For Small Businesses, are VoIP or Physical Phone Lines Better?

Posted on Thu, Sep 17, 2015 @ 02:30 AM by Carlos Lahrssen

Outdated phone systems could be costing your small business.Businesses and the ideas behind them evolve with time. With the right leadership, the right product and in the right market, there’s no limit to the kind of growth a company can achieve. As small businesses find new success and change over time, new technologies must often be implemented to keep businesses on that track.

Whereas faster and more dependable computers can help a small business keep up with things like online orders, an easily scaled, web-enabled phone system can improve the way that growing business communicates both internally and with clients. Traditional phone networks and today’s voice-over IP phone systems each come with their own benefits and drawbacks; one requires a stable and moderately high-bandwidth Internet connection to operate, while the other costs significantly more per month to maintain and operate.

In almost all situations, however, the benefits of VoIP phone systems certainly outweigh the few cons these systems have. Traditional, physical phone networks are fading out of popularity for a reason. For small businesses with the capital to invest in Internet phone systems and desire to grow, the choice between physical phone lines and VoIP systems (even hybrid systems) is clear.

Why VoIP?

For small businesses specifically, VoIP phone systems are the best phone systems for growth. During implementation, businesses can install the exact amount of phones they need without estimating for future growth (buying X amount of traditional phones to serve the business for the remainder of the year). As a business grows and new phone lines are required, these lines can be added to the existing network with ease. VoIP networks grow as you need them to, which avoids the costs of over- or under-purchasing physical phone lines. This flexibility also makes office and system relocation incredibly simple.

Another major advantage VoIP phone lines have for small businesses over physical phone lines is cost - cost in both installing, upgrading and operating phone systems. The cost of running a single phone line over a traditional phone service typically costs around 2-3 times more than a line over VoIP. VoIP phone systems bypass traditional phone service providers and instead rely on ISPs, which costs businesses a fraction of standard phone service; with enough bandwidth, there’s no limit to how many lines you can have in your business.

As for functionality, VoIP systems are capable of many advanced features that physical phone lines can’t match. This includes intuitive analytics software, automated security detection, call routing based on user/device and administrator tools - features that give users the control they need to improve communications across the board.

How Conventional and VoIP Phones Operate

VoIP phone systems are capable of the advanced functions described above due to the way they connect to the Internet and their compatibility with various devices and call management software. During a VoIP phone call, analog voice information is converted into data packets instantaneously. These packets then travel over your Internet connection similar to how any other packet of data travels (such as emails or files).

Once connected to the Internet VoIP phones can contact other VoIP devices, cell phones and landlines with no restriction or loss to call quality.

Bridging the Gap with Hybrid Phone Systems

One common concern small-medium businesses have about making the switch from their old phone systems to more advanced VoIP systems is how their business will handle the transitional phase or the costs of new phone systems. In these cases, hybrid VoIP phone systems or cloud-based PBX phone systems.

In cloud PBX (Private Branch Exchange) systems, existing PBX networks are connected to the Internet via a local hosting device. Once connected, even standard phone networks can get the basic benefits of VoIP - without the need to throw out existing phone units that staff may be familiar with. It’s a middle step in the transition from traditional business phone lines to complete VoIP. While a complete VoIP solution will offer the greatest benefits for small businesses, hybrid solutions make VoIP accessible for certain businesses that cannot yet make the switch.

Mobility, low cost, scalability and enhanced functionality make VoIP phone systems the obvious choice for small and growing businesses. VoIP and even cloud-based hybrid systems are here to stay, and they’re changing the way small businesses communicate. One of the smartest things a small business can do to lay the foundation for future success is embrace the cloud and the many ways it can benefit a young organization.


Topics: hosted VoIP, business phone systems, business voip

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About the Author

Carlos Lahrssen
Carlos Lahrssen
Carlos Lahrssen is president and CEO of nexogy, as well as founder, president and CEO of LD Telecommunications, Inc., nexogy’s parent company. Lahrssen is an industry fan, follower and advocate — more