Business VoIP Featured Article

Business VoIP Replacing Landlines to Meet Today's Business Needs

August 14, 2012

By Susan J. Campbell, Business VoIP Contributing Editor

  In just a few short years, landline phones may travel the same route that so many electronic devices like VCRs and answering machines have traveled before: the road to extinction. As new technology replaces old, landline phones – especially within the business environment – are being taken over by more efficient and cost-effective solutions made possible through business VoIP offerings.

The Associated Press reports that in New York alone, the use of landlines has been cut in half in the last ten years, according to this Forbes report. By 2025, many believe that landlines will be a thing of the past. Because they offer cost savings and greater mobility, cell phones are being used instead. 

But, cell phone usage isn’t always the most practical option for small businesses as exceeding plan limitations for data usage or minutes can result in outrageous fees. Besides, some locations don’t have good coverage, and you don’t want your clients to have to keep saying, “Can you hear me now?”

VoIP technology offers considerable cost savings because it converts traditional audio files from the spoken word to data that can be interpreted by a computer. This signal is processed across a high speed Internet connection, making communication among compatible machines a very cost-effective solution. In fact, these sorts of calls are often free, which is why business VoIP is an excellent option for those engaging in international commerce. 

For that reason, Skype Manager is popular for business VoIP interactions because Skype to Skype calls are free. Skype features video chat, giving callers a more personal communication experience. In addition, users have the flexibility to assign employee extensions and designate specific features for different employee needs.

Business VoIP solutions can be employed via an analog adaptor (ATA) or by communication amongst compatible devices (such as with Skype). Most of us, if we’ve stayed up past midnight, have seen the infomercials for MagicJack, which uses ATAs to help bring VoIP technology to households across America. Consumers flock to these options because they get features such as voicemail, caller ID, and call waiting – all at prices they can afford. 

For those who don’t have a personal computer, MagicJack Plus and NetTalk Duo present attractive business VoIP options. Both devices can be hooked up directly to a router but NetTalk Duo does not work with Macs and neither solution offers the option of an extension service.

Finally, Google Voice offers business VoIP technology. It powers such features as low cost international calling; the ability to place calls from a cell phone, the Internet, or through a specially assigned phone number; voice to text transcription for messages; and the option to create custom greetings. 

Businesses should be aware, however, that Google Voice cannot access 911, and that there might be issues with call clarity and the fact that the system is dependent on maintaining Internet connectivity.

Certainly, there are limitations which need to be addressed before making the switch, but with so many options on the market, businesses have their pick of low-cost, effective solutions made possible through business VoIP that allows for efficient communications that also boost productivity.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Jamie Epstein


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