With 2014 in full swing and the holidays now a memory, businesses continue seeking ways to maximize their business systems and, wherever possible, cut costs. For this reason, 2014 will be the year that numerous businesses make the easy move from their traditional phone system to a business VoIP phone system.
Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology – the conversion of voice signals to digital data – has been so thoroughly proven and enhanced in recent years that it’s no wonder more businesses are opting for VoIP phone systems. In fact, Infonetics projects global business VoIP revenue to increase at a continued rate of seven percent from 2012-2017.
VoIP phone service is now used across most industry sectors, with leading providers offering features that are simply not available or feasible with legacy phone systems. As we watch the VoIP boom continue throughout the year, here are a few top trends to keep an eye on:
Mobile VoIP Gathers Momentum
These days, if your business doesn’t have mobile capability, it’s likely at a disadvantage. Between supporting the work at home movement and enabling employees on the road, without mobile capability you risk a less-than-content workforce and missed business opportunities. Mobile VoIP allows employees to enjoy all the features they need on a phone at a lower cost than a traditional provider can offer. And with the seamless nature of quality mobile applications, no one should be able to distinguish between an employee working from home and one in the office. The leading VoIP providers have also bundled services together to increase access to mobile features and deliver further savings.
Hosted VoIP: Not Just for SMBs Anymore
Hosted VoIP business solutions remain ideal for small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) that lack the resources to manage an on-premise VoIP system. And because of the efficiencies – such as no requirements for hardware or ongoing staff IT involvement – even some larger organizations are choosing “the hosted model” as their preferred solution for business VoIP. As a result, they’re reducing up-front expenses and eliminating the hassle and cost of maintenance and upgrades. With a hosted solution, for instance, businesses no longer have to deal with paying bills to multiple vendors for multiple systems – one vendor does everything. Unlike traditional phone systems, VoIP systems are scalable, allowing companies to pay for only the services they are using; as the business grows it can add features as needed. As more companies weigh the advantages, hosted business VoIP will live up to projections and continue to grow, even among some larger companies.
Seamless Integration with Best-in-class Business Tools
Increasingly, businesses are fully committing to technology that provides their employees new competitive advantages. With the advent of powerful desktop applications, for example, VoIP business phone systems are now providing features such as desktop plugins that help companies leverage in new ways the business-class tools they already use (think Salesforce.com, LinkedIn and Outlook). With these desktop plugins, workers can review relevant customer information and communication history; instantly access business contacts; and evaluate important data right from their own desks during a call. This advanced business phone integration helps streamline customer relationship management, billing operations and more – while increasing overall productivity.
These are just a few of the many exciting developments in the world of VoIP. Whether your business is looking to do a full rip and replace of a legacy system or simply increase the value of your existing VoIP system, staying abreast of the new opportunities available could make a big difference to your bottom line this year.