Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has come a long way since the mid-90s when the technology first enabled phone calls over the internet. Thoughtful developments in telephony hardware and software have driven its growth, and enhanced internet functionality has been a key component, too. So as the internet continues to progress, will VoIP keep pace? And how can your small- or mid-sized business (SMB) benefit from it?
First, we’d like to give you a quick rundown of what SMBs get from a robust VoIP calling plan today:
- Convenience – It’s easy to manage.
- Scalability – It’s even easier to expand.
- Economy – Calls over the internet are cheap.
- Portability – Access from anywhere with high-speed internet.
- Efficiency – Attach emails, send e-faxes, conduct virtual meetings, etc.
These are the core qualities that make VoIP systems so beneficial to SMBs. But how will value propositions like these be affected by future telephony trends? Could advances in internet technology possibly have adverse effects on VoIP, or will the two continue moving in harmony?
Here’s how VoIP and the internet are changing the future of businesses today.
The cloud + VoIP
Many companies’ first step away from their traditional phone system is to a premise-based VoIP system. It’s a great option, but one that may not fully capture all the benefits of VoIP such as lower costs and easy expandability.
A better solution is “hosted VoIP.” Because your whole VoIP system is cloud-based, you have low upfront costs, lower maintenance costs, and the lowest hardware costs.
Social media + VoIP
Present-day online applications like Skype, Line, and WhatsApp deliver an internet-calling function as part of the package. They are the present-day syntheses of social media with VoIP functionality.
Today, you can program a chatbot to engage interested customers through Facebook, converse with them via an automated Q&A session to find out their needs, and end by inviting them to connect with your CSR via video chat. A VoIP/CRM integration could easily handle it, bringing you that much closer to potential clients and closed deals.
IoT + VoIP
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a term given to the variety of devices, gadgets, vehicles, and household products transmitting information over the internet. Examples would be data from earthquake early-warning systems delivered to first responders, or your heart rate sent from a wearable heart monitor to your cardiologist’s office.
The IoT has the potential to coalesce with VoIP in many productivity-enhancing ways such as:
- Notifications can be sent from your calendar app to your VoIP interface
- Mobile-phone text messages can be programmed to drop into your VoIP mailbox
- GPS information can be used to automatically update employee statuses on their VoIP extensions
The future of VoIP is already here. So if you think your business would benefit from a cutting-edge VoIP solution, give us a call today, over the internet or otherwise.