Why VoIP is the Best Choice for Business Communications in 2023
Despite the increased adoption of digital technologies for modernizing core business operations, millions of organizations still rely on analog telephone technology that’s more than a century old. Recent regulatory changes make that an increasingly impractical choice and will undoubtedly accelerate the transition to Voice-over-IP systems in the coming months.
The plain old telephone service (POTS) that transmits analog voice signals across circuit-switched copper wires has been the primary infrastructure for public telecommunications since the late 1800s. In the 1980s, the introduction of Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) connections enabled the digital transmission of voice and data services across copper networks.
Recognizing that these older systems have become more unstable and difficult to maintain, the FCC has allowed carriers and service providers to begin phasing out analog and ISDN solutions. As of Aug. 2, 2022, carriers are allowed to deactivate and/or raise prices on existing POTS lines. Verizon has already transitioned most of its customer base away from POTS, and AT&T plans to deactivate half of its analog lines by 2025. Some companies still using POTS report that rates have increased to more than $1,000 per line.
VoIP: The Long-Term Solution
While it may be possible to negotiate price reductions with carriers, that is clearly a short-term solution. All organizations using analog as either a standalone system or in combination with VoIP should make plans now to transition to a fully digital platform. In addition to the obvious cost and maintenance benefits, the move will deliver an array of business advantages.
Easily the best reason to switch to VoIP is increased functionality. Analog phone systems only support very basic features such as call transfer, mute, hold and redial. ISDN adds an element of IP and enables some features such as video conferencing, but it still has limitations. For example, it is a hard-wired network connection fixed to a specific location, which limits flexibility and scalability.
Aug. 2, 2022, carriers are allowed to deactivate and/or raise prices on existing POTS lines.
Meanwhile, VoIP systems synchronize an array of communications and collaboration tools and enable integration with a broad range of business applications. This helps create an agile, engaged and connected workforce through the delivery of consistent, reliable communications across multiple devices and locations. Key capabilities include:
Team collaboration. Integrated video conferencing, whiteboarding, desktop sharing, virtual workspaces and team chat rooms support today’s hybrid workforces, allowing team members to conduct impromptu meetings and brainstorming sessions with colleagues in the office, across town or around the world.
Mobile integration. IP-based systems make it possible for mobile users to access advanced communication and collaboration functions through a common dashboard. This allows users to move from home to the office and from a desk phone to a smartphone without missing a beat.
Back-office integrations. Voice, text and video communications can be tightly integrated with essential back-office systems such as CRM, ERP and accounting applications to eliminate data silos, simplify routine tasks and improve reporting capabilities.
Increase Flexibility and Scalability
VoIP also enables flexible deployment options. In on-premises deployments, the organization owns and maintains all of its own equipment. Cloud-based services are delivered on a subscription basis by a third-party provider that owns and maintains the infrastructure. A third option is hosted VoIP. Again, the provider owns and maintains all hardware, but customers retain administrative control. This makes it easy to scale the system up or down as needs change.
GDS has more than 30 years of experience providing business communications solutions. Our certified staff can help you assess a range of solutions and deployment models to choose the approach that best suits your business needs. Contact us to set up a complimentary consultation.
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