Small businesses that are looking to make a big impact have probably begun to consider the impact of implementing Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP. This is a platform through which clients and companies can communicate across the world without spending a fortune on phone cards and international rates. It is a system that has grown with the Internet since its inception, and has had its share of growing pains over time. But now, VoIP is a great solution for businesses looking to take the next step.

But there is still uncertainty surrounding the platform according to Small Business Computing, and employers have doubts. So business owners should consider a few questions, laid out here, as they make the transition.

Does quality compare to a standard phone connection?
Quality varies from provider to provider, like any service. VoIP can come in the form of a mobile app, like Skype or Viber, or as an actual office phone plugged into a broadband connector. But the best VoIP systems have crystal-clear connections, which is crucial in establishing rapport with a customer or partner. Dropped or unintelligible calls are bad for business, so it is worthwhile to invest in the best VoIP system available.

Is the system scalable and easy to use?
If a business is looking to grow, then a VoIP platform that is not easily transferrable or scalable is not the best idea. Generally, there are a few rules of thumb to consider. Systems requiring Ethernet ports or complicated wiring are best avoided, as these can be difficult to install and move. Plus, the world is moving toward mobility, so VoIP lines based around apps and computer interfaces are likely to be the smart choice. But beyond that, there is no reason a VoIP system should be a large step from using a standard phone. Employees are still calling and talking to another party – only instead of a phone line, they are using an Internet connection.

Is there an established network?
Here, the answer is resoundingly yes. Businesses have immense needs to communicate with clients all over the world, and land lines and cell phones are often not the best choice. As a result, there are VoIP providers and connections available all over the world. In Canada, businesses are increasingly learning that VoIP can cut some phone bills in half, even with features like video conferencing. It also reduces time-zone constraints, as employees can use the connection to work and communicate from anywhere, not just the office. If a business needs to make a call on the other side of the globe, VoIP is the best method.

There are other questions surrounding VoIP, and most of them can be answered several ways. Like any technology it is important to remember that providers offer different benefits, prices and systems. If a business implements a cheap platform, that will be reflected in the quality. In turn, clients will be frustrated by a lack of commitment to excellence displayed in dropped calls, spotty connections and difficulty in communication. In every facet – but especially client-facing – companies should try to put the best foot forward.

Best of all, it will free up a business to operate at the level it should without any infrastructure, distance or technological constraints.

Telecom industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in telecommunications equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.