How switching to VoIP can save you moneyAndy Barker
How switching to VoIP can save you money
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a category of hardware and software that enables a broadband Internet connection to be used for communication instead of a standard phone system. For businesses, VoIP is well-established as an upgrade to traditional communications, however the focus on benefits for large businesses often keeps VoIP off the radar for small to medium-sized businesses.
Still, there are smaller case studies – such as one featured by PC World, which found that when businesses with 30 phones switched to VoIP, they were able to save around NZ$1,800 each month.
As a provider of VoIP solutions, we’re going to look at some of the direct and indirect ways VoIP can reduce communication costs for a business of any size. Read on to discover how VoIP has grown in the past several years, and how reviewing your current system could help save you money down the line.
Worldwide connectivity and communication
New Zealand is very much a connected society. Like much of the world, our country has embraced the digital age, with Internet connectivity in almost every business and home across New Zealand. There’s an incredible amount of data on VoIP and its growth over the past decade, but much of this is localised within the United States.
IT company, Dell, famously claimed it saved US$39.5 million and cut the carbon pollution by relying on telecommuting through VoIP, while studies regularly point out that businesses can save anywhere from 50 to 90 per cent of their communications costs by making the switch.
While the definition and use of VoIP removes the boundaries of individual countries, Statistics New Zealand paints a similar picture to the rest of the world.
A look at our increasingly connected and mobile society
In 2012, 80 per cent of NZ homes were connected to the Internet, around 30 per cent of those accessed the Internet through their smartphone, and about 40 per cent were using more than one device to get online.
Four years later, almost every business in New Zealand was using the Internet, and over 30 per cent were connected to fibre (an increase by 22 per cent from 2014). One year later, the number of fibre Internet connections increased 67 per cent, and nearly four million mobile phones were connected to the Internet over a cellular network. More than 60 per cent of all broadband connections had an unlimited data allowance, and the amount of data used totalled 275,579,000 gigabytes, an increase of 93 per cent from June 2016.
The above figures won’t be surprising to many people, but the common thread throughout all the statistics is the adoption of new technology – many times in spite of previous surveys. For example, in 2014, around 45 per cent of businesses indicated they had no plans to use fibre, a figure that dropped nearly 10 per cent by 2016.
How does VoIP bridge this gap?
All this data – while strongly in support of VoIP adoption – illustrates that new technology can’t simply be beneficial, it needs to be able to integrate with current systems to prove its worth in the business world. In this way, VoIP is a cost-effective way to improve communications in a business of any size – employees are self-training themselves on digital communications just through using their smartphone every day, while manually transferring a call between wired phone lines is almost obsolete for modern employees. Simply by having a uniform understanding of the technology and a cost-effective means of expansion, businesses will undeniable save money in hardware costs and employee training.
As we – at home and at work – transfer increasingly large amounts of data, Internet connections and networks will also adapt and evolve to manage. At some point in the not-too-distant future, fibre will no doubt be as commonplace as an old 56k dial-up modem. When that point comes, anyone not already on VoIP will be looking to switch, making the question of embracing unified communications a matter of ‘when’ instead of ‘why’.
VoIP and business flexibility
As for the when and why of adopting VoIP, any business will benefit directly – VoIP is repeatedly shown as cost-effective in relation to company expansion – but the indirect benefits are often overlooked.
From the same Stats NZ report above, 2016 revealed 76 per cent of businesses had vacancies, and 47 per cent of those had hard-to-fill vacancies. This is reflective of how the business world has changed in the past two decades, both in employee working style and the diversity of job roles. Historically, a limited selection of jobs or specialisations meant an equal level of knowledge, with experience directly reflecting ability. In 2018, responsibilities within the same job title can vary drastically, making the search for the perfect employee all the more difficult.
The seamless communication that VoIP offers allows for remote work without compromising traditional business connectivity. If your star employee is in another city, VoIP bridges the gap between those distances to make it indistinguishable from them working in the office next door. As all communications – including local and long-distance phone calls along with video conferencing – use the Internet, connecting another employee is as simple as having a stable Internet connection.
Small businesses – especially those in niche markets requiring specialist employees – can cast a much wider net in finding the people they need. With the number of fibre Internet connections increasing across the country, almost any job that doesn’t require someone’s physical presence can be performed with incredible ease. Architects can share and collaborate on enormous design files online, video conferencing can include attendees from any number of countries simultaneously, and lectures can be taken online instead of a university campus.
Upgrade your business communications with Cloud Edge
The benefits of VoIP are clear, and its beneficial use in almost every industry will only become clearer as our businesses and homes remove traditional landline connections and connect solely through the Internet and Wi-Fi.
Most importantly, switching to VoIP or upgrading your current communications system is incredibly easy, and our team are happy to explain the process for you in a clear and understandable way.
If you’d like to look at how much your business could save by switching to VoIP, call the team at Cloud Edge today or send us an enquiry. We’re experts in connecting your business with the rest of the world.