VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, is an internet-based phone system. Like a landline system, each employee receives their own handset and a unique phone number or extension. But rather than operating across the older landlines, calls are routed over your business' internet connection.
A major advantage to VoIP is that is can support an unlimited number of phone lines. A landline system is typically limited to the number of phone lines you have connected. To add more, you need to install more phone lines as well as upgrade your hardware. With VoIP, you use one internet connection for everything. This significantly reduces the initial setup and ongoing maintenance costs and makes it easier to scale your system to accommodate increases in employees and/or call volume.
VoIP technology has been around for well over a decade. In that time, improvements have been made and they now provide a feature-rich and technically advanced phone solution. They are easily setup, configured, and managed, and are usually a more economical option than traditional landline systems.
The technology behind VoIP services also means that they can offer feature that traditional landlines can't, such as:
1) Mobility - VoIP services allow you to use your mobile phone as an extension of your office phone. You can have your calls forwarded to you to receive them anywhere you are, as well as make calls and have them appear to come from your office phone number. This is a huge benefit for people who visit clients, such as sales or account managers, as well as remote employees.
2) Portability - VoIP technology allows you to use any phone or even computer as your personal extension, which means you are not limited to making or receiving calls at your desk.
3) Flexibility - Cloud-based VoIP services enable you to login to your account from your computer or smartphone app and manage your phone system on the fly, including how calls are routed and handled.
4) Accessibility - Most VoIP service providers offer advanced accessibility features, such as having voicemails converted to text and set to you by text message or email.
Small businesses that want the advanced functionality of a sophisticated phone system at a reasonable price, as well as businesses that want their remote employees to have access to the same phone system to present a single face to their clients, will be best served by a VoIP telephone service.