If you have started looking into modernizing your phone system, you will most likely have heard about VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Replacing traditional PSTN telephone communications, this technology instead uses the internet to route calls. You will also likely have heard the term ‘Unified Communications’, a marketing term grouping a number of communication technologies.
Where VoIP is a specific technology, Unified Communications refers to numerous different processes. Think of Unified Communications as tools that are reliant on a VoIP foundation.
VoIP business phone systems provide a plethora of benefits over traditional telephony. VoIP phones send information over the internet to the recipient using data networking protocols, making the system much more manageable and customisable. VoIP phone systems also increase efficiency, minimize costs, and can easily be expanded when required.
Having a VoIP phone system in place will allow you to make and receive calls, but business communication between colleagues and customers often requires more than simple voice conversations. The range of functions which form the capabilities of the system are referred to as Unified Communications (UC).
Common Examples Of UC Capabilities
Single number reach
Your contact number will divert to your office phone, mobile, or home phone depending on where you are at that moment. You can configure the system so that calls divert to another device at a particular time of day. You could also set up your system so that calls rings twice on your landline, before continuing to ring on your mobile device. The idea is that you can configure the system to fit your exact requirements, which is especially helpful for paperless business.
IP phones, also known as VoIP telephones, have features that allow business professionals to personalize ringtones. This may seem like an unnecessary perk. However, you would be surprised to find out how helpful it can be. Personalizing ringtones for individual contacts makes it easy to identify which business calls are most important. That means you can elect to only pick up the VoIP telephone for must-answer calls from VIP clients or supervisors. This can increase your efficiency and productivity by eliminating unnecessary distractions.
Video conferencing never really took off the way we had expected, especially since the cloud vs on premise debate is still ongoing. But, ongoing developments continue to make using the technology more efficient, inexpensive and manageable. Advanced VoIP features now allow many participants to contribute to a video call at the same time, and they come with intuitive controls to manage the conversation.
Individually, these technologies are far from new. However, when integrated into a single system, there is scope for increased efficiency, particularly when working in conjunction with CRM software. When a customer calls, all information relating to them can be instantly displayed on the system, including their company information, past sales and an email conversation history.
This list barely scratches the surface, and there are many other capabilities of Unified Communications and collaborations which may be of great use to your business.
VoIP phone systems have completely revolutionised the way we communicate in the professional world. If you’ve not modernised your phone system yet, check out how UC capabilities can help your business.
Finding The Best VoIP Telephone
There are many, many options available on the market today for VoIP telephones. Regardless of whether you own an automotive start up or a hair salon, there is a VoIP phone out there for you. Most of these telephones built for internet communications are not manufactured and sold by top POTS, plain old telephone system, providers. So, it can be difficult to distinguish which phone is best for your business. There are many different types of VoIP phones. You are going to want to narrow down your selection before placing an order.
- Corded IP phones
- Cordless IP phones
- Conference phones
- Video phones
- Skype phones
- USB phones
- DECT phones
- WiFi VoIP phones
- Lync phones
Find out more about the phones above and create a prioritized list of your business needs. This way, you will be certain to pick the best VoIP phone for business.
This article was written by Columbus UK, specialists in the delivery of VoIP phone systems and other communications solutions to businesses of all sizes.
Image from http://www.sipstatus.com/retail-business/