Voice over IP services are good for businesses of all sizes, but for larger organisations they have particular advantages. Having a virtualised telephony system means that staff can work from anywhere and still have access to all the services and features of the VoIP system. That’s a real boon now that many more people are working at home more often. It also means that different teams of people can be located in completely different places – even in different countries – and still appear as if they are part of a single, unified team. This is really useful if you are running a 24/7 response service.Back to top
Bulk deployment options
VoIP services are extremely scalable, so large businesses that operate in seasonal markets and need to deal in peaks and troughs in demand, can quickly scale-up their telephony at times when they need to increase staff numbers (and those people could, of course, be working anywhere), and scale them back down again just as quickly when the rush is over.
Also, if you are a fairly big business, you may be concerned about the migration process and porting all your numbers and contact details to the VoIP system. But there is really have no need to worry – the VoIP provider can take care of this for you – but be sure you talk to them about it early in the discussions on setting up a new VoIP service, as it will need careful planning and there may be an associated charge.Back to top
Another big plus with VoIP services is that they can be integrated with other digital systems and services, so they can easily become part of a fully unified communications system that brings together voice services with video communication and collaboration tools and with customer relationships management CRM) applications. The set-up can be tailored to meet the exact needs of the organisation.
You could, for example, have the VoIP service connected to the CRM system, so that any user could simply click on a customer or suppliers name or number to dial them automatically; for incoming calls, numbers could be picked-up and details of the caller – showing their contact records and account details perhaps – could be called onto the operators display as soon as they pick up the call.
VoIP systems can also be integrated with collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, allowing users to dial numbers directly from within Teams using the existing VoIP services contract.Back to top
Cost savings may not be the biggest benefit of VoIP services, but they are certainly one – and the bigger the organisation, the more it will save – not only because it has more users, but also because with the flexibility they offer, and the integration possibilities, VoIP services enhance availability, productivity and responsiveness of the organisation. The result is improved efficiency and improved customer satisfaction.
At a more basic level, VoIP services will usually reduce call costs by a significant degree. With most services, calls to UK landlines and mobiles will be included and with many there are also massively-reduced charges for international calls. If you are a fairly large organisation, you may even be able to negotiate a package that is specifically tailored to your needs.
While you may want workers to have specific VoIP handsets to use as desk phones, it is also worth noting that VoIP services can also be used on desktop and mobile PCs, tablets and even smartphone devices, so it’s extremely portable, flexible, and convenient. There are lots of deployment and BYOD options to consider and explore.Back to top
There are many advanced features that can be transformational for larger businesses. For example, with a VoIP system it is possible to have multiple numbers, all of which can be re-directed into one central call centre or hub. This means you could have local numbers right across the UK, or even in several different countries, with all incoming calls being directed to the same call centre.
At the same time, those incoming calls could be directed to different teams at different times of the day, allowing you to run a 24/7 service across different time-zones- if that’s what you need to do. Groups of call handlers could even be working at home, as part of a team, with incoming calls simple diverted to them based on their availability.
As they are digital, you can also monitor and get detailed reports on VoIP systems. You can look at the number of calls answered and made, call duration times, and even associate calls with cost centres. Using these figures, you can carry out detailed analysis and optimised use of resources to achieve optimum results and allocate costs much more accurately. This in turn would allow further action to be taken to focus on new opportunities, the most productive activities and cost reduction.
Having details of all calls can also help with compliance and call recording is also available with VoIP, providing you with added reassurance, for both you and your customers.
These are just a few of the many advanced features that we could mention – there are many more. It is worth thinking about your specific needs and discussion the options with your supplier, as it might mean that you can do things in different and more efficient and cost-effective ways.Back to top
Backwards compatibility with existing hardware
If you still have an old PBX and want to make use of it, you may be able to integrate it with your VoIP service using SIP trunking. SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol – you don’t need to understand it in any detail though, all you need to know is that this feature enables you to connect old analogue lines to digital VoIP lines, so people can still call each other, even if they are using completely different systems. This is something to ask your VoIP provider about – you may not need it, especially if you are going over completely to VoIP, which is what a lot of businesses do, as the benefits are enormous.Back to top