Demystifying VoIP: Our view from the Front Lines

Demystifying VoIP: Our view from the Front Lines
Demystifying VoIP

My role as a consultant in unified communications (UC) has afforded me countless interactions with IT leaders across the spectrum of business sizes. Each conversation is a testament to the transformative impact of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and the broader umbrella of UC. 

What is VoIP?

While some may view the question “What is VoIP?” as elementary, I see it as an essential starting point to educate clients on its rich history and promising future. VoIP is a term that has become a cornerstone in the dictionary of business telephony. Yet, despite its prevalence, it remains shrouded in mystery for many. In a recent meeting, I had the opportunity to unravel the layers of VoIP and its various “Flavors” that are transforming the way businesses communicate.

The discussion began with the basics—VoIP, is the routing of voice conversations over the internet or any other IP-based network. But as the conversation progressed, it became clear that VoIP is merely the gateway to a broader realm of UC and collaboration.

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) also entered the dialogue, highlighting the shift towards cloud-based solutions that offer scalability and flexibility without the need for extensive on-premises infrastructure. The attendees were particularly intrigued by the concept of UCaaS, recognizing its potential to streamline their operations.

What are the advantages of VoIP systems?

When I’m asked in meetings about setting up a VoIP system, I often reflect on how far these systems have come. In the early days, setting up VoIP required specialised knowledge. Now, it’s a different story.

“How easy is it to set up a VoIP platform?” is a question that reflects the ongoing interest in leveraging internet-based telephony for business communications. Our advice and perspective, shaped by years of experience in the field, underscores how VoIP systems have undergone a transformation, becoming more accessible and adaptable than ever before.

We advise starting with a thorough assessment of the existing network infrastructure to ensure it can handle VoIP traffic efficiently. This includes evaluating internet bandwidth and ensuring Quality of Service (QoS) settings are in place.

VoIP systems have evolved to be incredibly user-friendly. They are often self-configurable, which means that with a few clicks, you can have your system up and running. It’s almost like a plug-and-play experience. 

These systems are highly customisable. Whether you’re a small business owner or part of a large corporation, you can tailor the VoIP services to fit your specific needs. You can add or remove features, scale up or down, and even integrate with other tools and applications.

The beauty of modern VoIP systems lies in their flexibility. They adapt to you, not the other way around. You can manage your calls, voicemails, and even system call routing from anywhere, using any device. It’s this level of customization and user control that makes VoIP systems so appealing.

What are the disadvantages of VoIP?

A question that comes up frequently is “what are the disadvantages of VoIP?” While I find it hard to identify any significant disadvantages, I always try to put the question back to the client. I ask them if they have truly focused on the core metrics they are trying to achieve and if they are laser-focused on provider’s that can meet those metrics. I also note that one area of concern, rather than a disadvantage, is the overwhelming choice of technology. I advise clients to be focused on their end goal and not to disadvantage themselves by going out to market without a plan. It’s a minefield out there, so you need to do your research!

How is VoIP different from a traditional on-premises phone system?

Clients also often ask “How is VoIP different from a traditional on-premises phone system?” In response, I explain the various buzzwords in the industry, such as UCaaS and I emphasise that this sector is constantly evolving and that the future of communication technology is exciting and full of possibilities.

Can I use my existing handsets with a new VoIP system?

“Can I use my existing handsets with a new VoIP system?” It’s a great question and one that I tackle with a blend of realism and optimism. We’ve got clients who are still using those on-prem systems, and they’ve invested a pretty penny in their legacy hardware. They’re not just going to throw them out. We get that. 

Our first step? We sit down with them and really investigate whether their team needs those old handsets. You’d be surprised—often, we find that employees are pretty excited about switching to softphones and headsets.

There are some handsets that are locked down to their specific systems. But here’s the twist: this is actually a golden opportunity to do an inventory check. What do you really need? What’s just collecting dust? It’s like spring cleaning, but for your office tech.  We’ve been able to accomplish some deals for our clients that include handsets on the house from some of our generous vendors. 

For those who’ve already made the leap to a cloud VoIP solution, we’ve got good news. Many of these setups come with open SIP handsets—the kind you can take with you if you decide to hop from one cloud provider to another. So, our pro tip? Always ask your potential cloud provider if they play nice with open SIP handsets. It’s all about protecting your investment, folks.

AI in UC

The buzzword we can’t ignore, AI is everywhere, and UC is no exception. Chatbots, virtual assistants, and sentiment analysis are becoming commonplace.My recommendation? Don’t get swept away by the hype. Instead, stay informed:

  • Investigate what vendors are doing in the AI space. 
  • Start Small: Begin with simple use cases.
  • Align AI adoption with your company’s overall strategy. Understand how AI fits into your business goals.

Remember, it’s an exciting time for UC, VoIP, and CC. As we navigate this evolving landscape, let’s stay curious, explore new possibilities.

The future of VoIP

Today, the flavours of VoIP and its related technologies are as diverse as the businesses that use them. From startups to multinational corporations, the quest for efficient, cost-effective communication is universal. 

As I close client meetings, it’s clear that the journey through the world of VoIP and its counterparts is ongoing. But with each session, the path becomes less daunting, and the possibilities for innovation and connectivity grow ever more exciting.

  • The future landscape of UC and VoIP is evolving rapidly. VoIP is no longer just about cost savings; it’s about enhancing communication experiences. 
  • Contact Centre & customer experience is stealing the spotlight.  
  • Analytics offer insights into customer behaviours, helping organisations fine-tune their strategies.

How Red Rose Technologies can help

In my experience, the essence of our client relationships has always been rooted in a deep-seated partnership. From the outset, I’ve engaged with clients to meticulously understand their needs, providing comprehensive answers to their queries and guiding them through the intricate maze of technological options. Together, we’ve embarked on a journey of discovery, meticulously researching and evaluating the myriad of possibilities before us. This collaborative approach has allowed us to craft bespoke strategies that are not only reflective of our clients’ unique visions but also adaptable to the ever-evolving tech landscape.

My recommendations are the product of thorough research and a profound understanding of both our clients’ needs and the capabilities of the market. It’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly, knowing that these suggestions can significantly influence the trajectory of our clients’ businesses. Furthermore, when introducing potential suppliers, I ensure they are not merely vendors but true partners who are equally invested in our clients’ success. This careful selection process is crucial, as these collaborations can be pivotal in achieving the desired outcomes.

Ultimately, my role transcends the traditional boundaries of a service provider, reseller, VAR. I stand shoulder to shoulder with our clients, navigating each phase of their technological evolution, from the initial scoping to the final implementation. It’s a partnership that I value immensely, one that is built on trust, mutual respect, and a shared commitment to excellence.

If you would like to find out how we could help you please contact us through our website, email us at or call 01793 547950.

Interested in learning more about us? Schedule a consultation and discover how we could help.

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