Busting 7 of the most staggering myths of Voice over IP

VoIP myths

Busting 7 of the most staggering myths of Voice over IP

Many companies don’t consider VoIP for business telephony as they are blinded by pre-conceived VoIP myths. We take 7 of the most popular ones and bust them wide open.

Voice over IP is here to stay. Some even argue it spells the death-knell of traditional telephony systems. We’re not so sure about that but what is certain is that the adoption of VoIP is due to accelerate in the years ahead.

Recent market research points to strong growth across the globe. At Intellicom we’ve seen a marked increase in adoption levels in Ireland, particularly amongst the small business community.

Demands to reduce telecoms costs, improve business processes, work more efficiently and accommodate remote workers are driving that growth.

There are many reasons why some organisations shy away from Voice over IP and most of them are based on misconception and myth. We’d like to bust seven of the most common myths about VoIP and encourage many more of you to consider IP-based telephony as a cost-effective, efficient way of communicating with all your business partners.

Check out our infographic just below or scroll down for the full text of our blog post.

7 voip myths

Click to download our infographic

1. VoIP can’t replace my traditional landline

This myth has been around for a long time and in many ways it’s connected to the fact that if your broadband connection fails, you cannot make calls via that link. Yes, this is correct but it’s equally true of the traditional PSTN network.

If there’s a fault at the exchange or some unfortunate construction worker mistakenly cuts through the telephone cable that runs past the door of your premises, you can’t make calls either.

The reality is that no provider can guarantee 100% uptime on any network.

Recognising that voice is such a mission-critical application, we always encourage customers to avail of redundancy and failover, with a low cost backup connection that kicks in, in the event that your main broadband line fails.

For example, as a small business customer you might have your main broadband connection with Virgin and you could take a backup line from eir, thereby diversifying providers and reducing the likelihood of any single point of failure.

2. VoIP delivers poor voice quality

VoIP call quality sometimes get a bad rap, but in our opinion, it’s completely unjustified. Where you have a good quality link and reasonable available capacity on your broadband connection, there’s no reason why you can’t have crystal clear voice quality on all of your calls.

We suggest a minimum bandwidth requirement of 2 Mb upload and download for your VoIP services. But it’s worth noting that if that main broadband connection is also used for data traffic, you will get congestion and voice quality will suffer.

First and foremost, you have to make sure that on shared connections you actively manage your bandwidth. That means prioritising voice traffic over data traffic on your network and ensuring that the service you’ve contracted from your provider is sufficient for your multimedia needs.

Small businesses tend to underestimate their bandwidth requirements.

As the move toward digital transformation picks up speed, we’re all using our broadband services for heavier data loads and right-sizing your telecoms environment is something that a trusted technology partner such as Intellicom can assist you with.

3. Voice over IP is not secure

Your voice traffic is only as secure as the network you run it across. It sounds obvious, right? But the reality is, there are certain technologies you have to deploy on your network to decrease the chances that hackers can intercept the voice packets running across your network.

At a minimum you need to secure your network with electronic firewall technology – this acts as a secure gateway that monitors incoming and outgoing traffic (including voice traffic) on your network.

VoIP myths - voip is not secure

VoIP is only as secure as the network that carries its traffic

We use SonicWALL as it represents a best-in-class solution that delivers high levels of monitoring and control, is cost competitive and easy to deploy and manage.

Wi-Fi networks are also a potential source of unwanted attention. If you have unsecured Wi-Fi on your network with voice traffic, you will almost certainly run into problems. You could have a desk phone for example using that same Wi-Fi connection and that leaves the device completely open to security breach.

Segregate public or guest Wi-Fi services from everything else on your network and protect your phones with a strong password – and not the default one.

4. VoIP can’t be used wirelessly

Nonsense.

At Intellicom, we’ve encountered lots of use cases for wireless VoIP and it works well for some customers.

An old rural hotel dating from the 1700s decided to deploy a VoIP solution for their inbound and outbound communications.

Cabling such an old building was always going to pose a particular challenge but on recommendation from Intellicom’s engineering staff, they went with a hotel-wide wireless VoIP system to allow Wi-Fi calling on their mobile handsets.

We’ve also deployed wireless VoIP solutions in manufacturing and logistics operations, who require untethered access for warehouse staff and mobile, on-campus workers.

As a side note, it’s interesting to see that eir now allows Wi-Fi calling on their mobile network. In areas of poor coverage, Wi-Fi networks can be used to boost your ability to make and receive calls and texts. There are no extra charges for the service and you can even use it internationally to cut down on your roaming charges.

5. VoIP calls can’t be monitored and recorded

Contact centre operations are increasingly powered by IP networks and of course, two of the key requirements here are the ability to eavesdrop on calls for training and quality purposes and to record calls.

The insurance and financial services industry, and even retailers who take credit card payments over the phone depend on this functionality to run their businesses.

For example, Intellicom’s Intone application removes the need to pause call recording while customers input their credit card details and is PCI compliant.

During a telephone-based financial transaction, Intellicom Intone enables customers to input their own credit card details directly into their telephone handset, when directed to by the call agent. The numbers are then automatically populated in the agents’ payment application screen and the transaction is securely completed.

It’s a solution that has worked particularly well for insurance broker, Gorman, Hooper, Dolan.

VoIP myths

VoIP calls can be recorded and monitored. Supervisors can also eavesdrop for training purposes.

6. VoIP can’t be used for fax transmission

While fax transmissions are on the brink of extinction, there are some industries that still rely on this dying mode of communications, particularly those who are subject to stringent compliance and governance.

In healthcare, financial services and manufacturing fax transmissions still make up a high proportion of inbound and outbound communications.

Fax transmission can be performed over IP networks using ‘Fax to Email’ conversion for inbound services where the incoming fax is decoded by the VoIP system, converted into a digital image and simply emailed to the recipient.

For Outbound faxes, e.g. using a traditional fax machine, a simple Analogue Telephone Adapter (ATA) can be deployed to convert traditional fax signals into IP for onward connection to the remote fax machine over the telecoms networks.

This small device has an analogue port in the back where you can connect a standard analogue telephone or fax machine. Using a SIP voice number, it converts the fax back to analogue and the connected fax machine will print it out for you.

7. VoIP numbers can’t be ported

Once your company has been allocated an analogue or a VoIP number you can of course port it to another Comreg registered telecoms provider, without difficulty.

For example, with some of our customers, they might have analogue numbers coming in and we will typically port them over on to our network. This process converts the numbers to VoIP and we can route them however the client wishes – they could go to a virtual conference system or as voice mails to be accessed remotely on a given system.

So VoIP numbers are completely portable and give you the flexibility you need for your business. Have you come across other VoIP myths or do you have questions that we haven’t answered here? Use the comment box below to ask them and we will be in touch shortly.

If you’d like to request a free consultation on your current telephony system, use the button below to ask for advice.

Neil Wisdom