In these days of shrinking profit margins and turbulent economies, companies are always looking for ways to save money. Cost cutting is becoming the normal way of life in business, and terms like downsizing and outsourcing are now a part of the corporate vocabulary. Companies are leaving no stone unturned, in the search for cost savings, and one of the areas of intense interest is in telephone costs. With the recent competition for long distance customers, companies have been able to reduce telephony expenses significantly. However, these savings only go so far: until recently, companies still had to maintain their own private telephone exchange (PBX) for multiple lines, which often added up to large infrastructure expenses. However, an emerging technology called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is changing that.
Many companies are switching over to a VoIP phone system. VoIP works by sending your telephone conversation as a series of voice data packets over the Internet. In its infancy, VoIP required an Internet connected computer on both ends of the conversation, as well as software that turned the computer into a telephone. All that is needed for a VoIP telephone receiver nowadays is an Ethernet connection and a small piece of hardware known as a VoIP telephone adapter. The benefits of this arrangement are twofold.
First, because each workstation already has an Ethernet connection, there is no need to run extra cables throughout your office and maintain an entirely separate wired network. The second advantage is that the telephone receivers are portable, so that moving employees around an office space no longer requires a technician to rewire telephone extensions. These savings in infrastructure costs can add up quickly, particularly for larger companies.
Once a company has established its own VoIP phone system they can start to reap the benefits in reduced long distance costs. If a company has branch offices in other states or countries that share the same IP network, calls between these offices become free. This is because these calls travel entirely over the Internet, never having to be transferred to a public service telephone network (PSTN). The company's long distance calls to customers, suppliers, or others can be made for a fraction of the cost of regular long distance.
In most cases, calls to the continental US are completely free depending on which VoIP service carrier you choose, and international costs are at least half the price of regular long distance. VoIP also allows the company to set up virtual phone numbers in other area codes at a fraction of the cost of 1-800 numbers, which helps to reduce costs for incoming calls as well. With all of these cost savings available, it is no wonder that many companies are choosing to set up their own VoIP phone system. VoIP offers reduced infrastructure and long distance costs, as well as great features that can increase employee productivity, all of which is, without a doubt, good for business.