A hosted voice-over IP (VoIP) system can be a powerful tool for many businesses and organizations. While a VoIP system will require more time to set up than a traditional PBX system, it offers several significant advantages. Why are clever businesses integrating VoIP services?
It can be very expensive to have dedicated business lines at a company. While this may not be a problem for businesses with a limited number of outside telephone lines, it can be a significant problem for support and sales companies. For example, many sales companies have a dedicated voice line for each sales representative. For an office of several hundred people, this can be a significant cost.
In addition, businesses that place lots of international phone calls may experience very high bills. The use of other services like video conferencing can increase those costs significantly.
An integrated VoIP service can be an effective way to reduce costs, improve infrastructure and reduce IT staffing. With VoIP, it’s possible to place phone calls over the Internet. For the average business, it can cost as much as 30 dollars a month to add a phone line for an employee. With VoIP, it’s possible to add a new phone line to an office for less than one dollar a month!
In addition, it’s often possible to place international calls for free. This can be an excellent way for technical support companies to offshore their support services to a low-wage company.
There have been several novel uses of VoIP over the past few years. One of the most unusual ideas takes place at McDonald’s fast food restaurants in Fresno, California. Several pilot McDonald’s have outsourced their ordering processes to a support company in India.
At this McDonald’s, all drive-through orders are handled by workers in India. After pulling up to the drive through, a connection is automatically established between the drive through a node and a support center. Through the use of VoIP technology, an individual in India takes down and records a meal order. This order is entered into a specialized menu and is transmitted back to the restaurants. After this, the order is displayed on a special LCD screen where cooks can prepare the meal.
While this may seem convoluted, it can be a great way for McDonald’s to save money. It’s possible to pay workers in India significantly less than the minimum wage in the United States.
VoIP has lots of potential for businesses and organizations, as demonstrated by McDonald’s and an enormous number of other businesses, both big and small. Clever companies devise ways of integrating VoIP services figure into their business models, thus optimizing their work forces.
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