For any business, the phone system is a critical part of your infrastructure. From dealing with customer queries, to making sales, and communicating key information, a business phone system is essential for success. Many businesses might be left wondering at what option is best to choose in the modern digital age. Especially for SMEs, moving away from an established landline phone system can be a daunting task. Understanding the pros and cons of choosing a modern voice over internet protocol (VoIP) system or a standard landline system can help you decide which fit the needs of your business and customers better.
Voice over internet protocol, or VoIP, uses broadband connections to transmit data, breaking the voice down into data packets which are rapidly transferred over the line to the receiver. This means that so long as there is a broadband connection of good enough quality, you can use VoIP to make calls. It allows you to make calls from phones, apps, computers, tablets and more. You can also use VoIP for video calling and softphone capabilities.
Unlike landline, which requires a fixed connection and a physical line, VoIP systems can be completely hands free and transferred between multiple devices for ease of use.
Both systems have their pros and cons, so before you commit to one over the other, check out some of the key points below.
Rapid changes in business operations both during and post-pandemic elevated the need for flexible and scalable communication systems in businesses. Some experienced rapid growth and demand, requiring quick expansion of their phone systems to meet demand. Others saw a slowing of business, and rather than having to pay for multiple unused ports as you would with a landline, it’s easy to remove unused seats to save money and streamline the business. When ready to grow again, you simply add more new users as needed. VoIP is completely adaptive to business needs whether that’s growth, seasonal demand, or retraction.
Landline phones come with a set number of ports for users, which are typically paid for on a yearly contract. If you need more or less ports during this time, you are effectively stuck with the agreed amount. This means if business is booming your phone lines will struggle to cope, and if times are quieter, you’re paying for unused ports. Upgrading to add more ports can also require extensive maintenance time and be very expensive to implement.
In the age of hybrid and remote working, employees are no longer only working from the office. Working from home, the office or on the go, employees need to reachable wherever they are working from. VoIP makes it easy to flip calls between devices for ease of use. You can quickly handover calls from your computer to your mobile or tablet and back again to suit your way of working. There’s no drop in call quality and handover is seamless so there’s no disruption to customers. It’s also super easy to transfer calls to colleagues if a customer needs additional support.
Transferring landline calls to mobiles or even other desk phones isn’t always straightforward. With different transfer systems on every phone, being able to confidently transfer a call correctly first time might not be simple. You don’t want to lose a potential lead by accidentally hanging up on them or putting through to the wrong person.
VoIP offers crystal-clear call quality thanks to the use of broadband connectivity. Rather than relying on physical phone lines which vary in quality for sound and connection, VoIP only needs a stable broadband line for great sounding calls. There’s no dip in quality when you swap between devices either.
As VoIP relies on the internet to work, there is a small risk of malware attacks, or the line being used a route for more dangerous cyberattacks. Landlines, as they are not connected to the internet, do not have this risk associated, making the lines a little more secure. However, it’s worth pointing out most VoIP systems come with built in firewalls and two-factor authentication to help combat any security risks.
VoIP needs good broadband to work. While you don’t need to invest in the very latest super highspeed fibre optic broadband, you do need a reliable and stable connection. Without this, voice calls will suffer from lag and video calls especially are affected for quality. Fortunately, most businesses (and homes) can run VoIP with a standard broadband connection, no upgrades required.
With VoIP, you only pay for the seats you need. That means you’re never having to overpay for a package you’re not getting full use of. You can tailor your VoIP converged communications to be exactly what your business needs. Installations, maintenance, and call costs are all lower than traditional landlines, especially for international calls.
Landline phone systems can be surprisingly expensive. Between yearly line rental, call costs, maintenance and wiring, and hardware expenses, landline phones just can’t measure up in when it comes to offering better value to customers than VoIP Often contracts are locked in for a year or longer as well, making it hard to adapt to the needs of your business without incurring even more expense in upgrade fees.
If the switch to a new cloud phone system with VoIP sounds like the right move for you, speak to the experts at Enreach today and see how they can support your transition to cloud communications.