Have you heard of Hosted VoIP business phone systems? VoIP, or “voice over Internet protocol,” is at its essence the capability to communicate over Internet phone lines versus traditional phone lines. This means many advantages over traditional systems, especially when it comes to business; however, there are some disadvantages as well.
· Cost effective
Hosted VoIP office systems are very cost effective. This is especially true if your business makes a lot of international calls; with hosted VoIP business phone systems, you generally don’t pay anything other than your Internet access fee, which is usually a set fee every month. With traditional phone services, you pay by the minute, and this cost increases depending on the distance of the call. Hosted VoIP systems are also much more flexible and easier to set up and add to, meaning that they’re cheaper to maintain as well, another cost effective consideration.
· Wide variety of features at little to no extra cost
With traditional business systems, you have to pay for setup and for every phone line installed; you also have to pay extra for any features you use, and may have to pay extra for additional voicemail accounts, adding extra users, and so on. This is usually not true with hosted VoIP business phone systems. Additional calling features such as caller ID and call forwarding generally cost you extra, but this isn’t usually true with plans through hosted VoIP office phone systems.
Call forwarding may be especially useful if, for example, you spend a lot of time out of your office and will need to be able to access your office “on the road.” VoIP generally gives you the capability to stay connected no matter where you are, anywhere in the world.
· Flexibility and expandability — at little to no extra cost
With hosted VoIP systems, you can generally add users, extra voicemail boxes, etc., through an easy-to-use administration web interface; depending on your plan, you may not pay extra for these additions, and you can generally easily manage them yourself.
There are some cons to hosted VoIP office phone systems, as well, that you’ll need to keep in mind:
· Must have high-speed Internet access
If you don’t have high-speed Internet connectivity, you won’t be able to have one of the many available hosted VoIP business phone systems until your area has access to it. This is increasingly becoming a non-issue as more and more areas throughout the world “get connected,” but there still may be areas where you won’t be able to access high-speed Internet access.
· Sound quality may be lacking
Again, as technology catches up, poor sound quality is becoming less of an issue. However, in certain areas, hosted VoIP business phone systems can sometimes have very poor sound quality as compared to traditional landline phone systems.
· If electricity or Internet are out, you have no phone
Traditional landline phone systems that use phone lines are generally operational for calls on at least a basic level even if electricity goes out in the area; additionally, because they don’t depend on the Internet for connectivity, it doesn’t matter whether or not the Internet has gone out; you can still make calls. However, hosted VoIP office phone systems depend on electricity and Internet connectivity for operation. Lose these, and you’re out of luck until the Internet is back online and electricity is restored.
Overall, the pros offered by a hosted VoIP system far outweigh the cons, and help keep your business running efficiently.