What Is A Business VoIP Service?
As high speed Internet become more widespread and more affordable, many businesses are choosing to switch from conventional landlines to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems. VoIP systems are generally much cheaper than traditional phone services, and require less hardware.
A business VoIP service allows businesses to make and receive telephone calls through the Internet. VoIP systems can also integrate with a company’s computers. That means that in addition to traditional features like call forwarding, caller ID, and voicemail, business VoIP services also offer features like messages sent to email, or the ability to make and receive calls from a computer. VoIP systems make calls over data networks, not public phone lines, which also makes phone calls to employees or clients in distant locations much cheaper.
When it comes to deciding what type of VoIP system is right for your business, there are a few things to consider. One big decision is whether to go with an on-premise VoIP or a cloud-based system.
On-Premise VoIP Systems
Just as its name implies, an on-premise VoIP system is physically based in your office. Maintaining an on-premise VoIP system is a bit more work. A vendor or your IT department will have to install equipment like an IP-based private branch exchange to route calls to the right phones, as well as a PSTN gateway to help convert calls.
The plus side to an on-premise VoIP system is that it can offer more features, and if your data connection goes awry, you’ll still have voice functions in place, since it can connect to a regular telephone system as well. While on-premise systems are more expensive to purchase and install, they can cost less to maintain in the long run. This type of system might work best for larger and more established companies that don’t anticipate their needs changing dramatically.
Cloud-based VoIP is managed outside of your office. The service provider you choose will maintain the system at a data center, and the only equipment you need to purchase are the physical phones, if you don’t already have handsets that are enabled to communicate over VoIP.
One of the strengths of cloud-based VoIP systems worth mentioning is scalability; if your needs are going to change significantly over time, cloud-based systems offer more flexibility. It’s easier and cheaper to add lines. And because the service provider oversees all maintenance and upgrades, cloud-based systems keep up with technological changes and updates. You do need a reliable, smooth-running Internet connection, however, to be assured of good service with a cloud-based VoIP. Cloud-based VoIP systems are best if you don’t want to dedicate in-house IT attention to the system and would prefer someone else to maintain it, or if you want a lot of flexibility in a service.
>>View our Business VoIP Comparison