When it comes to implementing a VoIP (or Voice over Internet Protocol) service for your business, you may be keen to give it a try. After all, there are several benefits to be gained from choosing VoIP over standard phone service, namely the affordable pricing and pay-as-you-go options. But of course, there are drawbacks to consider, as well, such as the loss of basic phone services (911, 411, and so on), not to mention the potential difficulty of getting the system up and running. And whether you operate a small or a mid-level company, you will have to weigh the potential benefits and hurdles associated with making the switch to internet-based phone services, especially when you’re dealing with multiple users and devices. As the complexity of your system increases, so too could the cost and the difficulty of managing your internal communications network. So here are just a couple of solutions to consider if you happen to have a small or medium size business.
The first option is to go with a service that will virtually manage everything for you. Skype is one good example as it offers cloud-based communications that allow you to manage every aspect of your network and user accounts online. With Skype Manager you can start by creating accounts for employees or devices and allocating funds for usage. You can hook up enable devices, including office phones, and even set up a certified office phone system that is compatible with the Skype Connect service. You will pay a set monthly fee per channel (for office phones) plus a per-minute charge for outgoing calls, but it will almost certainly cost you less than what you would pay the phone company for the same service.
And as for the features you’ll enjoy, Skype is free to use for calling and video conferencing via computer or WiFi for your mobile devices. And domestic and international calls via data services start at rates as low as 1 cent per minute. You can also set up call forwarding, dedicated Skype phone numbers, voice messages, and group calling and video conferencing, amongst other useful features. The best part for many business owners, however, is that the setup and usage require very little work on the part of the system manager (i.e. you).
However, you might be on the lookout for a system that offers you more privacy, security, and personal control via self-hosting with on-site hardware. Not every business owner is interested in managing this portion of their operations, but the larger your company grows and the more sensitive data you deal with, the more likely you’ll want to take control of your VoIP system. And there are many services that allow for this, although finding the right hardware solutions to meet your needs will definitely require some research on your part. Unfortunately, you will have to install additional equipment in your office and learn to run the software that goes with it. But if you’re not averse to the prospect of learning communication systems management (or handing it over to your IT specialist), this could be a better option for your growing company.