Understanding the Use Cases of VoIP Gateways

By Grace Lau

Almost every aspect of business has been touched by digital transformation, but many businesses are still using legacy phone systems that aren’t advancing at the pace of their other technologies. VoIP gateways can change that, but what are they? And what features and benefits do they offer for the businesses who use them?

A VoIP gateway is a device that is used to convert voice signals from a standard telephone system into data packets for transmission over the internet. It helps to bridge the gap between traditional telephone networks and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) networks.

This enables software as a service (SaaS) provider to build web app features such as call routing and call forwarding. If a company is in Toronto but needs a Calgary-based phone system for businesses, it can assign separate phone extensions, so each phone line gets a unique code. Traditionally, this would involve laborious manual setup, but VoIP makes it as easy as any of the polished experiences you get with consumer apps.

Once your standard phone system is connected to VoIP, there are all kinds of features that are either enhanced by VoIP or impossible without a VoIP gateway. These include:

  • Call routing – VoIP call routing is a big improvement on standard phone systems. With intelligent call forwarding based on speech recognition and virtual phone numbers, it becomes easier for customers to talk to the right person, whether that person is in the office or working remotely. When call routing is automated, your call canter agents are free to focus on real conversations with customers that need help.
  • AI integration – VoIP gateways connect standard business phone systems to AI integrations such as noise cancellation, auto-transcription and analytics tools. Noise cancellation and “jitter reduction” can improve the experience for customers and staff. Both parties can hear each other better when background noise is reduced, and jitter reduction can smooth over the points where someone’s speech is interrupted by a poor signal.
  • Auto-transcripts/analytics – Tools such as auto-transcription and analytics can add much more value to your team’s calls with customers. Auto-transcripts allow call center agents and managers to quickly skim the record of a call rather than listen to a recording. Tools including keyword analysis can pull out the most common issues asked about across all the calls happening throughout the business. The insights generated here can radically improve the usefulness of these calls and inform business strategy in ways calls never had before.
  • Web-based management and admin – Once your phone systems are integrated with a VoIP service, you can easily manage your system using a user-friendly web app.

Everything from virtual phone numbers to intelligent call forwarding can be quickly set up with a few clicks rather than having to be programmed in across all the phone systems manually. And with VoIP, you can add devices such as laptops and tablets to your virtual call center, which makes it simple to run the business when staff are working remotely.

A VoIP gateway unlocks several benefits, such as hybrid phone systems, better security and better management tools. These benefits can include:

  • Supports hybrid phone systems – VoIP gateways also can be used to support hybrid phone systems. Hybrid systems combine traditional phone systems and VoIP systems, which include most of the voice chat apps people use to work remotely. VoIP gateways can bridge the gap between these systems and enable them to work together seamlessly. The perfect medium of business communication is different for every company, but if group calls work for you, then VoIP enables calling across phones and web apps such as Google Meet.
  • Security – VoIP gateways can make internal and external communications more secure. Communications running over VoIP can be protected by end-to-end encryption, which keeps calls secure as they move between devices. If you’re talking about sensitive topics such as passwords over the call, you want to be sure that nobody can listen in.
  • Improves ease of use and administration – VoIP gateways also make your communications systems much easier to set up, maintain and use. Rather than adjusting settings on proprietary machines, VoIP SaaS apps give you one user-friendly interface from which you can manage a whole virtual call center. This can save hours of setup required to improve your operations and allow you to scale up effortlessly as needed. And where VoIP enables features such as AI analytics, those features are included in the same interface in which you’re managing phones directly.

The future of VoIP technology is promising. As more businesses move from traditional phone systems to VoIP solutions with gateways, there’s more opportunity for integration with tools including AI and chatbots. These will enable companies to get much deeper insights into their customers’ needs and automate tasks including call forwarding that human agents don’t need to be doing.

The VoIP gateway is essential for businesses that want to take advantage of the innovative VoIP systems available today. Bridging legacy phone systems to VoIP enables better-quality calls of the kind agents are used to, as well as new experiences powered by tools like virtual phone numbers and AI.

 Grace Lau is the director of growth content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communication platform.