Tired of paying too much for business phone bills? One good option worth considering is using Voice over IP (VoIP). VoIP is considered cheaper than traditional phone systems such as PSTN.
In a recent report, StartupNation explained that VoIP systems are often highly economical. They are particularly well-suited to the opening of a new office, the article says. That is because with VoIP there is no need to install a separate cable for the phone. Also, VoIP is well-suited to businesses which make long-distance and/or international calls. These businesses will see lots of savings with VoIP.
If a business has employees who work at different locations, be it at home, in a remote office, or on the road, VoIP may be the answer, too.
VoIP offers mobility so employees are “making and receiving phone calls anywhere via the Internet,” according to industry veteran Ray Kriss, writing in Computerworld.
When considering the move to VoIP, consider the total cost of ownership, Kriss said. There are potential costs related to increased bandwidth, the addition of a VoIP system to a network, protection of VoIP systems via improved security, possible additional server capacity, and required employee training.
There are other ways to save, too. There are some free or low-cost options outlined by JR Raphael in a recent article in Computerworld.
One key one is using Google (News - Alert) Voice, he said. It has a forwarding feature. It directs calls and directs what device is employed to answer them. Another option from Google is using its free voice calls via Gmail and Google Talk to come up with a “fee-free VoIP phone line for your home and/or office,” Raphael said.
To accomplish this, get an Obi for $40, which plugs into an Internet router, he recommends. It becomes the portal for Google VoIP service. With this option, a user can attach a landline phone to the OBi. “The time you spend talking on the line is in no way connected to your cell phone and doesn't use any type of limited or billable minutes,” Raphael said.
Also, Tasker is an app designed for much easier call forwarding to specific locations, he adds. When Tasker is combined with Locale GV Settings, a plug-in, Tasker can inform Google Voice where to send incoming calls. It knows when a user is home when the phone recognizes it's within the household Wi-Fi network. The calls aren’t sent to a cell phone but to a household’s Google-based VoIP line made through the OBi. Callers don’t know whether the cell phone or the OBi-related line is getting the calls. Tasker sells for $6.49.
Another option is a VoIP calling app for an Android (News - Alert) operating system phone. An example is GrooVe IP which sells for $5. Via GrooVe IP, callers can employ a free Google calling service via a smartphone. Callers will use Wi-Fi or (with a more elaborate version) 3G/4G data connection rather than cell minutes. The OBi VoIP has better call quality most times than the GrooVe IP options, Raphael added.
Still another option is to use fewer minutes in a prepaid plan. But remember when figuring out costs, identify the total cost of ownership, the features you need now and expansion plans for the future. VoIP may be the answer to those high-priced phone bills.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey