What is VOIP & does your Business Need it?

Nathan |

If you’ve been following the NBN rollout or paying close attention to your telecommunications provider, you may have heard the term ‘VoIP’ thrown around quite a lot in recent years. While no longer a new technology, it’s certainly gaining traction in Australia as the preferred option for communications.

But does your business need it? Keep reading to learn more about VoIP and its benefits, and decide for yourself.

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Essentially, it allows businesses to make calls over the internet, rather than through traditional copper phone lines. This is achieved by the sending and receiving of ‘packets’ of data between two IP connections.

To further clarify, if you speak into a VoIP phone, your voice is converted into a packet of data sent via your internet connection to the other person you’re speaking with, before being converted back into voice – all within milliseconds.

It might sound complicated, but the implementation is quite simple. More often than not, VoIP phone solutions are as straightforward as plugging in your connections and pressing go.

What are the benefits of VoIP?

There are a range of benefits of using VoIP phone systems over traditional phone lines. Some of these include:

Flexibility: Only choose the tools and services that suits your business. A lot of VoIP providers allow you to select your handsets. You could also choose virtual handsets, such as desktop or mobile softphones instead of, or as well as, physical handsets.

Scalability: New employees? New office? VoIP allows you to scale your business quickly and seamlessly by simply getting in touch with your IT services provider, rather than having to wait for technicians to install additional phone lines.

Remote capabilities: If you have employees that work from home, or if you’re on the road a lot, you can still make and receive calls as though you were in your office. All you need is an internet connection and a softphone.

Built-in redundancy: If your office loses power or your internet is having technical issues, you can route calls to softphones or to another office to ensure you’re not missing out on any important phone calls.

Affordability: As each phone number for your business is routed through your internet connection, the service is significantly cheaper than installing traditional phone lines. Call costs and other features, such as voicemail and line hunt, are also much cheaper.

How does the NBN come into this?

By 2020, the majority of homes and businesses will be connected to the NBN. Designed to provide fast Internet access across the country, it will decommission the existing copper network. This means, once the NBN is available in your area, your traditional phone lines will no longer be usable.

This includes ISDN and traditional PBX systems – although it’s important to note that the decommissioning of these products are already well underway. As soon as you receive a notification about this from your provider, it’s important you prepare to make the change, if not sooner.

So if the benefits of VoIP haven’t already sold you, the need to switch is still inevitable.

Get setup for VoIP with The IT Department

Of course, not all VoIP phone systems are created equal. Thankfully, The IT Department can help you find the right option for your business. Get in touch with one of our specialists today to learn more.