Improve communications with VoIP

For any business, saving money and improving communications are both good goals to have – and VoIP allows you to combine the two.

VCI persevered with a ‘traditional’ phone system fed by 4 ISDN channels for many years mainly because we needed to retain the ISDN connection as a dial out option for a client phone system we maintained. An ISDN line is a digital line with two ‘channels’, each of which can be used for separate calls, thus equivalent to having two regular lines. With their ISDN system upgraded I was able to reconsider our own options and recently made the move to a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solution of the type we have already been supplying to clients for a few years.

I had reservations regarding VoIP platforms when they first started appearing in the small business sector some years back – it was at a time where ADSL speeds remained quite limited and it was not uncommon to see internet connections fail for periods of time. I stopped short of recommending a solution where it was quite possible to experience a loss of all effective external communication.

Now, with fibre to the cabinet solutions available in many locations, bandwidth is no longer the concern it once was and it is also the case that connection reliability has improved. Furthermore it is no longer unusual for a comparatively small business to have more than one internet connection as a load balancing or circuit failover option. These factors add to the connection resilience and call quality that was often lacking for the early adopters of the technology.

The system we use has a modest monthly subscription per user with nominal setup costs including the one-off purchase of inexpensive handsets. The call charges are competitive so we are saving approaching £160 a month based upon line rental savings, a lower call cost, and a refining of our data connectivity requirements. We still maintain two separate internet connections so can maintain both data and voice communication during a failure from either internet provider.

Our communication options are expanded by the ability to use ‘softphones’ (a phone running as software on a laptop or PC) as well as an app for mobile devices. Our Reading 0118 number is no longer tied to our geographical location so we can remain in contact even if the office is completely disconnected (e.g. a power cut) or inaccessible (which was the case during the flooding in 2014).

If your business is split across more than one location it is now easy to link the separate offices up on one VoIP system so that calls can all be managed from a single location, calls between offices have no cost, and external callers can be transferred between the offices with ease.

To discuss your communication options and investigate whether a VoIP system can enhance your business communications, please get in touch on 0118 9767111.

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