What is Voice Over IP?
Stunningly simple and surprisingly affordable, Voice over Internet Protocol is becoming a popular option for small businesses.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) uses the Internet to make and receive phone calls. Users can experience a range of services, including the ability to call from a traditional handset in some service plans and even the option to use a mobile device. Different VoIP providers offer different sets of services, so be sure to check with your service provider before deciding.
VoIP users require a broadband Internet connection, traditional phone unit with adapter or VoIP-enabled phone unit, and VoIP software.
Because of the relative ease of set-up and the affordability of the service, VoIP has been gathering users from small business applications along with private customers. Small businesses are turning to private Internet networks to run their VoIP services, however, which affords more security than use over a public network.
There are a number of benefits to VoIP to consider:
· Web and video conferencing
· Easy growth capabilities
· Simplification of operating costs and management roles
· Use of a single network for the entire phone system
· Ease-of-access (i.e. phones can be accessed anywhere there’s a broadband connection)
Of the main competitors to VoIP is unified communications. Unified communications systems feature more benefits and features than most VoIP set-ups, drawing in all forms of communication from anywhere, anytime and from any device. This delivers faxes, email transmissions and even voicemail to one “unified” location in your phone system.
The world of VoIP is evolving to meet new small business needs and there are many systems that feature the benefits of unified communications with the cost-effectiveness of Voice over IP. With the industry constantly moving forward, it can be hard to know what’s what. For more information on VoIP and its potential benefits for your company, contact your local service provider.
How to choose the right phone System for your business?
When it comes to choosing the right phone system for your business, you need to assess your needs and be aware of what’s available on the market. With that information on your side, you can make an informed choice.
Assessing Your Needs
Assessing your needs is the process of establishing exactly what it is you’re going to need in your business.
Start by establishing:
· If you need individual extensions for each employee, complete with voicemail
· If you need mobile solutions for each employee, such as a smartphone
· How many employees you have and how many employees you anticipate having over the
· Whether or not you have any remote employees
· If you require fax capabilities
Once you have answered some critical questions about your needs, you can start finding solutions.
For small offices, a popular solution is VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). This is an Internet-based solution that is generally very affordable. Companies using VoIP must ensure that they have a reliable broadband connection and sufficient bandwidth, of course.
Another popular solution is PBX (Private Branch eXchange). These systems are more costly than their VoIP counterparts, but they are more ideal for medium-to-large businesses because they offer more features and capabilities. They also often include auto attendant features and switching capabilities, which allow users to “switch” calls to other lines within the phone network.
There is also virtual PBX. As you might imagine, this is related to PBX and allows users to test the lines they already have for the most viable solutions. There are a number of market options that offer virtual PBX features, like auto attendant and call forwarding along with a toll free number option and voicemail.