How VoIP Evolved From Niche Technology to Business Standard


Communication is an essential component of every successful business. It is truly the one thing that no company can overlook no matter its industry, location, business model or area of expertise.

And as long as organizations have been working to improve, so too have their means of communication. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has been an essential part of that evolution, moving from something of a niche application to the standard bearers for phone systems today. 

But how did we get here? Let’s take a look into the development, current features and bright future of VoIP.

From Niche to Everywhere

VoIP began to get off the ground as a technology tied to the ARPANET in the 1970s and finally arrived for real in the 1990s. Still, it didn’t enter the masses even as some providers launched IPOs and began to find a small market.

But as broadband networks grew and companies increasingly started to understand the power of the rapidly developing digital future, the whole world began to gradually get on board. By 2008, about four out of every five new corporate PBX lines were set up as VoIP and the old ways of talking on the phone continued to fall further back in the rearview mirror.

Then came the proliferation of mobile communications. As smartphones, led by the launch of the iPhone, became even more in favor, everybody was becoming even more set in the new ways of talking through different types of applications and digital networks.

And now, at this point, we have come so far that most people wouldn’t recognize the type of phone systems that were the default for every business operating at the start of the 1990s.

Modern VoIP System Features

The history of VoIP is fascinating, but most organizations are most concerned with the here and now. That’s why every leading VoIP provider today must offer a system that delivers the latest features that everyone — from small businesses to the largest Fortune 500 companies — needs to operate optimally.

That fact is especially key for startups that don’t want to have to worry about “outgrowing” their communications. It’s crucial to have a phone system that can scale alongside your company from the very beginning to the top of your industry, and this applies equally to companies in technology and software as it does for fast-growing areas such hospitality and wellness.

Of course, cross-device compatibility is critical. While it’s great to have a high-functioning system on your desk phone, this needs to translate equally well to mobile, Windows or Mac for employees who are always working on the go. And when it comes to both setup and ongoing support on any device, there must be capable experts available to ensure everything gets off on the right foot — and stays that way.

Finally, and most importantly, comes reliability. Simply put, if the system doesn’t work all the time, it doesn’t matter what features, bells and whistles it comes with. The backend hosting and services that make up the foundation of the VoIP phone system have to function without compromise.

From Past to the Future of VoIP

The technological evolution of VoIP has been a long, fantastic journey. It has transformed corporate communications and brought a level of both sophistication and quality that hardly seemed possible just a few short decades ago.

And what a boon to business it has been. Now, with such power and reliable systems available on the market, the smallest firms can leverage the same type of capabilities of multinational conglomerates. It is a tremendous advantage to everyone in business today that will only grow more sophisticated in the years to come — and we all have VoIP to thank for creating this new reality.