VoIP Cuts Costs and Adds Flexibility for Businesses For business, one of the main considerations for switching to a VoIP is the savings. Business owners save three-fold in VoIP: through cheaper local and international calls; by ditching the separate subscription for the plain old telephone system; and lower maintenance costs, as VoIP equipment is often cheaper to maintain. Another compelling reason for companies for shifting to VoIP systems is the flexibility it gives to the business. Whether one adopts an on-premises or a fully hosted service, a VoIP system helps simplify and streamline operations and processes, minimizes waste, and enables the company to immediately respond to changing business conditions. Some specifics of these advantages are discussed below. Simplifying processes to facilitate work and increase efficiency Employees who answer/make calls that need to instantaneously retrieve/input information from/to the company database can shift to a VoIP softphone on a computer to receive/make the calls without leaving the computer terminal. This is important particularly for multilocation businesses, as voice and data exchanges between various branches of the company are easier and hassle-free. Aside from handling regular inbound and outbound voice and fax calls with the usual features like caller ID, call waiting, and call forwarding, VoIP ensures more efficient operations with features like customer relationship management (CRM) integration that makes outbound marketing campaigns and tracking of calling activities relatively easy. Streamlining operations and minimizing wastage VoIP is location independent, which means personnel may log in and access the company communication network regardless of location. Thus, employees may send out or receive voice or data calls using their company number even when at home or in the field, reducing lost opportunities arising from failure to respond to inquiries on time. Personnel of multilocation businesses need not travel to remote branches to attend company briefings, staff meetings or interviews of applicants, as these can be quickly done via multipoint video conferencing. Travel costs may be considerably lessened. Enables company to seamlessly cope with changes in the business Internet telephony works well on a bandwidth-on-demand environment, where bandwidth channels are dynamically used by applications within the network that need it at any given time. For example, adding phone lines for an intensive marketing campaign and downscaling the system to the original number of lines afterwards is easy to implement in VoIP. VoIP supports plug-and-play operation, such that when an employee moves to another location in the building, his extension can be unplugged, transferred to the new location, plugged in to the network and the device will operate immediately without the need to further configure the system. The move, add, or change (MAC) costs formerly associated with old telephone systems are therefore eliminated. The flexibility of VoIP enables businesses to be more competitive, helping them weather economic downturns with less effort. The purpose of convergence, after all, is not only to minimize costs but also to improve the delivery of voice, data and video streams for trouble-free operations that ultimately result in greater productivity.