We asked Simon and Martin their further thoughts on VOIP calling for businesses. We wanted to dig deeper on what benefits VOIP offers over and above the alternative – the landline
SIMON: For the client, there is also an element of flexibility, depending on what the user requires from their telephony; if they are a desk user, they can have a desk phone, but they can transfer the call to a mobile, and a lot of VOIP solutions have a mobile application, or a laptop or desktop application, so they can switch between devices, so they are not tied to their desk.
For example, if they need to find a private spot for a conversation with a client, they can swap their desk phone to the mobile app, and walk away, without having to put the handset down, so this continues the call without the client realising. The desk phone may not be needed anymore, with these apps available, so this frees up desk space. Therefore, for smaller office environments (Pre-COVID-19) it gives the user the flexibility to have a smaller desk, so maybe call centres can fit more bums on seats, so to speak.
MARTIN: Further benefits relating to flexibility are that you can have different types of handsets (receptionists etc) and the features within that switchboard type of handset are a lot easier to set up than they are with ‘old-school’ phone systems. Things like adding call groups, putting calls on hold, setting up call forwarding, can be all set up centrally and managed accordingly via an MSP or even by the customer in some cases. On traditional phone systems each one of these features is an extra cost to set up, but with VOIP, this can be wrapped into an IT contract.
SIMON: Other things that VOIP can do, relates to the user individually, as each licence is tailored to the specific user and what they need. Martin mentioned the receptionist, and they could have multiple call functions like transferring many calls at once or have multiple calls on hold simultaneously – a bit like air traffic control. Sales teams can also use VOIP to their advantage by setting their phone to call from a different geographical area code, that may help a potential new customer take the call. For example, if you had a customer in Birmingham, you could set your phone to ring from the area code in Birmingham.
From a management standpoint, they can have the granularity of the reporting side of things, so they can call barge, they can listen in on calls for training purposes, or to ensure quality. VOIP just gives flexibility for the business, in all areas. The size of the organisation doesn’t matter either, as the cost reflects the size of the business, and the cost per user comes down with more users etc on a sliding scale.
MARTIN: The benefits versus other types of phone systems is in the name ‘Voice Over Internet’. It means you can use the inbound connectivity into a business to cover the phones and the connectively. So, if you think about this wrapping into an IT solution, it makes perfect sense for businesses to go down this route as there is no requirement for analogue services. Everything can be done over a data connection.