Today, the situation has fundamentally changed due to the ongoing pandemic: technological development towards digital solutions has accelerated out of sheer necessity. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are required to restructure their enterprise communications and switch to VoIP just as much as large companies in order to remain competitive.
For most companies, the decisive argument to switch to VoIP technologies is the factor money: the migration to VoIP reduces overall infrastructure costs and call charges.
If the switch to VoIP is undertaken step-by-step, it is not necessary to replace the entire telephone system all at once. Instead, a gateway can serve as a bridge to establish a connection between the ISDN / PSTN network and the IP network. In this case, all modern VoIP functions can be used while the old system is still in operation, too.
Above all, making calls over the internet will significantly lower the phone costs for internal calls and calls across different business sites or offices. You can call a landline on the other side of the world without having to worry about the costs. Even if you have to pay for these calls, the modern Voice over IP packages are much more attractive than old ISDN contracts of traditional providers.
What’s more, new technologies for virtual meetings and online conferences are increasingly replacing in-person meetings, saving time AND money by oftentimes making business travels obsolete. Businesses that are moving into new office space profit from the convergence of voice and data. It is time to say goodbye to messy and cluttered phone cabling at the office. Deployment will be much more cost-effective and clearly arranged as computers and phones will share standard computer cabling.
Access to cutting-edge technologies opens up a whole new world of possibilities for companies of all sizes, whether small, medium-sized or multinational. In addition to traditional IP telephony, various integration options such as central company directories, personalized announcements, presence management, call center solutions and more will improve and simplify daily work and work processes.
No more missed calls, no lost information and enhanced quality of the business communications as well as increased customer satisfaction will be the result. In combination with high-performance UCC applications (softphone, video conferencing, desktop sharing, real-time messaging, etc.), businesses profit from an all-new flexibility and mobility for the workforce: employees can switch between the office and remote work from home (hybrid working) without hassle.
The gradual transition to VoIP enables companies and employees to keep using their familiar devices while they can slowly get accustomed to the newly available tools and means of communication. All that is needed is a good internet connection so that all functions can be used and accessed anywhere, anytime and from any device (desktop computer, Mac, smartphone, tablet, laptop…).
One of the biggest headaches for CEOs is the thought of possible interruptions and general inconvenience for all users during the transition phase. Therefore, ensuring continuity of the phone and communications services during the transition period is quite a significant benefit of opting for a smooth migration process.
Business continuity is the major aspect to consider when migrating to All IP. From a technical point of view, an IP gateway is simply placed between the old telephone system and the ISDN/PSTN line to establish the connection to the new SIP provider. The integration of an analog adapter enables the use of existing analog door intercoms and analog telephone devices as well as fax machines.
Another positive side effect of switching to IP technology is the possibility to be available via your business extension in a flexible manner. The phone number is no longer connected to the physical socket where the phone is plugged in. Instead, the phone number is connected to the user of the IP phone. An internet connection is required and the IP phone can then be used remotely at another branch or when working remotely from home – the business phone number does not have to be switched.
At last, when properly deployed, smooth migration to IP will take place unnoticed by customers as well as employees, allowing for a seamless transition without disruption or the loss of data.
Compared to conventional telephone lines, IP telephony is more secure since existing data networks are used. These benefit from the encryption offered by the transport of data over these networks. Nevertheless, the many benefits VoIP has to offer should not cover up the fact that breaches in security may occur. A well-informed company will ensure that all employees and users are appropriately trained and made aware of the new technology as soon as it has been introduced.
Hacker attacks are a serious threat. Protecting against brute force attacks, phishing, etc. has top priority and requires the installation of adequate firewalls while also great caution needs to be put into the choice and use of passwords.
Redundancy is both a reliable security factor as well as an important benefit for companies with one or more sites. If a device (here: an IP gateway) fails to work properly - a second, specially configured, previously inactive (redundant) backup gateway can immediately take over the functions of the failed device. This will allow companies to continue with their business operations without interruption or loss of communications. Voice encryption mechanisms, modern security protocols, two-factor authentication and regular updates are common tools that companies should use to secure their installations.
Switching the technology within a company to new technologies is an endeavor that should not be taken too lightly. It does require caution to ensure that business processes are not interrupted and to keep productivity up.
Above all, the transition holds enormous potential for the future of a company. A scalable and cost-effective system with modern communication and collaboration tools will let the business respond to new challenges flexibly while employees can profit from mobility and hybrid work models. Gradually transitioning to VoIP will be the first steps that companies take towards digital transformation.