When it comes to choosing a business phone system, more and more companies are preferring VoIP telephony over the traditional phone system.

Today, VoIP (Voice over IP) is one of the fastest growing methods of business communication. The UK market now exceeds 3 million users, making it the leader in Europe.

Here are 6 reasons why we believe companies are making the switch:

1. The Big BT Switch Off

BT have announced that they are planning to switch off their traditional phone lines (known as PSTN and ISDN phone lines) and swap all business customers to VoIP solutions by 2025.

Many businesses in the UK are still unaware of this change and how it might affect them. If this does go ahead, it is predicted that as of 2020, you will no longer be able to purchase a traditional phone system. Slightly alarming if your system is due for renewal in the next year!

Whether or not your current system is due for renewal, now is a good time to start looking at VoIP solutions and the benefits it can bring to your business.

2. Cost Savings

Cloud based phone systems, also known as Hosted IP, offer significant costs savings over traditional PBX phone systems, primarily by eliminating the up-front cost in infrastructure and hardware, as well as reducing on-going operating and maintenance costs.

Traditional phone systems typically require a considerable up-front investment in servers, network infrastructure, handsets and implementation costs, whereas, in most VoIP system installs, the only upfront expense is in purchasing the handsets.

Moving to a cloud-based system also means that all service and support shifts to your VoIP provider, which means fewer in-house resources are required to maintain the system.

As well as saving costs, VoIP based phone systems can also offer increased value for money. By using the internet instead of a phone connection, features such as voicemail, call-forwarding and conferencing can be included in your monthly costs.

3. Disaster recovery

When a traditional phone system goes down, all you can do is wait until it gets fixed. This can sometimes take hours or even days, leaving you unable to make or receive calls which can be damaging to your company’s reputation.

A hosted IP solution will bypass such issues by hosting its service in data centres throughout the country, or even across the world. Should one data centre go down, your VoIP provider will be able to re-route your calls through other data centres, thereby keeping communications flowing despite disruptions. In fact, you won’t even know a problem has occurred.

4. One number contacting

Because a Hosted IP solution isn’t reliant on a physical phone line connecting a physical phone to an exchange, calls can go anywhere there is a WiFi or mobile data connection. This means employees can be reached on any phone, be it their desk phone or mobile, via the same number.

Customers or contacts will no longer get frustrated in trying to get hold of your employees by calling them on different phone numbers. VoIP technology can enable employees to have their phone number configured to simultaneously ring on multiple devices, such as your mobile and desk phone – before being diverted to voice mail as a last resort. It also means employees can take calls on their mobiles when out and about, instead of being tied to their desks.

5. Always enjoy the latest software

With an on-premise system, there will come a time when your system hardware will need replacing, which is costly, and will often involve significant downtimes.

One of the biggest benefits of a hosted IP system is that the responsibility for keeping the phone system up to date moves to your provider. Plus, because the voice service is software-based, it is easier to roll out new updates and features at a faster pace, thereby eliminating the risk of your solution becoming outdated or of your business missing out on new developments or the latest features in office telephony. Instead, you get to enjoy up-to-date technology without dedicating budget and resources to maintain it.

6. Scalability

Hosted VoIP makes it easy for companies to make changes to their phone system as and when their business requirements change.

For business start-ups, you don’t have to overbuild your system to allow for growth. You can simply add phones as you grow. With a hosted solution, adding new phones or new sites to your existing network can be managed in days, rather than weeks or months.

For businesses offering seasonal products or services, phones can be relatively quiet most of the year; but it can get very busy at certain periods. Companies often compensate for this by acquiring extra phone capacity just in case. Yet investing in extra phones that will be idle for most of the year is a poor investment.

The beauty of VoIP is that it allows seasonal businesses to add more lines during peak periods to accommodate increased demand, and return back to normal service during off season. You only pay for what you need and use.

Find out more information about VOIP services from FCC