VoIP is not exactly a new technology. In fact, the first VoIP system actually appeared about 20 years ago. Since that time, VoIP solutions have grown increasingly popular among businesses in every industry.
However, despite this trend, it's also true that many organizations' leaders continue to underestimate the value that VoIP has to offer. These misconceptions can make decision-makers more hesitant to embrace VoIP systems than they should be, and result in suboptimal deployments once the technology's in place.
Here are just a few of the ways that businesses frequently underestimate VoIP:
1. Hosted options
One of the most wide-ranging, and inaccurate, beliefs surrounding VoIP is that it's only a viable option for larger enterprises, as it's either too costly or insufficiently beneficial for small or mid-sized firms.
"VoIP is extremely useful and achievable for firms of all sizes."
In reality, though, VoIP is extremely useful and achievable for firms of all sizes. This is especially true in the case of a hosted VoIP system, as CMO recently noted. According to the source, hosted VoIP solutions allow organizations to begin using the technology without a significant upfront investment, greatly reducing CapEx. Additionally, by off-loading VoIP to a third-party cloud-based services provider, businesses do not need to hire business communications pros to manage the system in-house – that responsibility shifts to the vendor. The source also pointed out that hosted VoIP's innate flexibility and mobility is often the ideal match for smaller firms.
Combined, this means that VoIP is an excellent option for any company's business communication needs.
2. Unknown capabilities
Another key way that business leaders tend to underestimate VoIP is by overlooking many of the capabilities the technology has to offer. VoIP isn't just an alternative means of providing basic phone service – it can radically improve the way that employees engage with one another, as well as with clients and business partners.
For example, The Huffington Post recently noted that most VoIP systems offer transcription to email or text options. When activated, this feature can ensure that any voicemail an employee receives is automatically converted to text and sent to him or her immediately. This saves time, as it's much easier and quicker to skim over an email than listen to a voicemail. What's more, it allows a worker to determine whether a voicemail is urgent or not without interrupting his or her current activity.
The source also noted that VoIP enables users to seamlessly transfer a call from one device to another. This way, an employee who's talking to an important client on the office phone but needs to leave for a meeting can shift the call to his or her smartphone, all without interrupting the flow of conversation.
These are just two of the many features that VoIP systems typically deliver and which can truly transform business operations in a powerful, positive way.
3. Improved security
Security has become a high-level priority for every organization. Company leaders now realize that this is not just an IT problem – it's a business issue. This means that security needs to be considered in every aspect of the organization.
With this in mind, VoIP is an invaluable resource. VoIP systems can not only match legacy solutions in terms of security – VoIP is often the more secure option. In fact, the Department of Defense now deploys VoIP for its unified communications needs.
Of course, all of these VoIP benefits are solution-specific. To fully take advantage of the value that VoIP technology has to offer, business leaders must be careful to choose a specific VoIP platform that offers the flexibility, mobility, ease of use, security and variety of features their organizations need.