VoIP is a term you may have often heard, but what is VoIP and what does it mean? Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a simple concept, but there are often a series of questions that are asked in order to really understand how it works. We’ve compiled a list of questions that have been asked by organizations just like yours to demystify Voice Over IP.
Top 8 Questions Asked About VoIP
1. What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, which simply means – you make and receive phone calls over the internet. Seems like a no brainer, right? There’s a little more that goes into it, but for simplicity sake (which is what we are known for), we will roll with that answer. VoIP gives your organization the ability to have a more flexible and feature oriented phone system for a fraction of the cost of a traditional telephone system and phone line. What does that mean for you? Usually some cost savings overall, which means more money in your bottom line.
2. What are some features of VoIP Phones?
Typical VoIP phone systems have the flexibility to give you many different options. Some of these options are:
- Business text messaging
- Auto attendant
- Call Routing
- Analytics on Calls
- Custom Hold Music
- Transfer to Cell phone (sometimes referred to as “Find me Follow me”
- Do not Disturb
- Mobile App
- Softphone (to talk from your computer)
- Voicemail to Email or Text
And SO much more.
3. Do I need to purchase new phones?
If you already have VoIP phones that can plug into an ethernet cable, chances are, most VoIP providers can utilize your current investment, further saving you time and money. If you are operating with analog phones, there are a variety of VoIP phones that can be recommended for a minimal, upfront hardware cost. It really will be the gift that keeps on giving when you reap the rewards from the features and benefits standpoint.
4. How does this work with my existing phone company?
Some VoIP providers (like NetSmart Plus) offer what’s called “Carrier Services.” Carrier Services will allow you to have a one-stop-shop for all things related to your business phones. Providers that offer carrier services will do the leg work for you. This includes, researching different phone service provider vendors that they have relationships with, getting quotes and passing discounts along to you. Often times, it ends up giving you a pretty aggressive rate and cost savings. They have access and discount to the largest and most common providers, and it saves you the headache of looking for quotes on your own.
5. What happens if my business is going through an expansion?
Congratulations on your company growth! That’s the beauty of VoIP – it’s completely flexible and scalable – whether you have 5 users or 50,000 users. Because it’s in the cloud, adding users is an inexpensive breeze.
6. What is Voicemail to Email?
Voicemail to Email is a great feature to have when you’re on the go. With mobile and Work from Home employees being such a large part of the workforce (especially right now), Voicemail to Email will enable you to receive an email with a .wav file attachment of the voicemail that came to your VoIP phone. You can return it at your leisure, listen to it from your email, or even send the person an email back with whatever it is they are requesting in the voicemail. It helps to streamline the way we do business.
7. What type of analytics can I expect to receive from most phone systems?
Most phone systems vary in the analytics you can sign up to receive, however, some of the basics are:
- Call duration
- Number of calls that have come in, on average
- Number of calls outbound and inbound, per day
- Number of calls per day, by user
- How long, on average, each call lasts
- How long, on average, each call lasts, by user
- Number of calls answered
8. Can I keep my existing phone number?
Often times, through most VoIP providers, the answer is YES! Providers use what is called “number porting” to bring over your list of phone numbers. Make sure to ask the provider you are interviewing if this is a free service they offer. If you do not have an existing phone number, they can walk through a variety of local phone numbers for you to choose from.