Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) has only been around since the 1990s, but it has swiftly taken over telephony. According to a report by Zion Research, the VoIP market will soar to $140 billion by 2021, with an annual growth rate of 9.1%. VOIP image 1

A closer look at how VoIP works will explain why its popularity as a business-communication solution is growing.

Where Telephony Stops and VoIP Begins

A traditional phone system works using a circuit switching network (CSN). An analog signal is sent through a cable using electronic signals of different frequencies and amplitudes. This is where VoIP takes over. An analog voice call is converted into packets of data that are transmitted over the Internet or a private internal network.

When VoIP converts analog calls into digital data, it compresses the information. When the call is received, the information is then decompressed and reassembled. Data compression allows a higher volume of calls to be sent compared to traditional phone systems. Multiple calls can occupy the same amount of space as a single call on the CSN. Many small businesses are limited to a four-line system, but with VoIP, you can use unlimited lines through the Internet.

VoIP: More Than Just Phone Calls

VoIP gives your company the flexibility that a traditional phone system doesn’t provide. Calls can be made from a computer, VoIP phone, or traditional phone with an adapter. Not only does VoIP work with landlines, but it can be used on smartphones and for computer-to-computer communications. Employees aren’t tied to their desks. Instead, they can work on mobile devices or laptops while in transit or at home.

With VoIP, a single network accommodates all types of business communications. Employees can receive voice mails, faxes, and emails all on one system. As you hire, promote, or relocate employees, you can easily add, move, or change extensions.

The VoIP network ties your telephony to your corporate and customer data. During a conversation with a customer, employees can draw on transaction histories or order statuses to answer questions and make recommendations.

A Gateway to Unified Communications

A traditional phone system locks your business into one way of communicating. Phone communications can be capricious and limiting. Additionally, phones are not conducive to modern methods of communication, like text or web conferencing.

VoIP enables all your modes of communication to operate on a unified communications (UC) platform. UC gives employees a wide variety of options to choose from, including instant messaging and video conferencing. VoIP meets the high bandwidth requirements needed for high-definition videos and web conferencing.

As millennials become a bigger influence in the workplace, diversity in communications will become increasingly important. In 2015, the Pew Research Center discovered that millennials outnumber Gen-Xers in today’s workforce, and those millennials demand quicker and more informal modes of communication like text and chat.

Having more options for communication means members of your entire team can collaborate and share ideas wherever they are located. File sharing allows employees who are working on a project to stay up-to-date on its progress. Members of a project team can maintain version control so they don’t waste time duplicating work.

FirstLight understands the challenges all types of companies face in trying to find the right voice solution. When you partner with FirstLight, your VoIP is supported by one of the largest fiber-optic networks in the Northeast. We will work with you to build the best voice solution for your business with the option of bundled or usage-based rates.

Are you making the most of your voice system? Let the VoIP experts at FirstLight show you how.