VoIP Systems for Small Businesses
VoIP offers businesses an opportunity to access all their connectivity needs in a comprehensive package. Here's everything you need to know.
If you’re looking to scale up your business this year, it may be time to invest in a better phone system. For many growing businesses, it is important to get your phone system right - not only could you lose out on potential business but it can have a negative impact on customer satisfaction.
Investing in a multi-line phone system allows you to manage customer calls across multiple lines using the same number - but there’s much more to it than call handling.
A multi-line phone system allows users to handle multiple calls simultaneously. Traditionally, standard phone systems will only connect two people in a single call. Multi-line phone systems allow more than two people to use the phones at the same time.
However, some phone systems may become redundant after 2025 as BT Openreach will be shutting off traditional phone lines in what is known as the 'PSTN switch off’. This switch-off will affect everyone, both households and businesses as we move to a more reliable technology called VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol).
A VoIP phone system uses the internet to transmit voice calls and does not use copper lines that traditional phone systems rely on. The appeal of VoIP phone systems is that they are much cheaper than traditional landlines and PBX systems (slightly more advanced version of a standard multi-line system).
The appeal of VoIP phone systems goes much further than price, with some popular features that appeal to companies aiming to boost productivity. Typically a great hosted VoIP phone system will come with:
If you’re not already convinced a VoIP phone system is a great investment, you will soon be required to make the switch. Even with the PSTN switch-off date seemingly a good few years off, you will not be able to purchase a new PSTN line soon. BT Openreach has already started to phase this technology out. The date varies depending on the location of your business premises but will be completely shut off by 2025.
Nobody will be able to purchase an ISDN or PSTN (traditional phone packages) from December 2023 and the network will be completely switched-off in December 2025.
Business VoIP phone systems are suitable for small, medium, and large businesses. These systems are not constrained by the same rules as traditional analogue systems that require copper wiring. In fact, cloud-based phone systems can scale up or down with ease. Business owners can add new phones (or other communication devices) to their contracts as they gain new clients and customers. Business VoIP phone contracts charge customers on each new line.
We recommend VoIP for business owners who see growth in their futures. Startups companies love VoIP systems because they can increase or reduce the number of lines that they pay for at any given time.
Earlier in this guide, we have covered some of the features and that is much cheaper than a traditional line. However, you may have some questions about the security and reliability of VoIP.
Back in the earlier days of VoIP is gained a reputation for poor call quality. Those days are long gone and VoIP now offers great call reliability.
Many providers offer 24/7 customer support to ensure that should the worst happen, you’re back online as soon as possible. Service agreements usually depend on the package you choose. Should you have any issues, your provider will have multiple data centres as a backup.
The only thing you will need is a reliable fast fibre business broadband to support a VoIP system. The more VoIP lines your business requires, the stronger internet you require. Many large companies opt for a reliable leased line - a more powerful internet connection with reliable upload and download speeds with no slow down during peak times.
According to a report published by Accenture Security, as many as 70% of business leaders are concerned about cyber security. This inevitably means that there’s going to be some questions asked about VoIP security.
The truth is that VoIP is as secure as your current IT infrastructure. If your business already has strong protections in place, there should not be an issue.
In addition, most high-quality VoIP phone system providers have a data-encrypted system to ensure that calls cannot be intercepted by hackers.
The short answer is yes. Every single business in the UK must move over at some point and the industry is expecting a last-minute surge of switches the closer we get to the PSTN switch off.
Many businesses are starting to think about which type of VoIP package is right for their company to avoid the long delays in installation, training and to avoid any significant disruption to the business.
As with any service, the cost varies from provider to provider. VoIP is much cheaper than traditional analogue phone systems. This type of system does not rely on physical copper lines, which eliminates a lot of the costs associated with monthly fees.
In general terms, business VoIP phone systems cost around £10 per month per user. The initial hardware cost is around £100 per user.
Browse through our VoIP for business deals to find exact prices.
It is much quicker to install cloud-based phone systems than it is to install traditional analogue systems. Despite this, there are a few important factors to think about.
The number of employees within the business can impact the installation time. Providers have to consider how many lines they need, and whether or not the existing broadband connection can support that many employees. It is not uncommon for new business VoIP phone customers to increase their bandwidth before they begin using VoIP hardware.
Even with all these moving parts, business owners can have a new VoIP system set up in anything from 10 to 13 business days. One of the biggest benefits of VoIP for business owners is that it guarantees quick, hassle-free installations.
VoIP phone systems use the internet to deliver your phone service instead of local connections.