Buyers guide to telephony solutions

As technology has evolved the way in which businesses communicate has changed. Despite an increase in the use of email and even Zoom and Skype, telephone systems remain a key part of company communications. This means that companies have a need to explore the voice solutions that are available to ensure that they are getting the best performance and the best value for money.

Telephony hasn’t stood still in recent years. Businesses have found that the likes of VOIP, SIP, and Team Phones provide a great alternative to traditional telephony. Although these developments bring greater call quality and offer value for money, those who have only experienced traditional telephone systems may be a little confused when it comes to making a choice. This buyers guide is here to make that choice a little easier.

What is VOIP?

A traditional telephony system runs through copper wires. This is a system that has long been relied upon and there is fierce competition between providers. Despite such fierce competition, pricing has also remained on the high side and companies have long been spending more than is necessary on their voice solutions.

VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. When you realise what the letters stand for then it almost becomes self-explanatory. Rather than copper wires carrying the voice calls into your business, calls are carried over your existing internet connection. This means that getting set up is fast and straightforward.

What is SIP?

When telephony is considered, you will often hear SIP referred to alongside VOIP. You will also often see people trying to compare the two. The reality is that these can not be truly compared. VOIP is a general term that refers to voice solutions that pass over the internet rather than passing through a traditional telephony system.

SIP is almost an add-on to what is offered by VOIP. It stands for Session Initiation Protocol. As well as allowing voices to be passed over the system, with SIP you can also send instant electronic messages, texts, and other multimedia. In essence, SIP isn’t a standalone telephony system. Instead, it is a particular way of employing a VOIP system in your business.

What are the pros and cons of VOIP?

As with any system, there are pros and cons when you start to consider VOIP as your company voice solution. Some of the key points to be aware of include:

Pros

  • The setup costs are low compared to traditional telephony systems
  • There are ongoing savings to be made when you look at monthly packages
  • Even basic packages include key features such as caller ID, call forwarding, and call waiting
  • The majority of VOIP providers don’t tie you into long-term contracts
  • You can easily take a VOIP system with you if your business moves premises

Cons

  • You will need a high-quality internet connection to ensure call quality
  • You may find some providers don’t include mobile integration
  • VOIP in itself does not support multimedia coms

The pros and cons of VOIP and SIP combined

Rather than just opting for VOIP, for many businesses it makes sense to switch to SIP. Doing this can bring some great savings to a business as well as allowing them to scale with tools that aren’t available with other voice solutions. Some of the key considerations with VOIP and SIP include:

Pros

  • If your internet connection is lost then there is a backup that allows fall back to mobile devices
  • Plenty of add-on options that grow with your business
  • Easy to use admin tools that allow you to add additional lines as well as numbers
  • They can create a hybrid telephony system by combining it with a traditional line

Cons

  • To achieve the very best in quality you will need high bandwidth
  • There is a huge variance when it comes to SIP providers and their quality

What about Teams Phones?

Microsoft Teams is a system that boomed in popularity during lockdowns brought about by the pandemic. It was used by schools to deliver lessons to pupils at home as well as allowing businesses to collaborate with a home-based workforce. Primarily, organisations took advantage of the video system offered by Teams, but there is more to be considered.

Team Phones allows businesses to make calls from any device that they may be using. This could be mobiles, computers, or tablets. If you are already a Microsoft subscriber then you may be able to access this feature as part of your package. It is also possible for the feature to be added if it is not already included.

The pros and cons of Teams Phones

The voice solutions that are offered by Microsoft can bring advantages to both small and large businesses. Some of the key points to consider include:

Pros

  • The system is extremely mobile and can be accessed from any device
  • The cost of Team Phones tends to be less than VOIP systems
  • The integration between voice, video conference, and instant messaging is seamless
  • There is no need to invest in any additional software

Cons

  • Like any VOIP option, quality depends upon your internet connection
  • Voice is a generic tool not necessarily tailored for business
  • Limited to around 300 users.

Final thoughts

When it comes to looking at what is the best telephony solution, the truth is that this will depend upon the needs of your business. The key point to remember with VOIP and SIP is that these systems can easily expand with your business. Unlike traditional phone lines, these systems can easily scale.

Providing that your business has a strong, and stable, internet connection, the call quality that you will experience is second to none. If you are looking for a solution that can be implemented immediately then it could be that Teams Phones is the ideal solution for you.

If you want to learn more about how telephony systems have developed, and how your business can take advantage of these, get in touch and let us explain all of the benefits that you can experience.

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