Phone communication systems are a crucial part of any business.
Those that are considering making a change have a lot to consider when looking at VoIP phone systems vs. landline phone systems.
While more and more businesses are transitioning to VoIP from Analog, it’s still important to look at them critically to know which is right for your business.
Before we get into it, VoIP is a better option for most businesses and, in this article, you’ll see why.
But that doesn’t mean it’s right for you. And, knowing the differences between VoIP and landline can give you the confidence to make a change and know for sure that it’s the right move.
Let’s briefly define Analog and VoIP before we proceed.
Analog phone systems use installed landlines to connect two or more devices. For individuals and homes, the phone is connected directly to the phone company that diverts their calls to the recipient.
Businesses can use a Private Branch Exchange, known as PBX, to add more and more phone lines. This PBX is a smaller version of a phone network, localized to the business.
Any place a phone line is not present, a call cannot happen. There needs to be a physical connection between the two (or more) points.
VoIP Phone Systems
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. It uses an existing internet connection to make phone calls instead of needing a physical connection.
In the most basic of summaries: a VoIP phone system will take the call and convert it into data packets and sends them to the VoIP provider, who then directs it to a Public Switched Telephone Network, or PSTN, thus connecting the call.
The basic difference between them is how they send and receive calls. Analog transmits it across physical copper wires that have already been installed. VoIP uses the internet.
There are five key features that Analog does have over VoIP, so let’s look at them.
Landlines have been around since 1887. This has given ample time for an incredible infrastructure to be installed to support them.
This infrastructure has one focus: connection. The goal of these phone lines was only to connect as many people as possible without considering things like speed and quality.
If your business only needs to make voice calls, analog can work well for you without making a change.
For VoIP to work, it needs both quality and bandwidth for a connection to function correctly. Or work at all.
While most of The United States has access to a quality of internet that’s good enough for VoIP, there are some without it. About 15 million people don’t have the internet needed for VoIP, so making the change from Analog to VoIP would be impossible.
There are a lot of pieces of equipment that businesses need that require a phone line. And because that requirement is there, it can save money using those lines for your communication system.
For example, a business may have an alarm system that needs a phone line connection to work. And the hardware that’s used to make that as effective and consistent as possible can be interfered with by installing a VoIP system – making it even more costly for the business instead of just relying on phone lines.
Cost of Change
Analog phone systems are expensive to install and update. But, for some businesses, that foundation is already in place, and changing to VoIP is a cost they just can’t fit into their budget.
There is another hidden cost that many don’t consider: the cost of learning. Some businesses are staffed with experienced staff, set in their ways. And while those ways might not be the most efficient, taking these valuable individuals out of their element is even more expensive.
The truth is, some businesses just don’t need a more advanced phone system. They rely on their cell phones and a single landline, and it’s everything they need.
Making the change to VoIP just for the sake of it won’t serve the individuals or the business at all.
Now let’s take a look at the features and benefits of VoIP.
There are three ways a VoIP phone system can save your business money.
First, the monthly cost savings of having VoIP instead of Analog is huge. The internet is incredibly affordable, and many businesses are already paying for it.
Most businesses see their monthly communications bill drop by up to 50% by canceling their phone lines and just using their internet connection.
Second, the cost for installation and implementation of a VoIP system is basically non-existent. And the price for an analog phone system is the most costly aspect of that system, so skipping that saves a lot on its own.
And third, with VoIP, businesses have a streamlined communication system that allows their team to work more efficiently.
Not only does this save the business money directly, but it can also remove a lot of the frustrations that come with using analog, making every employee much happier.
Low-quality calls are annoying for you, your team, and your customers. Low-quality calls go hand and hand with analog communication.
With VoIP, you’ll be able to use your internet connection to deliver and receive crystal-clear, high-definition calls which makes a huge difference in how customers, current and potential, view your business.
But there can still be some quality issues with a VoIP phone system. When your internet drops or dips, your phone quality goes with it.
Fortunately, an SD-WAN takes care of that by recognizing possible outages or drops and avoiding them by nimbly rerouting your call to the strongest internet connection available, with anyone noticing.
You can read more about SD-WANs here.
Flexibility is perhaps the most important aspect of a VoIP phone system, especially with the unsure nature of the future.
Businesses have to change with the times – and times move fast.
VoIP allows your business to bend and not break to these changes, where other businesses might not be able to survive.
With the flexibility of VoIP, you can have your team all across the world without your clients realizing it.
This is one reason why VoIP became so much more prominent during the covid-19 pandemic; it allowed people to stay safe and stay connected.
VoIP leans on the internet for its success. And the internet has been so heavily invested in that its quality and consistency are unmatched.
All internet connections are not the same. But when compared to how easily an Analog system can fall apart by relatively small things out of your control, like bad weather, VoIP is vastly more reliable.
Installing a VoIP phone system is absurdly fast compared to Analog, with some systems installed in just minutes.
The time it may take for a whole, medium-sized business to go from Analog to a complete VoIP system is just a few weeks, whereas Analog could take months and months, with huge amounts of disruption during the transition.
VoIP installation is also cheaper than Analog. With VoIP, the only physical thing you need is phones. Everything else is on the VoIP provider’s server, meaning it does all the heavy lifting that you’d have to spend time and money on with Analog.
Each business needs different things. This is where VoIP shines.
With VoIP, you’re able to customize your phone system to specifically suit all your needs without getting features that you just don’t care about.
Here are just a few of the features you can expect with a VoIP system:
Auto-attendants – automated answering, prompting, and routing lets customers reach the exact information or person they want and remove the need for having a person dedicated to the job.
Conference calls – have up to 25 people on a single call (some VoIP providers can increase this number upon request), no matter where they are. This makes team calls a breeze, even with half your team is all across the country.
Texts – by adding business text messaging to your communication system, you can serve your customers better and give your employees a better working experience. You’re able to customize this to your heart’s content, too.
Voicemail – voicemail is a pretty standard feature, but VoIP takes it to the next level. For example, you can set it up so every voicemail you receive is sent to you as an email, letting you stay in touch without needing to remove yourself from a meeting or other important engagements.
This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as features go. You can check out more features right here.
Only you know if VoIP or Analog is right for you. Even if VoIP is better for 90% of businesses, it doesn’t mean it’s right for you.
Need help weighing the pros and cons of VoIP?