Within the last decade, VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol – has revolutionized the way people communicate. Instead of paying hefty tariffs to phone companies to call people in other countries, international calls can be made for much less on a laptop. And if the person you’re speaking to has VoIP too, then these calls are free.
But despite its popularity, there’s still a pervading lack of knowledge about how VoIP works and, as a result, a reluctance to deploy it in business, where it could have several uses.
How does VoIP work?
It might seem complicated but VoIP is relatively simple technology. Essentially, it’s a process of taking analogue audio signals and translating them into packets of digital data, which can then be transmitted over the internet. This is called ‘packet switching’. In contrast, a traditional telephone line uses ‘circuit switching’ to connect callers.
Popular ways to use VoIP in business
Many people believe that the quality of VoIP calls is poor compared to traditional phone lines. But in truth, VoIP quality has improved greatly over the last few years and is now on par with a regular phone call.
As a result, it’s become much more attractive to companies, where it can be deployed in various contexts. For example, VoIP calls can incorporate video conferencing at a fraction of the cost of a telephone company – and might even be free, if all parties in the conference are using VoIP, wherever in the world they might be.
It also makes your business phone system much more flexible. No longer will your clients need to have your business number and your mobile number – instead, they can call just one number and get in touch with you by VoIP wherever you are.
Innovative VoIP uses for companies
However, there are several more innovative ways that companies are yet to fully explore. For instance, did you know that with VoIP, not only can you use your laptop as a telephone, you can also receive voice-mails through your email? This might be welcome news to business people tired of having to juggle their cell phone, laptop and various other devices while they’re travelling for work.
What’s more, you can also configure your settings so that when a client rings your VoIP number, both your mobile and your landline ring simultaneously. So whatever you’re doing, you won’t miss the call. And if you’re focusing on attracting more customers in a particular area, VoIP allows you to have a virtual number with a specific area code. So if you want more customers in Newcastle, for example, you could get a VoIP number with a Newcastle dialing code.
VoIP technology is improving all the time. So by experimenting with different ways to use VoIP in your company, you could be at the cutting edge of businesses using this exciting communications software.
Have you used VoIP in an innovative and interesting way at work? Share your tips with us below.
[author ]Catherine Halsey writes for a digital marketing agency on a range of subjects. This article links back to http://business.bt.com/phone-services/voip/[/author]