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VoIP: a guide for businesses

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VoIP: A guide for businesses looking to make the switch

"The ability to select your own on hold music, screen calls and use a do not disturb function are also very useful features businesses can take advantage of with VoIP."

When it comes to how your communications networks function in your business, it is something that is often left on the back burner. Many business owners are simply too busy to work out how communications can be improved within their business and what is most cost effective. Yet moving to a better communications system has numerous benefits, with saving money being one of the main advantages.

Most UK businesses prefer Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems for their organisation because of the financial and functional benefits it brings. For those businesses looking to make the switch to VoIP, here’s what you need to know:

What is VoIP?

VoIP basically refers to phone services over the internet. With a decent internet connection, you are able to achieve phone services through the internet rather than through your telephone provider. However, VoIP can be used alongside your traditional telephone service, although VoIP service providers offer cheaper rates than traditional mainstream phone firms.

What should I consider when switching to VoIP?

The cost, features on offer and installation surrounding VoIP should be things to think about when considering making the switch to VoIP.


As mentioned above, VoIP often means cheaper calls than using traditional landlines. Local calls are usually free with international call rates being much cheaper than those charged by phone operators. It is best to shop around to get the best deal, and one that suits your business’ needs.


VoIP offers a range of enhanced communications features in comparison to traditional telephony. For example, voicemail messages can be transcribed and received via email rather than calling your voicemail and having to listen to each of your messages. The ability to select your own on hold music, screen calls and use a do not disturb function are also very useful features businesses can take advantage of with VoIP. It is best to look for the features your business most needs, and any other features can always be added in time if preferred.


When it comes to installing a VoIP system into your business, you need to decide whether you would like an IP voice system to manage all of your phone system, or a voice gateway, which will work with your analogue system but adds internet calling to the existing system. It is then a case of looking at the number of extensions and IP handsets required.

It is also worth bearing in mind that the additional voice traffic to your network can cause delays or calls to drop. It is best to speak to your network provider to ensure this it catered for and call quality is therefore not impacted.

What next?

Speak to providers and do your research on service offerings to ensure they are able to meet your needs and business’ set-up. Some companies specialise in providing VoIP services to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), for example, and others to big organisations. Be confident in what you are purchasing or seek expert advice before going ahead with an offering.

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