The move over to IP infrastructure will bring a wealth of benefits to UK businesses, regardless of their size or industry.
How a business will directly benefit will depend on its circumstances. Some businesses will be using the switch over as an opportunity to revamp their phone systems, whether that’s embracing more advanced technology or simply consolidating their existing capabilities.
By far the most immediate benefit will be in expenditure. PSTN is generally more expensive to operate on than IP, largely because all calls are routed over the internet. This means many otherwise unavoidable costs are removed, such as installation fees and the need for dedicated desk phones.
It also means that distance becomes less of an issue, with low cost calling available regardless of where you’re connecting. Although businesses will still incur leasing costs, these are far lower than those found on PSTN.
Beyond infrastructure, the VoIP technology itself can be tailored to meet the needs of individual businesses, resulting in further cost savings. For example, we offer businesses a range of packages tailored to how much bandwidth they are likely to need, ranging from 50 Mbps, to 500 Mbps for larger businesses. In this sense, you are only ever paying for the services that your business needs.
Although calls made over PSTN can often be high quality, IP technology today can deliver crystal clear audio without dropouts, delays, or echoes. Routing calls over IP is also a way of protecting phone systems from outside disruption, such as when road maintenance accidentally cuts through a phone line.
The switch over will also mean that business numbers are no longer tied to physical premises, which is especially useful at a time when hybrid working is becoming more popular, and businesses are reassessing how much office space they need. In this context, IP allows a business to easily transfer calls between sites, spin up new lines on-demand, or scale back as necessary.
One of the biggest advantages for businesses is the opportunity to integrate powerful software suites inside the phone system, known as unified communications. This type of setup allows for unparalleled efficiency and collaboration across a business, bringing together multiple communication channels into one environment, whether that’s text, video conferencing, voicemail, and content sharing.
VoIP providers will often package these capabilities as part of their offering. For example, BT has partnered with Cisco Webex to offer integrated video conferencing and collaboration tools as part of its cloud-based service.
This is particularly important given the nature of work today, with many teams being dispersed across different cities, regions, and countries.