For the past few decades, businesses have come to rely on landline phones as the only form of internal and external communication, but the scene has changed rapidly. Nowadays, if you’re not at least considering the benefits of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), then you’re going to eventually get left behind. Fortunately, we’re here to give you a comprehensive guide on what VoIP is, how it compares to the modern landline, and which is better for your business.
What is a landline?
Your landline telephone is an analogue system that converts sound waves into electrical waves and transfers them along a network of copper wires – often targeted by malicious copper thieves. The other major problem with the old landline system is that copper wires are not as efficient as fibre optic cables being used more commonly these days.
What is VoIP?
This new-age (sort of!) technology allows your business to make phone calls, conference calls, voice calls – and more – all over the internet as opposed to the high-risk copper cables we discussed previously. Your call is effectively converted into a digital signal that is then sent over the internet, connecting you with a person on the other side. It was this conversion from analogue to digital that was the major bridge, as there simply wasn’t specialised enough equipment. Now, when using a VoIP system, you can choose to use your mobile phone, computer, or tablet rather than traditional phone equipment.
Why choose VoIP over landline?
Now we’re not saying just because VoIP systems are newer and more sophisticated, that you have to switch over, but it’s highly unlikely that you’re still faxing your colleagues or playing Snake on a Nokia 3310. There’s a reason we adopt new technologies – because it makes our daily lives and business engagements that much easier. Here is a look at how VoIP is gaining ground on the landline alternative.
1. Better scalability
When you’re starting a business, you’re most likely planning on a future of business growth. This means hiring more people, or even extending your operations beyond your existing location. With a VoIP system, you’re able to easily scale up our business to meet your growing needs, as adding new phone lines is done simply with a phone call to your VoIP provider. On the flip side of the coin, we have to acknowledge that businesses might go through challenging times too, which means having to decrease the number of phone lines. This is also done easily and quickly with a VoIP system.
2. Improved technology
The VoIP system digitises voice communications as opposed to the traditional analogue system, making it much more compatible with the latest technologies available. Your new VoIP system will be able to work with the latest smartphones, computer accessories, and other cutting-edge technology.
3. Better quality
The copper wire system of analogue landlines is susceptible to problems connected with time lag and noise, making the overall quality of the sound quite poor. This is not the case with the digital VoIP system which provides superior speed and a better internet connection, making for higher-quality voice and video calls. Your colleagues, customers, and stakeholders won’t have to deal with the frustration of constant call drops and poor sound quality any more.
4. Easy integration
As mentioned above, the VoIP system is better configured to work with the latest technology, which also means your business is benefitting from easy integration. A good example of this is that the VoIP system will work well with any existing customer relationship management (CRM) system for better integration and enhanced efficiency.
5. More cost-effective
If the other reasons haven’t already convinced you that VoIP is the better option, then the price factor most likely will. VoIP systems are typically more affordable for companies, especially where there are many phone lines or multiple locations involved. With your landline, you need all the phone equipment and physical connections at each location, requiring high installation and maintenance costs. This isn’t the case with VoIP systems which require limited equipment, minimal maintenance costs, and offer much lower rates than analogue systems.
6. Enhanced reliability
Business reputation is closely linked to business reliability, and the VoIP system is much more reliable than the landline. Your communication with valuable stakeholders won’t suffer from multiple interruptions as a result of weather conditions, theft, or other external factors.
7. Not location specific
The rise of remote working means that your equipment needs to support a flexible workforce, even if this isn’t the dominant way of working right now. All signs are pointing to hybrid work conditions as a way to save on costs and improve working conditions. With a VoIP system, you don’t have to concern yourself with expensive equipment costs or the challenges associated with moving equipment and phone lines – it can all be done simply and remotely with VoIP.
8. Easy to use
The great news for your employees, even the old-school ones, is that a VoIP system is incredibly easy to learn and to use – so you won’t be suffering from staff kickback. It actually only takes a few minutes for the system to get up and running, and a quality service provider will also offer you ongoing technical support so that you’re never on your own.
9. Great features
Finally, your new VoIP system will offer you a range of great features that make business operations better and easier than traditional landlines. Some of the productivity-enhancing features include:
- Video calling
- Team chats
- Text messaging
- Online faxing
- Voicemail with speech-to-text transcription
- Call logs
- Bluetooth communication
- Conference calls
- Auto attendant
- Call routing and recording
- Call analytics
- Software integration
What are the challenges of landlines?
While you might not be feeling the pressure to switch over to a VoIP system just yet, here are a few of the challenges you’re undoubtedly going to start experiencing over time.
- Out-dated technology: Eventually the analogue systems are going to become almost obsolete, which means finding replacement parts or getting repairs is increasingly more difficult and costly.
- Rising costs: Landline systems are already more expensive than VoIP and this gap is only going to widen as analogue systems become more outdated.
- Increasing unreliability: As copper wire systems become less popular, you can expect the connectivity to become more unreliable in future.
What are some landline v VoIP FAQs?
Here are a few questions we often get asked by businesses that are considering switching over to VoIP systems, so we thought we’d run over them quickly with you.
– Can I use my internet for a new VoIP system?
Most VoIP providers will be able to connect you to your existing internet system, especially if it’s a high-speed fibre optic line.
– Why is VoIP cheaper?
As mentioned, the limited infrastructure and equipment requirements mean lower costs, with minimal maintenance and repairs compared with VoIP.
– Should I keep a landline in case?
While you can use traditional landlines during a power outage, you could also use your mobile device, so it’s not necessary to retain a landline.
– What are the downsides to VoIP?
The challenges initially associate with VoIP are now almost obsolete as internet connections have improved, making call quality much better.
– Is VoIP right for my business?
Yes! VoIP is a great system for businesses of all sizes and industries, making it the ideal system for your business as well. Most VoIP providers offer free trials and flexible payment plans so it’s worth giving it a try.
– Who can help with VoIP?
ECN are the industry specialists who can assist you with all your telecommunications needs. They offer ongoing support and excellent customer care so you’re never on your own.