VoIP is the funny-sounding phone system that’s been around for over two decades. Though that may seem surprising, it actually makes sense, because that’s about how long the internet has been mainstream, and “Voice over Internet Protocol” needs internet in order to function. So what might the future hold for small-business telecom if these two technologies continue to advance in sync?
Before we check our VoIP crystal ball, we’d like to give you a quick rundown of what small- and medium-sized businesses get from a robust Voice-over-IP internet calling plan today:
- Convenience - it’s easy to manage
- Scalability - it’s even easier to expand
- Economy - calls over the internet are cheap
- Portability - access from anywhere with high-speed internet
- Efficiency - attach emails, send efaxes, conduct virtual meetings, etc.
These are, in brief, the core qualities that make VoIP systems so beneficial to SMBs. But how will value propositions like these be affected by future telephony trends? Could advances in internet technology possibly have adverse effects on VoIP, or will the two continue moving in harmony?
Here’s a look at three ways we envision VoIP and internet coming together in the not-too-distant future.
The Cloud + VoIP
Many companies’ first step away from their traditional phone system is to a premised-based VoIP system. It’s a great option, but one that may not fully capture all the benefits of VoIP such as the lower expense and easy expandability.
A better solution, and the one that seems poised for preeminence in the future, is commonly referred to as “Hosted VoIP.” This translates to a “cloud phone system” that offers low upfront costs, lower maintenance costs, and the lowest hardware costs. Have you considered the potential for virtualization of your office environment?
Social Media + VoIP
Present-day online applications like Skype, Line, and WhatsApp - which deliver an internet-calling function as part of the package - are present-day syntheses of social media with VoIP functionality. In the future, perhaps through a service called a “chatbot,” this combination could transcend everyday personal use and make a big impact on small businesses.
Imagine if you could program a chatbot to engage interested customers through Facebook, “converse” with them via an automated Q&A session to find out their needs, and end by inviting them to connect with your CSR via video chat. A VoIP/CRM integration could easily handle it, bringing you that much closer to potential clients and closed deals.
IoT + VoIP
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a term given to the variety of devices, gadgets, vehicles, and household products transmitting information over the internet. Think of data from earthquake early-warning systems delivered to first responders, or your bpm numbers sent from a wearable heart monitor to your cardiologist’s office.
The Internet of Things has the potential to coalesce with VoIP in many productivity-enhancing ways, such as by sending notifications from your calendar app to your VoIP interface; mobile-phone text messages can be programmed to drop into your VoIP mailbox; or GPS information can be used to automatically update employee statuses on their VoIP extensions.
You + VoIP
The future of VoIP may seem far away, at least as it pertains to its compatibility with the cloud, social media, and IoT. The reality, however, is that it’s actually starting right now.
So if you think your business would benefit from a cutting-edge VoIP solution, give us a call today, over the internet or otherwise.