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A Quick Primer on VoIP

As a business owner, you’re always on the lookout for ways to increase efficiency, convenience, and productivity, while simultaneously cutting costs if at all possible. One of the best things about incorporating new technological advances is that businesses are often able to kill two or more birds with one stone, so to speak.

This is definitely the case with VoIP, which many businesses are now using in place of traditional phone lines. What is VoIP? What are the benefits of upgrading to a VoIP system for your business? Here’s a quick breakdown of this communications technology and what users stand to gain from it

What is VoIP?
Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a tool consisting of hardware and software that serves as a substitute for telephone service. It is sometimes referred to as internet calling because it allows users to give up telephone services in favor of an online alternative. This technology utilizes a broadband internet connection (and associated hardware) to provide telephone services without using an actual phone line, delivering additional benefits at less all-around cost.

What are the Benefits of VoIP?
First and foremost, many companies find that they can save money by switching over to VoIP from standard phone services. Businesses used to paying an arm and a leg to equip every employee with a dedicated phone line (not to mention cell service) are turning to VoIP as a way to provide more comprehensive communications capabilities for an entire office, or even multiple offices, at far less cost.

With VoIP, voice communications are conducted via the internet, and with appropriate hardware in place, employees can not only receive calls via phones at their desks, but they can also forward calls to mobile devices off-hours, utilize talk-to-text features to receive messages via email, and enjoy a host of other services. VoIP services often provide additional features like fax capabilities, video conferencing, messaging, caller ID, call screening, hold music, auto attendant, call queue, call center solutions, call logs, hosted PBX, 24/7 support services, and more.

Often, these services are provided through a user-friendly dashboard that makes services and features easy to manage, and there are administrative tools that allow companies to much more easily add or remove accounts for quick scalability. The sheer volume of features provided by VoIP services is enough to interest any business entity, but the fact that the cost is still less than most traditional phone services tends to seal the deal.

Choosing a Provider
You’ll find that both free and paid VoIP services exist, and you might wonder why anyone would pay when so many services are available for free. As a business, you have different needs than the average residential customer. While the consumer public at large can probably get away with free VoIP, you need to make sure you have access to specific features, services, scalability, and security.

The good news is that even paid VoIP service with all the bells and whistles can save you over installing and maintaining traditional phone service. Considering all you stand to gain in the process, there should be nothing to hold you back from making the switch to VoIP.

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