With the advent of the telework era, a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solution is a good thing to consider. Because it makes your remote communication with each other easier: a real blessing when teleworking. But what actually is VoIP, how does it work? And above all: what benefits does VoIP offer your business?
What is VoIP?
Voice over IP or VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. In simple terms: it means making phone calls via the computer network. You no longer connect your switchboard or telephone to the telephone network, but directly to the internet - via any existing internet connection. So with VoIP, your telephony and internet on the same network. With Dstny, you can even use a switchboard in the cloud.
From ISDN to VoIP
At one time, companies had separate infrastructures for their telephony and their computer network. You made phone calls via a cable to a telephone switchboard, used the internet via a separate network cable that was connected to your computer network. Every employee needed his or her own cables. If your company had multiple offices, you had to install a separate telephone switchboard for each physical office. The situation was intolerable for businesses that were growing steadily or had multiple offices.
The first optimisation came about when this combination of analogue and digital switchboards was replaced by a single, overarching main switchboard. In that setup, the phones were connected to the switchboard via VoIP, i.e. via the computer network. Access to your operator and the outside world was still based on the old ISDN technology. That solution was pretty expensive and not entirely scalable. Depending on how many employees you had, you needed several ISDN lines, generally with the inevitable extra hardware on your switchboard. There were many instances where the switchboard couldn't take this hardware, so you had to buy a new one.
In past years, ISDN has been replaced more and more by VoIP. No more ISDN line to your operator, with VoIP you use your internet connection to connect to the public telephone network as well. More than that, you can opt for a switchboard in the cloud and all the benefits that this brings.
What are the benefits of VoIP?
VoIP has a lot of advantages over classic telephony.
Cost efficiency. First and foremost: VoIP is a lot cheaper. Your telephone switchboard no longer needs 100,000 hook-ups for all the phones or your ISDN connections with your operator. That saves purchasing, management and maintenance costs.
Scalable solution. A VoIP connection to your operator is also much more scalable than classic telephone lines. You can easily order extra channels via the same connection, without requiring new infrastructure. If you have a VoIP switchboard in the cloud, you have no constraints at all. You grow it or shrink it - depending on your needs.
Easy teleworking. Opting for a VoIP switchboard in the cloud? In that case, it will be easier for you to communicate and collaborate remotely. Because it runs in the cloud, your users can use it from any location. What’s more, you can also integrate your mobile telephony into VoIP switchboards. Your colleagues can then be reached on their fixed phone number via their mobile device. If someone doesn't pick up, the call is forwarded to a colleague or to reception. Your colleagues can call and surf as much as they like, where and when they want. That may count in these times of teleworking and increasing mobility.
Focus on security - you’re well placed for security with VoIP as well. Naturally, you have to protect your business network against cyberrisks with a firewall, but VoIP is not at any greater risk of data leaks than classic networks. Moreover, most providers have also built the necessary security into their network to prevent fraud.
VoIP: easy integration with other applications
And there's more. Modern VoIP switchboards enable not only telephony, but also integration with other applications. You can integrate your telephony into your CRM or ERP system, for example. That way, you can route not only e-mails, but also phone calls and chat sessions via the same system.
Integrate VoIP into your CRM. At Dstny, we integrate our telephony directly into our CRM system: a major value added for our helpdesk operators, who can now see the caller’s details immediately from the telephone number. They can then address callers by name and view their history.
Integrate helpdesk ticketing. Moreover, you can also integrate a ticketing system, for example for your helpdesk. A caller who spoke to a helpdesk operator will be given a ticket number. What happens when he keys this number into the menu on his next call? The telephone system sends the call directly to the employee who is dealing with his problem.
Switch over to VoIP? Great idea!
VoIP is on the point of replacing classic telephony. This has already happened in most of Northern Europe and the Netherlands. France and Belgium are switching over more and more. And rightly so. Voice over IP offers businesses the benefits of the flexibility that they now need so much. And with the recent technological evolution, there is no longer any difference in quality between classic telephony and Voice over IP. VoIP providers build some quality-of-service mechanisms into their internet lines as standard, which guarantee sound and network quality at all times.
It’s obvious: VoIP makes (business) life more efficient and faster. Thanks to VoIP, telephony is become an ever smaller link in a larger communication system, in which the boundaries between different applications are becoming less and less distinct.