What businesses do – and don’t – need VoIP?

Oh, Internet…

You type in a simple query like “should I switch to VoIP.” And instead of any helpful information, you get links to dozens – maybe hundreds – of companies trying to sell you stuff.

It’s almost enough to make you love your landline again.

At TEC, it’s true, we do install and manage VoIP. But that’s just a product. Our mission is to provide smart solutions for our customers. So we’re going to do our level best to give you what few other companies will.

Answers. 

Why is there so little debate about the pros and cons of VoIP? What businesses benefit most from it? And who might want to stay with traditional landlines?

Ready for the truth?

Read on.

Why is there so little debate about VoIP?

Part of the issue is that for a majority of us, VoIP is better. It simply is. And it’s hard to articulate an argument against it.

Modern VoIP offers the same crystal clear calls as a legacy phone system. (Promise.) It’s cheaper. (Usually.) And it’s simple to switch. (A minute or two of downtime is all the average user will have.)

And the list of things VoIP can do that old fashioned handsets can’t? It’s kind of dizzying.

The list goes on, but feature sets are so flexible and so robust, you’re pretty much wasting time if you try to shop them all yourself. You can easily get a plan customized for you.

And there’s another reason it’s tough to find someone who’ll espouse the benefits of a landline.

You can’t stop progress.

VoIP is where investments are being made in infrastructure, education and technology. (At TEC, we try not to install legacy systems much, because they’re getting harder to support and service.)

So are there any reasons to avoid VoIP? Sure. We’ll get to them in a moment. But first, let’s do a rundown of what sort of businesses will see the fastest, most immediate benefits from a switch.

Who needs to stop reading and switch to VoIP ASAP?

First of all, VoIP is perfect for any company with distributed employees. And post-pandemic, that’s a whole lot of us! Today around half of American professionals work from home at least sometimes. And they want to keep their personal and business communications separate. That’s easier – and as much as 50% cheaper – with VoIP.

But WFH’ers aren’t the only type of “distributed employees.” 

For instance, a small business with a few retail locations will be able to connect them more efficiently with VoIP. 

And companies with workers who spend time on the road or on job sites will benefit too. Imagine an electrician on a construction site who can send videos of a project, chat with a technician, and order parts directly to their location, all on one call. 

That’s the power of VoIP.

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Who else needs VoIP? Any business that wants to integrate its phone system into its CRM. Because VoIP is the heart of Unified Communications, having it unlocks a new level of customer service. Every conversation, service call and purchase becomes part of one unbroken stream of data. This obviously benefits enterprises with large call centers. But it also pays dividends for  professional services like accounting, law and design.

Surely there’s gotta be someone who should stick with a legacy phone system?

OK, we promised we’d be honest about the cons of VoIP. And while there aren’t many, they are real. You need to think twice about VoIP in a couple of circumstances.

  • You have a phone system that’s impossible to replace: We see this mostly in hospitality, which will take years to fully transition to VoIP. Older hotels, especially, may be hardwired with hundreds of old fashioned handsets. Replacing them all just isn’t worth it.
  • You have mandatory security protocols: If you call 911 on a landline, your address is tracked automatically, so some entities, especially government organizations, legally require them. Until this issue is solved, your local high school will have to keep at least one legacy phone in the principal’s office.
  • Your region has a bandwidth bottleneck. These patches of America are rarer and rarer every day. But they do still exist. So if you’re in an area with limited or (gasp!) no bandwidth, you obviously can’t run your business’s voice system over the Internet.
  • You watched too many episodes of The Wire: VoIP systems can be made highly secure. But hacking a landline is impossible, unless you shimmy up a pole with a hard hat and some copper wire. So yes, landlines are technically safer from cyber threats.

 

So there are a few cases where VoIP is infeasible. But for most of our customers, the choice is pretty clear. If you want to chat with us about optimizing your VoIP network, you can click the link below. 

Or give us a call.  We’ll answer. Just not on a landline.

Have Questions?

The TEC Integration team can help!

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They answer all my calls. They fix what I need to get fixed. They quickly and efficiently provide the service I need.

Brian Jewsbury IT Manager, Custom Made Meals September 21, 2020