A quality VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) experience enables business owners to benefit from more than just low call rates. “Cost is the single biggest driver for companies looking to adopt VoIP but they shouldn’t stop at rands and cents reasons to go the IP route,” says Rad Jankovic, CEO of independent telco Otel Communications.

“Upgrading to VoIP means SMEs and enterprise users alike can deploy hosted services and virtual switchboards, saving money on hardware as well as on calls,” explains Mr Jankovic. He adds that using VoIP systems to their fullest potential will also have employee productivity benefits as staff get to grips with the plethora of available VoIP value-added services. Examples include call forwarding, group calling, and video calling, to name a few.

However, cautions Mr Jankovic, an outstanding VoIP experience depends on much more than just super-fast broadband. “Internet speed is the enabler like smooth asphalt greatly enhances the driving experience, but is not the only factor determining what one can do with the car. To really take VoIP to the next level, there are a few additional elements that can be rolled-out to help your business use VoIP to its fullest potential:

Any good VoIP system worth its salt will come with auto provisioning which simply means the system really is “plug and play”. Instead of installing and setting-up a VoIP phone on every employee desk, auto provisioning means VoIP hardware can automatically get their configuration settings from a server that has already been set-up. These systems mean you don’t need to have experts come in and install each and every phone’s settings – simply plug in the phone with the correct cables provided, and off you go!

Installing VoIP apps on mobile devices mean efficiency improvements can start right from the get go. These apps enable calls to be made and answered from any mobile device that the employee happens to have on them at any point in time. Now laptops, tablets and cellphones are all included within the VoIP loop and productivity begins to skyrocket! Some vendors offer their own apps for mobile devices while others let you use their VoIP system with any app of your choice

The quality of VoIP calls really will be boosted by using quality hardware. While VoIP systems do mean you can use PC or mobile-based soft interfaces, if you do go the hardware route, you need to ensure your provider is hooking you up to the best available hardware or else you’ll be shooting your business firmly in the foot. You get better audio quality and fewer problems to troubleshoot with good equipment. Great hardware also comes equipped with extra features like bigger screens, conferencing capabilities, programmable function buttons and so on. You’ll notice the upswing in productivity.

“VoIP has never just been about the speed of your Internet connection in the same way mobile can’t just be about base stations. Pay attention to auto provisioning, mobile apps and quality hardware and business owners will be off to a stellar VoIP experience,” concludes Mr Jankovic.