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Do Businesses Even Need VoIP Phones Anymore?

Over the last decade, there has been a big push in the corporate world to move from traditional private branch exchange (PBX) phone systems to digital ones. The primary solution has been Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as a digitally delivered, telephony solution – business phone numbers are still allocated to enable contacting companies but voice, and other communications are now sent over the Internet.

Whether you are a business that did not follow this early trend, a new company getting started, or an online-only digital business, it is valid to ask whether we need VoIP phones anymore.

Our article is broken down into several sections:

  1. Why VoIP? What is all the fuss about?

  2. Communication has evolved.

  3. Is it still worth switching to VoIP?

  4. Which businesses is VoIP suitable for?

  5. What are the benefits of VoIP for small businesses?

Why VoIP? What is all the fuss about?

VoIP is a system that turns a phone call into a digital experience. Calls are converted in real-time into a series of data packets that are transferred over the internet.

Various devices are used to facilitate this, including an IP phone, a softphone for a PC, or a smartphone using a VoIP app. Each method allows the employee to connect to or make a call once it has been digitised and routed through the VoIP system.

VoIP is usually significantly cheaper than using a PBX installation. Calls are higher quality, static-free, and offer several additional features.

We cover more specifics about the benefits of VoIP later in this article.

UK phone systems are now digitised

UK phone systems have moved away from crackly analogue calls transmitted over copper wires to digital exchanges relying on IP technologies, drastically improving telecommunications quality.

Traditional phone lines and costly Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) technologies or PBX systems are cumbersome and costly for companies. Increasingly, these outdated systems are being replaced.

The same evolution occurred with mobile calls when users moved away from older Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) networks to advanced 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and 5G technologies. This allows employees to use a VoIP app to make and receive calls via nearby cell towers and connect to the company’s VoIP network.  Enabling high-quality calls, recorded call monitoring and is useful when heading out to a client meeting, for example.

Communication has evolved

Communication has evolved over the last few years.

There are several factors influencing new changes to digital communications, including the increased use of smartphones, remote or flexible work conditions, and the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI).

Also, business phone systems were never popular.

Why do customers increasingly use alternative communication methods to contact businesses?

Faster response time

Reaching out to staff via a live chat system on a website, a Microsoft Teams message, a WhatsApp contact, or a direct message (DM) on an X business profile, triggers a quicker response. It also gives them a greater sense of control over the communication.

Despite offering a slower response time, email is also an option when preferring a non-verbal, indirect communication method.

Dislike of being held in a queue and treated as an unimportant caller

Dissatisfaction with the customer experience is an important factor. Anyone who has been forced to navigate through monotone phone systems asking them to, ‘Dial 1 for this’, ‘Dial 2 for that’, and ‘Dial 3’ to hold for another 25 minutes in a queue, understands the pain.

Inefficient and lacking a personal touch

At this point, calling a company seems inefficient. And, as a cost-saving measure, calls are often not handled by head office employees.

Seek a formal response

It is possible to document a series of messages using a contact form or an email sent to a direct contact. This is useful when needing proof of what was said or agreed to.

Recorded phone calls ‘for monitoring and training purposes’, often only assist the business. Other companies may record their outbound calls, but that is not usually the case for consumers.

Avoid spam and unwanted contact

Phone calls are an interruption technology that demands immediate attention and reduces personal control. Also, with the advent of international spam calls and telesales calls, many people avoid the phone line altogether.

Instead, they use their smartphone as a digital, multi-channel communication tool through a curated, controllable interface. They can protect their valuable time by blocking callers and redirecting other communications to limit undesirable interruptions.

Do Businesses Even Need VoIP Phones Anymore

Is it still worth switching to VoIP?

A business landline is not as necessary as it once was. A built-in VoIP system at your office or an AI-linked, cloud-based VoIP system is often sufficient.

However, some companies question the need for a business line altogether.

Does your business need a phone number or an advanced VoIP phone system?

Not all businesses require a contact phone number. Or, looking beyond that, they do not require sophisticated VoIP systems with multiple lines, trunk call features, advanced messaging, and more.

Their needs may only extend to a single phone line offering the ability to answer and make calls, therefore, a basic digital business line and out-of-hours answer phone would be sufficient. Additionally, this could include call redirection to a mobile phone or the ability to check audio messages when out of town.

Do not leave remote workers unsupported

Since 2020, the rise of remote workers has been significant.

Outside of using a VoIP system, remote workers cannot easily make or receive calls from home while using the office line. However, when using a VoIP app on their phone or business laptop, they can do so and appear, from a customer perspective, to be calling from the company’s number.

Remote workers use VoIP mobile and desktop apps to stay in touch with customers and co-workers. If their home Wi-Fi or mobile service is strong enough in their area, they are good to go.

Extend the range of available phone services

Phone services are already digitised on UK phone networks. However, when using a standard UK business phone line provider, a business is stuck with a limited range of extended services. These include call waiting, messaging, and other basic features.

VoIP providers include a broader list of added extras, including advanced call management, answer agents, advanced call routing to reach the correct person based on the person calling in, call recording, call queuing, and voice recognition & response systems.

Which businesses is VoIP suitable for?

Companies operating as established legacy businesses, or with older customers or specific demographic limitations, often must continue to support phone lines. Some customers will never adopt instant messenger apps and calls using Skype or WhatsApp mobile apps. Others may be located internationally where, depending on the country, calling over a landline remains the standard.

Legacy businesses, such as doctors’ surgeries, hair salons, or sales-based operations with many outbound calls, could stay with digital phone lines. Support desks and other call centre operations are now updated to support legacy phone systems but operate under a unified communication system. This keeps track of customers contacting the business using multiple channels via a curated dashboard.

VoIP is a good choice for cloud-based businesses and avoids a call centre or support team. Hosted VoIP systems scale from a handful of users to thousands, allowing small operators to grow their teams without telecommunication expenses getting out of control.

When companies are entirely virtual with no head office, there is a convincing argument to avoid landlines completely. Nevertheless, they may still arrange for a phone number routed through a digital cloud service. This way, they remain contactable and use this accessible phone number for emergencies, official records, license registrations, and business documentation.

What are the benefits of VoIP for small businesses?

Briefly, here are some of the benefits of VoIP for small businesses:

Integration with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Other Systems – Many VoIP systems directly integrate into popular CRM packages. Allowing for a unified approach to all inbound and outbound business communications. Indeed, a VoIP system is selectable based on its tested ability to integrate with the existing CRM and other adopted systems.

Cost Efficiency – Especially for cloud-based VoIP as it requires no expensive hardware investments, costly set-ups, and scaling issues. Sold per user, it is cost-effective for small teams.

Expanded Features – Advanced VoIP features include auto-attendance, call recording, digital quality, call redirection, and CRM integration. These are available at a lower expense than upgraded packages on business landlines. 

Future Proofing – As Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN) and Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) systems get phased out, hardware upgrades, and the subsequent business interruption, will be unavoidable. For VoIP users, such inconveniences are a relic of the past.

Scale Easily – VoIP scales effortlessly. This is particularly true when using cloud-based systems. Busy calling periods or a rapidly expanding workforce do not cause communication scaling issues.


There is still a place for businesses to use VoIP. It depends on the best use case – each situation is unique.

Schedule a consultation with a White Label IT consultant to see how we can help. They will explore all business communication options and guide you to the correct decision. 


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