3 min read

The advantages and disadvantages of VoIP systems

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For something that was originally created as a way to save money on long-distance and international phone calls, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology has grown into one of the must-have systems for business communications.

Today, VoIP is slowly but surely replacing traditional landline networks across the business landscape and is also fast becoming a preferable alternative to making calls via a mobile phone.

At its heart a VoIP system – also known by some people as internet telephony, IP telephony, or voice over IP – is a decoding and conversion tool that takes an analogue signal (your voice) and converts it into digital data that can be carried over public or private internet networks.

What that means is that it’s possible to make calls over the internet to landlines, mobile phones, or other computers anywhere in the world and at a fraction of the cost.

And although its original purpose was to make and rece3ive voice calls, the technology has evolved so that VoIP can also be used for things like video calls, instant messaging, and file sharing.

Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Chat are good examples of these systems, but there are standalone versions of the technology available, as well as these browser-bundled versions.

So, what exactly are the advantages and disadvantages of VoIP, and what should you consider when deciding the best communications solution for your business?

ADVANTAGES

VoIP for business has many distinct advantages, many of which are obvious and some of which are less so.

  • Cost savings

If your business has a high dependency on outgoing calls – for example, if you have a large sales team operating B2B or B2C phone sales – having a VoIP technology system will offer you significant savings.

Because you only pay for the connection supplied by your internet provider, all your calls to numbers that also benefit from VoIP technology – even those made internationally – will be free.

  •  Lots of useful features

From call blocking to caller ID display, and from remote management to voice recognition, VoIP offers a host of useful and appealing features that help to make your business more efficient and also improve customer experience and satisfaction.

  •  Easy collaboration

 Simple integration processes ensure that collaborating with people using different operating and network systems is easy and hassle-free. Whether you need web conferencing, video meetings, or instant messaging solutions, most functionality is delivered from one single, user-friendly interface.

  •  Better productivity

 Your VoIP system can be accessed from anywhere, which means that no matter where your teams are located, they will always be able to use your business’s communications and software systems whenever they need to.

 DISADVANTAGES

There are some potential downsides with VoIP technology, though in most cases they are outweighed by the benefits.

  • Audio quality

The quality of the audio output generated by a VoIP system is often dependent on the quality and reliability of external factors like broadband speeds, the hardware (computer system) it’s connected to, and the telecoms services that run your connection.

We’ve probably all experienced those moments in a video call where someone has ‘frozen’ or there’s a delay or echo on the audio coming back. A good quality external mic can often help, as can a computer with a fast processor.

  • Bandwidth dependency

 Because VoIP relies on your internet connection, if that goes down, so does your phone line. Issues around bandwidth will also lead to other issues with service quality.

  • Security

Any digital system carries a security risk, and a VoIP system is no different in this regard. Just as you might be wary of identity theft, phishing, malware and viruses, and spam relating to your email account, the same is true of VoIP. Call tempering and denial of service attacks are also a consideration.

  • Additional costs

Calls from VoIP technology systems are only free when they are made to other VoIP systems. If you make a call to a non-VoIP system, you will incur unexpected charges.

Bear in mind, also, that under current plans the traditional copper wire telephone network that supports much of the UK’s internet infrastructure will be closed by 2025 and replaced with digital services that include VoIP.

At YCG we are experts in the supply, installation, and management of VoIP technology, so please get in touch if you’d like to find out more about whether VoIP could be the right solution for your organisation.

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