SIP vs Digital Phones in the Workplace
Switching to a new hotel phone system can initially cause some anxiety. Will the transition impact the way that your staff interacts with callers, and will they be able to adapt to it quickly? Will the investment in new IP phones with SIP trunking capabilities be worth it? Asking these and many other questions is normal, and it’s a good thing.
Your phone system is a major part of your hotel’s success, and you should know as much about it as possible. To help you make an educated decision, this post will explore both the pros and cons of replacing your old digital phones with a new hotel VoIP phone system and how it will affect the workplace.
SIP Vs. Digital in the Hotel Workplace
This side-by-side comparison of the benefits and drawbacks of digital and SIP phone systems will better equip you to make your choice about upgrading your hotel’s communication network.
Comparison Dimension #1: User Friendliness
- Digital – Digital phones are the “tried-and-true” communications systems. These phones have been around for decades, and as such, there is no real learning curve involved in utilizing them. The members of your staff are all familiar with the functionality of digital phones and have no major issues utilizing them.
- SIP – New IP-based phone systems may initially seem very overwhelming to new users. Despite the fact that VoIP makes use of the LAN and/or internet for voice and data transmissions, however, the user doesn’t actually have to do anything different in order to make a call. It’s just as easy as ever for your staff to utilize the phone system, and touchscreen access makes it very simple for users to transfer calls, put calls on hold, etc. with just a few clicks of a button. And when your staff are busy, an auto attendant can direct calls for convenience.
Comparison Dimension #2: Capabilities
- Digital – In addition to enabling users to make and receive voice calls, digital phones may also have the ability to provide a limited color ID readout, block certain numbers, put callers on hold, store voice messages, and transfer calls.
- SIP – The fact that IP-based phones are able to connect to the internet makes them much more versatile. Your staff will have the ability to make, update, and verify guest reservations right from the telephone. Wake-up calls can be set up, and phone account limitations can be set in seconds. When guests call the front desk, your attendants will be able to answer courteously and professionally as they will be provided with a full readout of the caller’s name, room number, native language, group affiliations, VIP status, etc. The key difference is the amount of information that you can see about the guest right on the phone, coupled with the ability to take care of the guest right from the phone without the use of additional consoles.
Comparison Dimension #3: Cost
- Digital – Generally speaking, digital phones are available in all price ranges. There are fairly low-cost options, as well as expensive models with higher functionality levels. The cost of the phone system that is leased or purchased depends on what the hotel wants to pay.
- SIP – The initial cost of VoIP phone systems is typically higher than that of an average digital phone system. It’s important for hoteliers to consider the fact that these advanced phone systems have a lot more to offer than traditional communications networks, and that long-term savings will close the gap. By eliminating the need for separate Internet and phone cables, you can consolidate your bills, and with the reduced cost of long-distance calls, you’ll start saving money on each monthly phone bill. This frees up capital that can be used in other areas of the business and workplace. In some cases, however, the initial cost for SIP / VoIP is less than Digital, but ongoing costs can be higher depending on your specific hotel’s operations.