Understand everything about VoIP
What is VoIP?
The term VoIP (an acronym for "Voice over Internet Protocol") means the transmission of voice over the Internet. It is therefore a technology that can route phone calls via an Internet connection (IP).
For those who are curious, the voice (analogue signal) is transformed into a digital signal. It is then transmitted in the form of data packets (like all other data transmitted over the Internet) to the recipient.
Many sources tell us that "with VoIP, businesses have access to advanced, flexible telephony that is much more affordable than traditional phone service." Let's see why this VoIP telephony can be so beneficial for all organizations.
Conventional telephony vs VoIP telephony
First of all, a little overview of conventional business telephony. When you call someone outside your company, you dial their number on your phone which sends it to your telephone exchange. The latter then uses your conventional telephone line to route the call to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) and to ring the other party's phone.
With the onset of VoIP telephony, the telephone exchange and the telephone line disappear and are replaced by IP phones (which connect to your computer network), your Internet connection and a virtual telephone exchange in the Cloud. It is at the level of the Cloud that the connection with the PSTN is completed.
Note: This is why "VoIP telephony" can also be called "telephony in the cloud".
When you call someone outside your company, you dial their number on your IP phone and send it to your cloud telephone exchange. It then routes the call to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) and rings the phone of the recipient.
This model is much easier to set up: as a reminder you just need an Internet connection and an IP phone to make and receive your calls. The only thing you need to worry about is connecting your IP phone to your computer network.
What are the benefits of VoIP for business?
VoIP offers tremendous benefits for any organization that strives for excellence in terms of cost-effectiveness, flexibility and productivity.
1. Cost reduction
VoIP is very beneficial from a financial point of view. Indeed, as we have just seen, it is no longer necessary for companies to rent telephone lines or buy or rent a telephone exchange.
But that's not all. Thanks to VoIP, the price of calls is much lower than the rates charged by traditional operators. It is not uncommon that some calls are 100 times cheaper!
Ubiquity: another advantage of VoIP telephony compared to traditional telephony: your physical location does not matter anymore. As soon as you have an Internet connection (computer network, Wi-Fi, 4G), you are virtually connected to your Cloud telephone exchange. You can be reached at the office, at home or when travelling.
In addition, you can install an App on your PC, tablet or Smartphone that turns all your devices into a phone. So, you can (if you wish), be reachable everywhere and on all your devices.
In addition, video conferencing or full virtual meeting features (voice, video, chat, screen sharing, etc.) features are sometimes available in the same offer. Big time and fuel savings in store!
Multisite organizations: a single Cloud telephone exchange is enough for all sites. There is no need to multiply costly telephone exchanges and expensive telephone lines. Each site is connected to the telephone exchange via its Internet connection and employees can call each other free of charge between sites. In addition, site A be the hotline for the others on Monday noon, site B on Tuesday etc. In short, you organize yourself much more efficiently!
Do not miss a call: in conventional telephony, you were also limited in the number of simultaneous calls (a traditional ISDN line allows 2 calls). If a 3rd person tries to reach you, they will receive a "busy" tone. Frustrating and bad for business! In VoIP telephony, there is no such limitation and so you do not miss a call.
Flexibility: You are charged for the actual number of phone users. You hire 2 trainees for 3 months? When they leave, they are not charged to you any more. We adjust to you, not the opposite!
Always at the cutting edge of technology: new features are added constantly and your organization benefits as and when. And all this without doing anything at home. Everything happens in the Cloud.
Link with your IT: VoIP telephony can also be connected to your business software (CRM, ERP etc.). You call someone in 1 click in your CRM. A customer calls? Even before picking up, their customer sheet is automatically opened on your PC. You can therefore react in a personalized way and with great efficiency. It is also possible to set up more advanced scenarios: a customer calls your technical support. If he is up to date in his or her payments, the call is transferred to technical support. If he has bills outstanding, he is referred sent directly to the accounts department. Smart, no?
4. Keep your old and international numbers
Your business can keep all of its existing numbers. You can also rent international numbers, which your international customers can call you at, at a great rate.
For instance: The head office of your company is in Brussels and you have a client in Spain. You can have a Spanish number. First, by adding a Spanish number on your website, you can have a virtual presence in Spain. And secondly, your customer can call you at this number at a local rate, which is more interesting for them than calling you on your Belgian number.
1. Can I use VoIP with my old conventional landline phone?
No, an IP phone is required. It will by the way offer many more features than your current phone. It plugs into your computer network and does not require an additional network plug. As a reminder, you can also use your PC, tablet and especially your smartphone to do VoIP telephony.
2. What is the best time to switch from conventional telephony to VoIP telephony?
The answer is: as soon as possible because the savings and benefits are numerous.
However, you may be blocked by a telephone exchange contract. If you have just signed up for a 48-month standard telephone exchange you will need to wait a bit because the cancellation costs may be high (customer locking is a major speciality in standard telephony). If you have less than 2 years left, the cancellation is probably offset by the savings associated with VoIP. Get started!
3. Do I have to change internet providers?
Some VoIP telephony providers will ask you to change Internet providers. It is a fearless business approach to try to sell you more services. It is healthy to favour a provider who does not force you to change.
However, you must be sure that your existing connection is "VoIP-ready". If your bandwidth is insufficient, the quality of your calls will not be optimal. But Internet connections are getting faster, and 99% of companies do not have to change their connection.
The easiest way is to test the performance of your connection now on allocloud.com/test and see if your infrastructure is suitable for VoIP.
If your Internet connection does not have enough throughput, you have 3 very simple solutions:
- Opt for a faster Internet connection
- Or have QoS enabled (Quality of Service to give a higher priority to telephony) by the person who manages your network
- Or install an Internet connection dedicated to telephony
4. Do I have to change mobile providers?
Here too, some providers will try to make you switch to them for your mobile. This is again a ruthless business approach to try to sell you more services and to lock you in. Do not change! It is nevertheless important to have a mobile operator that offers good data coverage. But this can be done independently of the VoIP telephony provider.
5. Does the sound quality remain the same?
Yes, the sound quality is impeccable as long as your internet connection is good quality.
If you have been convinced and think that VoIP telephony would be beneficial to your business, you can contact us via this link or request a quote: