Many advantageous benefits can be attributed to the use of a hosted business VoIP phone system when compared to a more traditional telephony service over the local telephone network. Utilizing the Internet to facilitate both verbal and data communications provides access to many highly advanced telecommunications features; features that if used in a standalone telephone network scenario would be far too costly to deploy. Historically, businesses seeking to reap the rewards of a corporate PBX would have been required to house and maintain a large onsite telephone system. When operating over a hosted VoIP solution, however, the majority of the technical infrastructure is fully housed and maintained offsite at the location of the hosted provider. This practice allows smaller businesses to experience the rich features and capabilities of a fully functioning corporate phone system, without having to allot a portion of their office space to house the equipment, or employ a team of technically sound professionals to maintain that equipment.
The benefits of deploying a hosted VoIP solution is not limited to financial savings and can be realized in a multitude of arenas across the company. For all intents and purposes, however, the benefits and motivators of migrating to a hosted VoIP solution can be established in three key areas; Financial, Operational, and Service.
The primary motivator in VoIP deployment has always been the realization of substantial cost savings, both immediate and on-going. As it was mentioned earlier, the majority of the major infrastructure is housed offsite at the physical location of the hosted provider and therefore the only major equipment the business needs to be concerned with purchasing is the actual IP phones.
Other fiscal advantages include:
• A hosted solution offers an easily expansible platform that can only increase in value, unlike conventional phone systems which tend to depreciate over a five year time span.
• Budgeting to meet the fluctuations of conventional telephone service proved difficult and costly. Since hosted VoIP services are most often bundled they include unlimited calling and a variety of tools and features for a single monthly set fee.
• Businesses anticipate growth, however, operating over a traditional PBX adding extensions or expanding the business requires expensive equipment, labor and other incidentals which can result in hundreds of dollars. VoIP offers a completely scalable solution that allows the business to grow with ease.
• Since the actual telephone system is housed at the location of the hosted provider it is not uncommon for them to absorb the breadth of the costs associated with maintenance and repairs, allowing the business to leverage these funds in other areas of their company.
• Businesses maintaining multiple locations or remote offices will experience the most benefit as they are able to virtually connect each office through a single network.
Hosted VoIP can be credited for alleviating some of the operational burdens of running a smaller business. Some of these benefits include:
• Increased call capacity. Previously businesses were limited to the number of incoming / outgoing calls they could maintain. Since VoIP operates predominately based on the amount of available bandwidth and the number of telephones a business has onsite it is possible to tend to a large amount of calls simultaneously.
• Most businesses are still reliant upon faxing technology, but fax machines have always been surrounded by stigma. Using the faxing services available with most hosted solutions, businesses are able to send and receive faxes the same way they would an email.
• Faxes can be sent simultaneously, without having to worry about paper jams or tied up phone lines.
• Connecting multiple offices over a hosted VoIP solution allows for greater productivity and enhanced collaboration.
• The most noteworthy hosted small business VoIP providers reward their consumers with Automatic Call Distribution, Find Me – Follow and many other revolutionary business essential features.
• Businesses routinely hiring teleworkers will realize the extreme benefits of VoIP as it enables offsite employees’ remote access to the entire business telephony system wherever broadband Internet access exists.
• Smaller businesses will grow to appreciate the use of direct inward dial numbers on a much more cost efficient platform than with traditional telephony.
• Hosted VoIP allows businesses to expand their talent reach by hiring professionals the world over.
Utilizing a hosted VoIP solution frees mangers and small business proprietors from many of the service-oriented headaches and technical challenges of conventional phone systems since most duties can be performed virtually by the solutions provider.
• Conventional telephony systems often required onsite visits from expensive repair technicians for both maintenance and repair. This practice was both costly and time consuming. Businesses deploying a hosted VoIP solution will seldom ever see a repair technician since the hosted provider assumes responsibility for most of the major repair elements.
• If a business operating over a conventional PBX wanted to move their phone line, or set up shop in another location they may have been required to contract a telephone service technician. This is not the case with hosted VoIP, moving is as easy as plugging an IP phone into a broadband Internet connection.
• Hosted VoIP offers disaster recovery planning far superior to its conventional predecessor. Historically, should disaster strike, businesses operating over the public telephone network could have been without telecommunications services for days. Most hosted VoIP solutions providers will offer to re-route callers automatically to a predetermined number in the event of a disaster. This feature comes equipped with automated attendants, voicemail and call forwarding.