VoIP offers businesses a more advanced and more cost efficient mode of telephony than a traditionalphone system. Since the emergence of VoIP in the business environment, there have been many misconceptions about its use, functionality, quality and cost. While some of these ideas stem from fact, most of them are misunderstood.
We’ve compiled a look at some of the most common myths from businesses surrounding VoIP: and explanations to properly explain these items.
Myth 1: VoIP Sound Quality is Less Than Stellar
Most VoIP providers have protocols in place to ensure that all users have excellent, HD sound quality on all of their calls. The one caveat to consider is that VoIP does require bandwidth, so any organization using VoIP should ensure that they have adequate bandwidth available to cover their call volume when setting up their VoIP system.
The best VoIP providers have full control over a large IP network. This allows them to prioritize voice from end to end, which helps ensure crystal-clear call quality.
Myth 2: VoIP Is Unreliable
VoIP is run over the Internet, so this does allow it to be susceptible to downtime or outages; however, most VoIP providers recognize this risk and take action to avoid interruption in the face of an isolated outage. How?
VoIP providers should enable multi-protocol Label Switching (MPLS). This practice ensures that in the case of a power outage, or other downtime-causing event in one area, there will not be an interruption in phone service. In addition, a solid disaster recovery plan gives network operators a great deal of flexibility to reroute traffic around link failures, congestion, and bottlenecks.
Myth 3: VoIP is a Security Risk
Again, because VoIP is run over the Internet, it can be susceptible to associated risks. However, by and large, VoIP is as secure as the network it is run on. Any organization with a solid security system in place can have that same expectation of security for their VoIP system—in this sense, VoIP is far safer than a landline phone. When dealing with a VoIP provider, ensure they too have stringent and frequently updated security protocols.
Myth 4: Making the Switch to VoIP is Very Costly
It is true that upon initially installing VoIP, users may need to purchase new equipment upfront; however, comparably speaking, installing a brand new landline system would cost more than purchasing such equipment. Likewise, after installation, the monthly rates of VoIP tend to be lower than monthly rates for a landline, which can result in savings over time.
Myth 5: VoIP Only Benefits Big Businesses
VoIP is scalable and can be useful in both residential and business settings. Most providers have various VoIP services to meet the needs of different scenarios. If your business is interested in reducing expenses, IT resources, and operational burdens from an on-premises phone system, then you are a perfect candidate for Hosted VoIP.
Myth 6: VoIP is a Hassle to Set-Up
Because VoIP works by connecting to a network via router or modem—and most devices are configured to be ready to go upon being plugged in—typically, linking the device to the Internet is all that needs to be done by way of configuration.
Myth 7: Savings from VoIP are Minimal-to-Insignificant
Many people believe that because some providers offer free calling between users with the same or similar services, the only savings associated with VoIP are between two systems. However, VoIP providers are frequently able to offer lower monthly rates for calls to any type of line (VoIP, landline, mobile, international, etc.), as well as lower installation and set-up costs—all of which combine for savings across the board when compared to traditional services.
In addition, you must take into account the increased productivity that Hosted VoIP will grant to your employees with advanced features such as Hosted Voice Mobile, Find Me / Follow Me, and Visual Voicemail.
Myth 8: Upgrades Are Expensive
In most cases, providers, not users, will own the necessary equipment for hosted voice. The users rent this equipment as part of their monthly rate, so when the time comes for that equipment to be maintained, updated or replaced, the provider is responsible for the cost, not the user.
Myth 9: VoIP Systems Require an IT Administrator
Again, because VoIP is Internet based it can, in most cases, be easily managed and maintained over the web. By working with a great VoIP provider, you are assigned a Voice Project Manager who will serve as your single point of contact throughout your Hosted Voice implementation.
Myth 10: The Difference As Compared to Standard Phones Isn’t Noticeable
VoIP by its nature (being internet based) offers much more customization, functionality and variability than a traditional phone line, and often for a lower monthly rate. Thanks to scalability and cost effectiveness, VoIP can be a way for organizations to get more from their voice service for less.