Business VoIP Featured Article

Business VoIP Needs More Mobile Integration

December 30, 2013

By Mae Kowalke, Business VoIP Contributor

Many pundits and tech analytics are predicting that 2014 will be the year of business VoIP. If that is going to be the case, however, more business VoIP providers need to include robust mobile VoIP functionality into their business VoIP options.

VoIP is taking the business world by storm because it delivers lower cost calling, added features at a base price and flexibility that TDM telephone systems just cannot match.

"Traditional phone systems and rigid carrier plans are on their way out, certainly for smart businesses across North America.,” noted Claudio Nespeca, vice president of operations and marketing at Epik Networks, in a recent blog post. “The benefits and advantages of VoIP are now well known and widespread with early adopters giving way to mainstream businesses. Like the traditional phone before it, VoIP has become the nervous system of the business world.”

But so has mobile calling, as the business world has quickly expanded beyond office walls for all but the most insular industries. Workers now work at the office, at their home, on the train and even while on vacation (I’m writing this while on vacation, for instance).

Business VoIP naturally addresses this mobility need, as VoIP calls can be routed to anywhere with an Internet connection; it is easy to plug up an IP phone at home at take business calls from home, for instance.

But business VoIP providers need to do more with mobility than just piggyback on VoIP’s inherent flexibility. They need to make their business VoIP solutions preeminent mobile solutions, something technologically possible but not always seen in practice.

Business VoIP solutions should embrace mobile apps more than they currently do, for instance; there needs to be a mobile app that employees can install on their work cell phones and their personal phones to make calls from their mobile phones while on the road.

This app needs to be universal, available on all major smartphone platforms so all employees can take advantage of them.

The apps need to be full-features, too, enabling employees to use the apps in exactly the same way they use their business phone in the office or at home. This includes full address book and voicemail integration, as well as the ability to set away messages and change settings. Mobile is increasingly becoming the primary way we talk on the phone, so business VoIP needs to recognize that its mobile option must be as full-featured as its desktop or IP-phone option.

A good mobile business VoIP solution also needs to play nice with the Internet, ideally with a browser-based calling option so employees can make calls not only when they have an IP phone or smartphone in front of them, but also in those moments when they only have a computer available. VoIP allows this, but not every provider offers it. They should.

This room for growth is both a challenge and an opportunity for the industry. We’ll see how it responds in 2014 as more businesses realize the benefits of VoIP.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker


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