With the ever-tightening credit crunch it is imperative that businesses evaluate all possible ways in which costs can be cut so as to preserve profitability in these troubled economic times. In this article we evaluate the cost saving ability of VOIP, or voice over internet protocol, and the effect it could have on your business.
Given that VOIP is a relatively new phenomenon and one which is yet to take off as widely as is predicted, it is perhaps sensible to start with a brief introduction to the technology. VOIP is actually a protocol designed specifically for the optimised transfer of voice through the Internet. However, the abbreviation is most often used to refer to the practice of using the Internet to make telephone calls rather than to identify the protocol that facilitates the making of calls. At its heart, VOIP is designed to deliver a cost saving to the consumer by using bandwidth already available but otherwise left unutilised. With more and more domestic consumers either switching to or implementing VOIP alongside traditional copper-wire telephony, large corporations are now waking up to the its potential.
So what are the benefits of VOIP? In a small business setting or home office scenario, the primary benefit is the ability to add an extra telephone line at little or no cost. This is especially true as broadband connectivity becomes ever more widespread. A further benefit is that VOIP providers do not generally charge extra for functionality (such as caller ID and automatic redial), which is often costly on traditional telephony networks. The actual cost of calls is also significantly cheaper, with many domestic calls being made for free! A further benefit, especially in large organisations where employees may be geographically dispersed is that VOIP allows for free conference and video calling.
Just imagine the implications for your business if you are frequently sending employees on business trips which involve travel and accommodation expense; in certain situations, it may be possible to eliminate these costs by utilising video conferencing within your offices. There are huge savings to be made if inter-department business trips are restricted to a strictly necessary basis!
It is important to note that an experienced firm who can evaluate the best possible system and manner in which to integrate the changes alongside your existing technology should carry out the implementation of VOIP technology. Although this can require an initial investment, VOIP technology is one which is definitely here to stay and a small outlay now can quickly deliver remarkable savings, savings which may well give you that ever important competitive advantage.