More People Ditching Landlines for VoIP
VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol, is increasing in popularity for both consumers and businesses to such a significant degree that industry analysts believe it will see increased market share over telephony companies well into 2024. The advantages of VoIP over landlines or other conventional telephone services are significant, and the competition simply can’t stack up against its relative cost-effectiveness and efficiency improvements. And there are dozens of VoIP companies to choose from, which puts ever-more power in the hands of consumers.
The large spread of competition allows potential VoIP implementers to focus on the qualities they most value in a provider. VoIP technology offers far more than the ability to just replace landline phones: many come with software to easily make and track calls from computers, or can even allow lines to be shared between computers, home phone, and cell phones.
Among the best cheap or free options, Skype and Google Hangouts are the most popular. These require no investment in hardware or software, and are easy and cheap to use. However, they don’t represent great enterprise VoIP solutions. Vonage, Ooma, and M2 Communications are all excellent wholesale VoIP carriers which also offer teleconferencing capabilities.
And what are the benefits? VoIP is as different from traditional landlines as Point of Sale software are to calculators. For example, with VoIP technologies, you can often visualize information in real-time, from interruptions, lines in use, and more. For businesses in particular, this is incredibly useful, and can help identify top-performers, areas of wasted time, and other important analytics.
For example, common VoIP analytics can give the ability for individuals to view call activity grouped by dozens of different variables, from phone number types to location. They can easily create reports, and can usually even create custom dashboards of real-time or historic information.
But another great benefit is mobility. Again, particularly for businesses, VoIP can allow phone calls to integrate with other software, including video conferencing, transcription services, and faxing. But it can also allow employees to take their calls with them, and even afford businesses the ability to let employees work and make calls from home. Not a bad perk, all things considered, and one which can help make a company that much more competitive! But it also allows VoIP to be used from anywhere with wifi; whether representatives are traveling to trade shows or conferences, or if the firm is employing remote workers, or needing to easily teleconference.
Significantly Reduced Costs
This perk comes into play for both traditional landline consumers and businesses. In most cases, VoIP services can cost pennies on the dollar compared to traditional landlines. And many providers offer bundled pricing, combining VoIP services with other great opportunities. Some VoIP providers offer multiple lines for as little as $5 a month, a significant savings over traditional landlines, which can easily cost anywhere from $10 to $100 to set up and provide a single line.
The common pitfalls of VoIP are, of course, that you need stable internet connections to make them work. If you don’t have internet, you can’t make calls! This can be incredibly problematic if your ISP provides uncertain service, or if you frequently experience interruptions in service.
Will You Make the Change?
There’s so much to be gained by switching to VoIP that, understandably, early adopters often wonder why others haven’t already taken advantage of the opportunities. And given that adoption is so cheap and confers so many benefits, some younger companies have aggressively begun pushing a full transition to VoIP. For example, many call centers and customer service companies now allow all employees to work from home using VoIP capabilities. Even regular landline users can benefit from the reduced cost!