VoIP with SIP.

While they all provide voice services by sending communications as data packets over the Internet, there are different ways to implement and varying levels of complexity in their maintenance. 

 

From the users’ perspective though, the use of VoIP in communication required no changes and provided greater flexibility: it does not need to be tied to devices and locations.

VoIP adoption offers practical financial benefits:

  • Setup costs for an on-premises phone system can be quite costly, while VoIP setup costs can be as low as $0.
  • Companies can significantly reduce telco costs or remove call costs entirely by eliminating long distance calls and bundling calling plans into monthly license subscriptions. 
  • Some VoIP providers also offer flat rate plans to protect a business against any variation in telecom costs, making planning and budget allocation much easier.

The real return on investment for a truly portable, scalable and flexible VoIP platform like 8×8 comes from being a vital strategic tool.

Rather than viewing communication as a cost centre, VoIP takes conventional communications features that are rigid and expensive and makes them flexible and affordable. The switch to VoIP allows companies to build redundancy in the communication process to ensure operational resilience.

In addition, VoIP turns the conversation into digital data packages that can be stored, searched, analysed, and distributed by any internet-based device, system or application. It makes it possible for companies to design increasingly intelligent systems to link communications with strategic goals like improving team productivity and quality of customer service.

Australian companies have adopted VoIP rapidly in the last 18 months due to versatility. So as we move into the recovery phase of the pandemic, the great dividing line is no longer between those who adopted it early or late. Instead, it will be between those who see VoIP as just a new technology to do things the same old way and those who use it to collect data and insights and rethink their operation, customer service, communication, and collaboration process.

What is a PBX?

PBX stands for Private Branch eXchange. It imanages incoming and outgoing phone calls, and internal communications for a company.