The telephone has never been much of a money saver.
It is something that has always been there, and your business will always need. And while you can save a small amount of money by switching landline providers, it has never been an area you can save a considerable amount of money. Until now. Because in VoIP technology there is an alternative to the landline that can save your business money as well as offer a whole new set of options and functionality. VoIP vs landline is now a question your business needs to ask.
The begs the question, traditional telephone solution in the shape of the trusty landline or the new solution growing in popularity and becoming a viable alternative, VoIP.
What is VoIP?
For those of you unfamiliar, VoIP uses an existing internet connection to make and receive calls. Have you ever used Skype to make a call? That is VoIP technology in action. VoIP telephone systems take that premise and scale it to work inside a business.
What are the advantages of VoIP?
VoIP is the new kid on the block so it must have a lot going for it to threaten the landline considering how long it has been around.
This is the biggest reason businesses are switching from the landline to VoIP. Because you are using your internet for calls, there are no additional line costs (you are already paying for the internet).
Unlimited domestic calling is included in most packages, and international calls are a fraction of the cost. If you have multiple locations, then calls are classed as internal. The same applies to remote workers.
The 3CX phone system, say they have reduced business phone bills by as much as 80 per cent.
Easy setupA common concern businesses show towards VoIP is the belief that it would be a hassle to change over from landline to VoIP. That is far from the case though. VoIP telephone systems are easy to install.
VoIP doesn't have the same hardware you need for landlines. The handsets connect to your internet, and they can all be managed from a PC or laptop. If you purchase through a telephone provider, they will manage the whole installation process and well as maintain the phone system.
Landlines are restricted by how many lines you can use. To add more means you need to install them and upgrade the hardware. Whereas VoIP uses your internet connection, so its possible to have an unlimited amount of lines. This makes setting up new employees on a VoIP telephone system quick and simple and another way to save your business money.
One of VoIP's biggest strengths is its mobility. You can use your mobile phone as an extension of your office phone. That means you can make and receive calls anywhere, you would need a pretty long extension cable to manage that with a landline!
Remote employees are able to use the same telephone system as the rest of your staff. This means calls from them to the office are classed as internal calls and are free.
Advanced featuresThe technology used in VoIP systems means they can offer features that landlines simply can't, and they have lots of integration options for a business. VoIP is full of features that can increase employee productivity as well as allow a company to really personalise how their telephone system works. There are too many features to include here, but some include Voicemail to email, easy conferencing, smart call queues and monitoring.
VoIP even allows for integration with your business applications. For instance, it can integrate with your CRM and display information about the caller which you can see on your computer screen.
What are the disadvantages of VoIP?
Of course, no telephone system is ever going to be 100 per cent perfect. There are a couple of areas you need to be aware of before deciding to switch over to VoIP.
Because VoIP relies on a businesses internet connection, that can affect the call quality. VoIP is dependent upon the speed and stability of your internet connection for its call quality. This is only usually a problem if you are regularly using large amounts of data, e.g. transferring large files or video streaming. Most businesses will have more than enough bandwidth to handle both these uses, but it is worth being aware of to avoid disappointment.
VoIP phone systems are also reliant on electricity, something that landlines don't need. So in a power outage, Traditional landlines can still operate VoIP cannot. There is a way to still make and receive calls, by asking your service provider to route calls to a mobile in case of a power outage.
What are the advantages of landline
It would be pretty one-sided of me to only discuss the pros and cons for a VoIP telephone system. Traditional landline systems have their own strengths as well.
The telephone has been around since the 1800's so its a time-tested, proven solution. It's been around for so long that every business is already comfortable with it and it is not often you need to train staff on how to use a phone.
Landlines have one sole function, and that is telephony. As it is purpose-built for this reason, it handles it exceptionally well. Call quality is excellent, and downtime is rarely a problem. Yes, it doesn't have the advanced features of VoIP but what it can do it does very well.
What are the disadvantages of landline?
The landline has served businesses exceptionally well for decades, but as technology continues to improve a lighting speed, the technology is starting to get left behind.
BT has announced plans to move away from the traditional landline platform and towards IP telephony services by 2025. As this date approaches expect development to slow down and it will become much harder to maintain the network.
Price of features
While, traditional telephones can come with additional features to help businesses, such as call transferring and queuing, they are usually add-ons that only increase the price of the service further. VoIP has these features, and a lot more, and they are all free.
VoIP vs Landline - Which one to use?
For a business that wants advanced functionally at a reasonable price then they will be best served by a VoIP telephone system. VoIP can introduce flexibility and mobility that landlines have never been able to offer before.
There is also the price. For most businesses switching to VoIP will save them money and give them more features than they would have had on a traditional landline system.
Even if you are a business owner not ready to switch over its a decision that you will need to make in the future. BT's own announcement of switching to IP technology spells the end of landline technology. While that time may not be upon us yet, VoIP is no longer just a competitive alternative to the landline, it is an attractive replacement.
VoIP v Landline is a relativity new decision for a business to make. And while it may seem hard to move away from a platform that has been around for so long, it's technology has now been completely overtaken.
If you are interested in the what VoIP can offer your business, and the savings it can bring read more here or call us on 01634 52 52 52.