What Exactly is Hosted VoIP?
Very few homes still have land lines. The transition from those analog lines for businesses is not as simple.
Have you considered upgrading from a traditional phone system? If so, you’ve likely heard the term “Hosted VoIP.” VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Still not sure what Hosted VoIP really is and how it can benefit your company? Keep reading.
VoIP connects callers using data packets rather than copper wires or optical fibers as traditional analog lines do. And VoIP can store that data.
How Is Hosted VoIP Used?
Hosted VoIP can be employed using many devices:
- A traditional phone with a VoIP adaptor.With an adaptor, you can use a regular landline phone to make calls that travel through the internet. The adaptors plug into a phone socket in the wall or directly into your router.
- A computer (i.e., a “softphone“).There are many programs or applications available that will let you make voice calls using the internet, including Skype, Google Voice, Apple Facetime, and more.
- A smartphone.With your smartphone, you can download apps such as Google Voice or Skype to make internet calls.
- A dedicated VoIP phone.These look like traditional analog phones but directly connect with a computer network rather than with a phone line.
All data is stored and accessed via the cloud, which saves you time and money by allowing you to easily update and protect your data.
Rather than creating and overseeing a network of servers, Hosted VoIP uses a data center from which to operate. This decreases the need for maintenance of complicated hardware and increases calling capabilities.
VoIP is essentially an internet connection. It’s reliable. And it’s faster than your old wireless router.
The features you have come to expect from a traditional call center like HD call quality, auto attendants, conference calls, call queues are likely offered by Hosted VoIP.
Some other common features you may not have thought about but can expect to find are call analytics and CRM system coordination. Options for toll-free numbers are even available through Hosted VoIP.
Are You Ready for Hosted VoIP?
The popularity of this technology is on the rise. There are currently more than 340 million Hosted VoIP users in the United States alone. https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-349075A1.pdf
The advantages of Hosted VoIP are many. Whether you are considering switching systems or starting completely fresh, there are many factors to consider when deciding whether you are ready to switch to Hosted VoIP.
Here a few key initial things to consider:
- Do you have phones that can easily be added to a cloud system? Or are all of your phones traditional and will require a desk phone adaptor? Your existing equipment can have a big impact on costs, so consider carefully.
- Equipment aside, you need to consider the features you currently have that you can’t live without. Check to see if these features are included in your package or if they must be purchased as add-ons.
- Hosted VoIP is entirely dependent on the internet. If you do not have a strong and secure internet connection, do not choose a cloud-based phone system. A traditional landline may be the better option.
- Your business. If you own a small or medium-size business, a cloud-based phone system can be a good option for saving money on installation and maintenance, as well as providing continued flexibility that allows your communication system to change alongside your business.
- If you are someone who likes to have or requires complete control of your system and data, a cloud system may not be the best fit, since calls are routed through a provider and stored via a hosted server. Businesses that deal with sensitive data may also encounter issues with insufficient security.
3 Benefits of Hosted VoIP
1) Cost Savings
If you’re interest in a cost savings, Hosted VoIP just might be for you. Hosted VoIP is much less expensive when compared against traditional landlines. VoIP systems can cost as little as $20 per line, depending on system technology and setup selection. https://www.claritytel.com/voip-cheaper-than-landline/
2) Flexibility for Employees
The increased flexibility for employees when using a Hosted VoIP system puts your business at a significant advantage over competitors with outdated technology. When onboarding new employees, you are certain to discuss communication. Having something that is state-of-the-art is always a selling point. The same is true for retaining your best performers.
This is especially true for remote staff. In today’s economy, the traditional work arrangement is dissipating and remote work is on the rise. This is helping Hosted VoIP to prove that it is increasingly essential for businesses.
3) Multi-Department Integration
The use of software is exponentially increasing in business across industry lines. As analytics and documentation become easier and more accessible, software like marketing campaign tools, CRM, project management and analytics software will become increasingly essential to everyday functions.
Changing to a Hosted VoIP system means your business will be able to integrate communication, whether by phone or email, with all of those software platforms. Just not feasible with outdated phone lines.
A Few Cons to Consider
There are some drawbacks that may make Hosted VoIP unsuitable for your business.
Internet Connectivity Issues
The primary con is that, because VoIP is internet-based, it is susceptible to internet connectivity issues and outages. If you have spotty or unreliable internet service that frequently drops or fails, a cloud-based system may not be right for you.
Being internet-based also raises questions of security. You may be more susceptible to malware and hacking without proper precautions and safeguards. Be sure that your internet connection is protected and that your provider has security measures in place to further protect your data.
911 Emergency Service Access
If you are concerned about emergency service access, it is important to note that some VoIP systems may not guarantee 911 calling support. This is because cloud-based phone systems are not tied to a single geographic location like traditional phones are, which makes it difficult to accurately trace a 911 call.
Who Is the Best Hosted VoIP Provider for Business?
When you’ve decided to make the switch, the best way to find the right provider is through diligent and thorough research. Read reviews of companies, see if any offer free trials, and speak to other small business owners in your industry to see if they have any recommendations.
Check out a few of the most popular cloud-based services and Hosted VoIP providers: