VoIP. The Good, The Bad and the… Cost Savings
You probably thought that title was going to read “The Good, The Bad and Ugly”, well read on…
We love VoIP and have been installing it for years. We run our businesses on it, and have been doing so for longer than we’ve been installing it for clients. Our business relies on our help desk being contactable via phone and email during business hours. So I’d say we’re very reliant on our phones to conduct our day to day business.
We know the benefits, we know the pitfalls and we always share these with anyone looking at moving to a VoIP solution. VoIP is an amazingly flexible cost saving tool that we highly recommend to 95% of the businesses we come across.
What about the 5%
What if you’re the 5% we wouldn’t recommend it to? If you rely on your phone system for any type of medical emergency services, or for a substantial part of your income and your phones have to be 100% reliable 100% of the time, then VoIP is not for you.
VoIP is reliable 95% of the time and for the foreseeable future we dont see that number increasing. The problem with any VoIP system, which is not using analogue phone lines (that’s a story for another day), is that it relies on the internet & local area networks (LANs) to make and receive phone calls.
The internet and LANs are not 100% reliable, which inherently means your VoIP will not be either. We’re not saying this to scare you off VoIP, it’s just the nature of the technology.
Most of our clients save thousands of of dollars per year with VoIP (some tens of thousands), and they all make the informed decision on whether the cost savings are worth the small amount of possible instability that comes with the system. 95% of people (a figure I’ve made up in my head, but it’s pretty accurate) we talk to agree that the infrequent possibility of issues is well worth the cost savings to their business.
Most of the time everything will run fine, and every now and again you may get a random dropped call, or bad call quality. Possibly your internet goes down, in which case so do your phones. This is very important to note because most people are used to their old analogue phones working through anything, including power cuts. Which is another point, if there is a power cut your VoIP phones will not work either.
So if you get the odd dropped call, and by odd we mean once or twice every one to six months, then it’s normal. Some clients don’t experience any issues at all.
Don’t forget; VoIP is made to be run across a physically connected computer network, running it over wireless in any situation is not recommended.
The most important take away from this post is that you understand the limitations with VoIP, so you can make the decision yourself whether it is the right technology solution for your business.
It’s not all doom and gloom for VoIP I promise you! If you don’t need absolute 100% reliability, then VoIP has some great benefits. The PBX’s are cost effective, the solutions are super flexible which means complex telephone routing configurations are easily achievable and there is a huge amount of cost savings to be had on your monthly phone bill; depending on how many calls a month you make of course.
If your power goes out, or your internet goes down for any reason, you can simply have your calls fail over to a cell phone, or cell phones, so none of your incoming phone calls are lost.
When we talk about dropped calls and those types of things, we’re talking about a minority of clients a very small percentage of the time. So we would call VoIP a reliable solution and many thousands of people run their businesses on it on a day to day basis.
If you haven’t made the move yet, drop us a line, and ask any questions you have. It’s a great solution and one we recommend to many people.