Modern businesses are faced with a dilemma when it comes to choosing how to handle their telecommunications needs.
The battle between traditional POTS solutions and more modern VoIP setups has been raging for a while now, and there are pros and cons to each depending on the size of your organization, as well as its aims and budget.
Let’s unpack this issue as much as possible and try to help you decide between these two titans once and for all.
Getting to grips with the basics
First off, if you’re confused by all the acronyms, let’s clear things up. POTS stands for plain old telephone service, and of course refers to legacy voice communication solutions which are handled using old-school, analogue tech.
VoIP, on the other hand, refers to voice over internet protocol and is essentially a means of carrying out voice calls over the web rather than a standard landline.
Appreciating the advantages of going digital
You might assume that sticking with a small business phone system that uses POTS as the underpinnings is necessary because of the costs involved, but services like OpenPhone.com prove that even up and coming companies can afford to leverage VoIP-based solutions.
In fact, whether you are migrating from a legacy phone system or starting from scratch, it’s safe to say that in the age of internet dominance, VoIP is arguably the best choice irrespective of the scale of your operations.
It’s not just about getting myriad benefits such as automatic call forwarding, number migration, voicemail management, and more besides; it’s also about recognizing that many of the incoming and outgoing calls you receive will be using VoIP anyway.
This industry is growing rapidly, and adoption is accelerating further due to the pandemic, so it’s about as far from a flash-in-the-pan trend as you can get.
Thankfully VoIP solutions are flexible enough to allow for legacy POTS hardware to be integrated with them, so you don’t have to completely ditch everything you have in-house if you want to make the leap.
For example, analogue desktop handsets which are not set up for IP communication can be connected to a VoIP service via a gateway.
Likewise, if you do not have any specific hardware, or don’t want to use it, then you can embrace the softphone approach, turning a desktop workstation or a smartphone into a VoIP device via an application.
We have talked briefly about the misconceptions regarding costs and VoIP, but it bears exploring in more detail.
Traditional POTS setups are expensive because of the on-site hardware they require to work in a business context. For larger offices, a private in-house exchange used to be essential in order to handle internal call routing, as well as to avoid the need for every endpoint to have its own separate physical outside line.
With VoIP, all you need is a fast enough web connection and adequate internal connectivity, and the rest is easy. The rise of cloud-powered VoIP tools has further unburdened businesses of the expenses they used to shoulder when POTS was the only option.
It seems like something of a clean sweep for VoIP when the old guard of POTS is put in the spotlight, and this is very much the case for all but the most stubborn of businesses.
Likewise, it is worth remembering that consumers are ditching landline phones in record numbers right now, so if you are tethered to the past in this way it will make you seem very archaic. So the sooner you adopt VoIP, the sooner you can reap the benefits.