VoIP rapidly gaining headway in the enterprise

    A growing number of businesses are turning to VoIP solutions in an effort to leverage the technology's considerable gains to improve telephony performance while simultaneously reducing costs.

    According to a recent WhichVoIP study, businesses are quickly becoming aware of VoIP's capabilities, particularly its ability to reduce costs for calling in both domestic and international settings. This gain is so substantial that WhichVoIP said approximately 75 percent of international calls in business environments are made over a voice over IP connection.

    Lower call costs are not the only reason organizations are embracing VoIP. WhichVoIP explained that infrastructure-related benefits are also leading to increased VoIP deployment. When businesses turn to VoIP, they can more easily deploy a hosted business phone system that replaces the premise-based PBX with hardware handled at the vendor's data center. This not only reduces the cost of hardware investments, but also minimizes IT maintenance.

    The study found these gains are leading to significant investments in VoIP, while also driving higher expectations across the sector. Approximately 80 percent of respondents said price considerations are a primary focus when choosing a VoIP service. Because many of the technology's benefits are related to costs, the emphasis on pricing when choosing a provider makes sense.

    According to the survey, the flexibility offered by a VoIP service is also a key consideration. Because VoIP uses the company's IP network connection to transmit voice, any device with a connection to the internet can be linked to the telephony solution. This means more efficient headset setups can be deployed. It also creates a clear path to mobile device use by workers who are travelling or working off-site, but still have a connection to the company's IP setup through a virtual private network or similar technology.

    VoIP's benefits go beyond cost and flexibility. They also expand to disaster recovery. This is especially the case when businesses use hosted VoIP solutions. In such setups, the third-party vendor operates the hardware, and can easily reroute calls to a backup contact center or mobile users. This is an ideal scenario if a business' internet or power goes down, as the customer-facing phone services can remain available even though the office itself is out-of-service. This can help businesses avoid key reputation- and sales-related losses during an outage.

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