Despite Growing Popularity, VoIP Misconceptions Abound

    Over the years, VoIP has become a go-to for enterprise communications. As mobility and cloud technology have evolved, however, it has gone from being a novel idea to common solution and, most recently, to status quo. More companies are finding that VoIP is incredibly useful and inherently cost effective, allowing for innovation to flourish without running up a huge bill.

    "Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems are quickly taking over the business world and even the residential phone market as they offer a cheaper alternative phone service that uses the Internet instead of traditional phone networks to deliver higher quality telephony with far less infrastructure," wrote TMCnet contributor Matt Paulson.

    Yet for all of the modern convenience it has provided, there is still a startling amount of people who do not understand what VoIP actually does, let alone what it really is. According to a recent study conducted by software review website Software Advice, 71 percent of respondents between the ages of 25 and 34 did not know what VoIP was.

    This figure includes both those people that are unaware of VoIP and those who could not correctly define what it was.

    VoIP is a critical part of unified communication and needs to be leveraged by enterprises all over the world. While the deployment process is often easy to pursue, there are going to have to be serious considerations made - including ensuring that employees are all on the same page.

    VoIP Adoption, Understanding On The Rise

    Regardless of any perceived disconnection, there is still a great number of companies that are implementing VoIP in their offices. According to study conducted by Grand View Research, the worldwide unified communications market is expected to reach almost $76 billion by 2020. This figure represents a significant universal investment in new UC assets that is not expected to slow down.

    But this means that those that are in charge of bringing these systems into their respective businesses have to make sure that employees understand what they are working with. People may think they know what they are doing, but in actuality require extra assistance. The same can be said about those who are intimidated by concepts like the cloud. People frequently use new technologies without realizing it - the best example being cloud-averse individuals who value services like Netflix and Gmail. While the kind of functionality that they crave may only be achievable through hosted cloud UC, they will still need to be prepped on new networks and changing practices to ensure a smooth transition.

    One of the ways that companies will undoubtedly be effected by UC involves the shift of work away from the traditional office. There are a great deal of employees across all industries that are expecting the chance to fulfill their obligations from home when they so desire. This will have a profound influence on the way teams are managed and meetings are conducted, with video becoming an increasingly standard channel for enterprises to use.

    Arguments Made By Naysayers Are Unfounded

    It may be difficult to win over decision-makers that are not convinced of VoIP's benefits. This is something that is going to need to be addressed directly. According to the Software Advice research, many people are not aware that VoIP is a stepping stone not only to unified communications, but the mobile UC that the modern workforce craves. There is also a concern that power outages can affect VoIP service. This, however, is circumvented thanks to mobile availability. With proper UC software installed on smartphones, tablets and even laptops, business can continue as usual in the event of a loss in electricity. According to Paulson, backup generators are also viable options to keep offices connected during a blackout.

    "The top two concerns with VoIP phone systems were maintaining a dial tone during a power outage and reduced call quality," Paulson wrote of the Software Advice findings. "While these fears held true in the past, modern Internet routers (necessary for VoIP service) now draw so little power that they can utilize back-up emergency batteries to maintain a signal, and call quality with today's VoIP is in fact unparalleled with other voice communication services."

    VoIP and unified communications are becoming essential for every business to have. Companies need to make sure that their systems are able to support the modern workforce. Whether employees know it or not, they crave the kind of mobility and functionality that only these kinds of networks can provide. Competing businesses are often divided by the quality of their telecom networks and as discrepancies become more obvious, top talent may start to move elsewhere.

    As long as staff members and managers are informed and guided properly, there is nothing standing in the way of any organization that wants to enter the 21st century.

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