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Maybe it’s time to ditch the phone line: VoIP, mobility, and your business

Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP as it is often abbreviated, is a relatively new technological phenomenon, but one that businesses of any age should consider adopting. Instead of an analogue phone line, calls are instead made over an Internet connection, which can save companies money and offer additional features when compared to traditional communications.

Read more: A Day in the Life of an IT Pro: How VoIP ruined Valentine’s day

Perhaps the most obvious benefit to adopting VoIP technology is the added mobility that it can offer your businesses. Wherever your employees are based in the world they can access their personal work number by simply logging into a VoiP telephone. This means that no matter how often you travel with work, as long as you have access to an Internet connection you’ll remain easily contactable.

A VoIP system also means a business can remain flexible wherever it is based. In fact, a simple converter can be used to transform conventional phone lines into a VoIP service. The device connects an analogue phone to a computer, enabling the signal to be transferred digitally and allowing staff to easily access their VoIP number.

VoIP systems are also available via email, so employees can use a headset or specially designed IP phone to take calls wherever they are, using their personal details and experiencing the same low costs.

Some businesses may even want to take this further and host all their communications, including enterprise messaging, video conferences and online meetings over an Internet connection. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), as this is known, offers a similar level of portability and mobility and has been adopted by a number of businesses keen to embrace digital technology.

While some businesses may be reticent to do away with a core technology that has been in place for decades, traditional phone lines could be leaving your company at a major disadvantage, particularly when it comes to your finances.

Using a Packet Switched Telephone Network, or PSTN, means you will be charged for every minute spent on the phone and subjected to inflated fees for international calls. In contrast, a VoIP system is included within a business’ monthly Internet bill. Of course, this means businesses will need 24/7 broadband access with adequate speed, but as this is required for the majority of organisations anyway, VoIP could essentially provide a great deal of added value at no extra cost.

In fact, studies estimate that a VoIP system can save businesses as much as 40 per cent on domestic calls and 90 per cent on international communications. (opens in new tab)

Traditional phone lines are also limited in that they only allow two people to speak at any one time. VoIP, however, facilitates conference calls by compressing data more effectively, meaning important group meetings can take place over the phone.

Digital communications like VoIP also grant users with a number of additional features compared to analogue networks. VoIP features range from the simple, such as caller ID and voicemail, to the more complex like a PC to phone option and online account management.

The telephone has been a valuable asset for consumers and businesses for many years, but businesses can’t afford to stand still in light of the mobility and economic advantages that VoIP provides.

Read more: Whitepaper: The future of email and applications is social

VoIP and a whole host of other unified communication options will be on display during this year’s UC Expo, taking place on the 21-22 April at Olympia, London.

Register to attend UC EXPO 2015 FREE today (opens in new tab)

Image Credit: peddhapati

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.