Tag Archives: voip

7 Things to consider before selection a phone system

7 Things to consider before selection a phone system

What type of phone system best fits your business? Advances in IP communications have made it possible to have a fully functional phone system hosted by your service provider in addition to a premise based phone system. In general, if your phone system is going to be used by more than 25 users, than a premise based solution will be your best choice. However, if you business phone system will have less than 25 users, you should look at both hosted and premise based solutions.

-Why are you looking for a new phone system? Besides the fact that you need to make and receive phone calls, what are the most important things that you are looking to get out of your phone system? Truth is, most phone systems are all the same. The only thing that separates one from another, in many cases, comes down to marketing. Are you looking for auto-attendant, voicemail, voicemail-to-email or find-me-follow me capability? Make list of all of things that you need to get out of your new phone system as well as a list of things that would be nice if your phone system had.

-Will your phone system integrate with other business systems? One of the benefits of an IP based phone system is the ability for the phone system to integrate with other business systems, like your CRM or ERP platform which will increase business efficiency and productivity. Some phone systems offer API’s for integration with certain software, however other phone systems do not offer this capability. Therefore make sure you know what other business systems require integration before you approach a vendor and ask the question when you are being presented with a solution.

-Will you be deploying, maintaining and supporting the phone system yourself? If you have a capable IT staff, chances are you can buy an IP based phone system you will be able to deploy and maintain the system yourself. If you do not have an IT staff, you might want to consider looking into a hosted VoIP solution, or make certain that you select a capable reseller that can provide these services for you.

-Who will be providing your voice service? Many companies make the mistake of buying a phone system before they figure out who will be providing the phone service. If you are going to be using VoIP, make sure your VoIP provider is compatible with your phone system. If you are going to use both VoIP and PSTN service, make sure your phone system vendor knows this, so that they can offer you the proper solution.

-What is the total cost of ownership? Most businesses making the switch to VoIP are looking to save money. In order to better understand how much you will be saving make sure you take a look at the total cost of ownership. Buying purely on price can easily get you into trouble: more reliable, expandable systems do tend to cost more per user up front – but the savings you will see in the long run make it worthwhile. In addition to being able to add more users as your company grows, you should find out how easily your phone system can be upgraded as new features and technologies are released.

-What do your users want? WMV converter? Take into consideration the needs of each employee or employee type. Prior to purchasing a system, ask each of them what they would like to see out of an IP phone or phone system. Remember, sometimes it is best to let the sweeper select the broom.

http://www.a1articles.com/7-things-to-consider-before-selection-a-phone-system-2289662.html

Five reasons for Small Businesses to Switch to VoIP

Five reasons for Small Businesses to Switch to VoIP

VoIP, or Voice over internet Protocol to give it its full title, is a concept at the vanguard of the telecommunications industry which, if you haven’t already heard about, will become an increasingly familiar part of all our lives in the near future. But what is it and how can it benefit small business users?

The concept (which has a number of interchangeable titles such as Voice over Broadband, VoBB) actually covers a set of technologies whereby voice data is transferred in essence, over the internet. The service is distinct from the traditional telephony systems of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) which transmits both analog and digital voice data on a combined network of physical cables and wireless connections, using switch exchanges to connect the network together. In contrast VoIP transmits voice as digital data packets across internet connections, encoding and then decoding the packets at each end. VoIP packages can therefore vary in terms of the functionality they offer, often depending on the software that is supplied by the VoIP provider.

There are three main types of VoIP that can be combined within a single package, IP Phones (or VoIP Phones, which can be used just as traditional handsets), Software VoIP (which runs from a computer) and Mobile VoIP (or Mobile and Integrated VoIP). In fact you may already be very familiar with one example of this technology, an example of software VoIP which has permeated many of our social activities – Skype.

At a business level, users of a traditional telephony system need to implement a network and hardware, such as a PBX exchange, on site to split their incoming connection in order to provide the separate lines amongst their staff. However, with IP telephony such as VoIP, the service can use existing data networks to create the required number of lines.

As a consequence there are significant benefits to be had from switching your business to a VoIP service:

1. Improved Functionality
As briefly touched on above, a VoIP service can provide a business with many more communications options than a traditional telephone system. Most packages will include a software element which drives the functionality and which can be kept up to date remotely by the VoIP provider so that the business continues to benefit from the latest developments in the technology.

With enhanced software driven communication channels such as video conferencing and the fact that the service is not tied to a geographical location (e.g., colleagues can be accessible on simple extension numbers in different offices in different locations) businesses can cut unnecessary travel and costs and open channels which may have previously been difficult to access – without the need for heavy investment in expensive hardware.

Moreover a VoIP service can change and improve the way in which your business operates with many efficiencies to be had thanks to functionality such as the ability to dial simply by clicking on phone numbers on a PC, integrated computer based phone directories, self-managed caller ID and the scope to assign both multiple numbers to a single phone and a single number to multiple phones.

2. Improved Customer Service
By taking advantage of the extensive functionality generated by a VoIP service a business will no doubt enhance the way in which they operate and work with their customers, however using VoIP can also boost customer service in a number of more direct ways.

Handling of calls can be improved with features, such as ring groups, transfers and forwarding and even automated call handling coming into the reach of smaller scale businesses, ensuring that calls are dealt with by the right people in a timely manner. This can not only improve customer satisfaction but present customers with an advanced phone service at an affordable cost giving them the right impression of your business irrespective of its size. Previously this has been the reserve of big business with big budgets.

A company can even give its customers a free contact channel by supplying them with VoIP enabled telephones.

3. Flexibility
VoIP can greatly improve the flexibility of a business in a number of ways. One key area is the ability of business to respond and adapt to changes in personnel due to positive or negative growth. VoIP offers more cost effective scalability than traditional fixed line telecoms as you need only pay for the exact number of lines that are needed at any given time with less hardware to upgrade – depending on the package, the handset or headset may be the only the outlay required for a new line.

What’s more, many VoIP packages come with the capability for the business to use a simple piece of front end software to configure their network to their business needs as and when they need it rather than depending on third party providers

A VoIP product can also offer flexibility in the manner in which a business operates. Staff can work whilst being fully mobile, receiving their communications in a variety of ways – email, voice calls, instant messaging – on a variety of devices – smartphones (mobile VoIP), landlines – ensuring that they are easily in contact with colleagues and clients whenever they need to be. And all this using the same number, wherever they are in the world. Traditional phone systems, conversely, which rely on a physical network with physical exchanges connecting the relevant elements of the network, are often defined by their location.

This has further benefits for business in the event of an office or workplace becoming unavailable. A switch to VoIP will allow a business to set redirects to mobiles and handsets in other locations from any device with an internet connection. Therefore ensuring interruptions to customer service and operations are kept to an absolute minimum, without needing to physically access the office and manipulate any hardware in situ.

Last but not least of course is the fact that VoIP systems are fully integrated with traditional PSTN services so users will not have any trouble communicating with the rest of world.

4. Unified Communications
Unified communications is a term used to describe the integration of different communication channels which is made possible by the fact that VoIP uses the same data networks as other data transfers to handle voice data. As a result it may be possible using VoIP to easily switch between voice and instant messaging, receive voicemail messages into an email client, share and collaborate on documents through your VoIP software whilst discussing them on call and even integrate Customer Relationship Management (CRM) databases with telephone systems.

5. Cost
Switching to VoIP phones will arguably lead to a host of efficiency savings and operational improvements as a result of the aforementioned benefits, which therefore mean indirect cost savings. Improved communications in general, telephone and video conferencing in particular perhaps, can reduce the need for business travel and in the current climate that is an increasing expense.

However, there are also plenty more immediate savings to be had when switching; for example, the fact that businesses are able to use their existing data networks (no need for additional voice networks) and therefore potentially reduce the installation and maintenance costs of their network infrastructures. The only hardware needed are the phones/handsets, the hard work is done by software.

Furthermore, the actual costs of renting an equivalent of better VoIP service from a provider are likely to be significantly lower than a traditional service (due in part to the fact that this is a growing worldwide market with healthy competition). Whilst the services that are often considered extras in a traditional package will often be included in standard VoIP billing or be available at a far cheaper rate.

Whatever size of business you operate switching to VoIP can generate both cost savings and significant improvements in your operations and services. However, if you are a small business the switch to Business VoIP could give you that leading edge over your competitors and ensure that you are free to develop your business efficiently and dynamically.

http://www.a1articles.com/five-reasons-for-small-businesses-to-switch-to-voip-2413667.html

Business Telephone VoIP Systems

Business Telephone VoIP Systems

Having a well or poorly implemented phone system can make or break a business. If a potential customer cannot get through to you via the phone the chances are they will pick up the phone to the next supplier. And more important than just having a phone system that can get somebody on the end of the line; a well implemented system can quickly direct a person to exactly who they need to talk to wherever they may be. This can act to solve customer queries or issues faster, which in turn gives greater customer satisfaction and improves the efficiency of the company as a whole.

It is rare in business that a company works out of an office and has no members who need to be on the move, some companies may indeed very rarely work from an office. Whether the reason is sales, meetings, on-site work, or simply the convenience of working from home, it can be very beneficial to be able to stay in touch while on the move. Whatever the requirements; business mobility can be an asset to effective client management and communications. It is typically achieved by rerouting calls that would normally only go to an office phone via several devices associated with a person. This generally includes the office phone, mobile phone, mobile VoIP clients and home offices.

Mobile voice clients can also be exceptionally useful for reducing the costs of calls; since VoIP technology is web based, once connected beyond a varying data charge, it is independent of locations and as such can be used for international calling. Thus when an employee is abroad, assuming they can get a stable internet connection, they can operate from the same office number while maintaining cheap cost of calls. This is a huge benefit when considering that many traditional systems wouldn’t be able to operate or would even cost a large amount of money for the privilege.

These low costs, while very useful for employees abroad, can be equally useful for office telecoms. Since VoIP functions from internet connections and many companies already have moderate internet connections already implemented, it may cost nothing but a monthly subscription to a VoIP company to be able to operate their telephone systems.

Capital costs are also reduced since, in many cases, the network required to run VoIP already exists in the form of a computer network where the VoIP can be run directly from the computer via a “softphone”. A softphone is a computer program used for making calls in conjunction with a headset or phone plugged into the PC, which in turn can also make it very easy to integrate and make calls via existing CRM software with client contact details. This can significantly increase the speed of making calls and increase the number of calls that can be handled in a given time.

Why not see what your company could gain and save from moving your telecoms to a well implemented VoIP service and give a VoIP provider a call?

The Author works for a company who specialise in hosted phone systems, hosted VoIP and VoIP Solutions

http://www.a1articles.com/business-telephone-voip-systems-2001531.html

Free VoIP Service – Are They True

Free VoIP Service – Are They True

When Voice over Internet Protocol was introduced through the Internet, a lot of the programs available are given free Voice over Internet Protocol services. Unluckily, those great days are gone and these days, these services are not free; but are still given at a minimal monthly charge.

However, after you have decided to buy this service, you would still be astonished with the advantages and benefits that VOIP gives. Your calls are limitless and you are able to call long distance numbers at free of charge, but you have to settle the low fee.

Don’t be concerned though as there are software that give free VOIP services, among them are Skype and AdCalls. These 2 programs allow you to call making use of the free Voice over Internet Protocol programming.

Skype enables you to make a computer to computer call to Skype users making use of a microphone and a headphone. All you must do is to get free Skype software on their site. This free call is only accessible for a computer to computer call and the individual you need to contact will have to get the software as well. If you need to call somebody on their telephone and get a call from them, you would have to buy their credits at a cheap price.

With AdCalls, you could make calls to anybody in the Canada and USA at anytime on their business, home, and cellular phone for free. You are able to call anybody in the world as well on their computer given that they also got the “AdCalls” dialer that could be seen on their site.

Even as a lot of individuals are selecting to use this service, it has its annoyances, one being the failure to call 911. The explanation for this is that the dial is made from your network instead of a telephone. This makes it not possible for 911 to track your call from the Voice over Internet Protocol phone and to know your address. When getting your 911 calls, it is not possible for the dispatcher to get any info on your location.

VOIP is fast increasing popularity and huge corporations like AOL and Verizon are all giving Voice over Internet Protocol packages. Free VoIP is the popular selection, though these days it is getting harder to find one. For consumers who aren’t prepared or who feel not comfortable w/ going to VoIP, they have the choice of utilizing IM or instant messaging services, for example YM or Yahoo Messenger.

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What Does the Future Hold For Business VOIP

What Does the Future Hold For Business VOIP

What the potential retains for VoIP is anybody’s guess correct now. The telecommunication landscape is a rapidly changing and evolving landscape. Kind of a “here currently…. gone tomorrow” surroundings. So although VoIP might be here to remain… how it “looks”, is employed, and the influence it has may well be very various. Than once more…. possibly not.

Initially… ahead of generating any projections there wants to be some clear boundries on just what VoIP truly is. As well as normally outline exactly where it’s been and where it’s at now.For more information about “Teamspeak 3”, you should check out: Teamspeak 3

VoIP is a know-how, not a product in it’s personal ideal.

VoIP has a killer app: voice telephony

Voice telephony isn’t new and, for most authentic-globe applications, using VoIP instead of TDM, GSM, or analogue technologies doesn’t add any sizeable rewards to the consumer. All of the considerable rewards supplied by VoIP know-how are advantages to the infrastructure and these are mainly transparent to the conclude person.

This is in which we are these days with VoIP.

VoIP can offer quite a few authentic finish-person positive aspects in terms of new functions but, for whichever cause, these are not in prevalent use however. Maybe they will by no means be because people today merely do not require or want them.

If I had been to make a guess I would say the evolution of VoIP engineering and companies about the up coming five-10 many years will be related to the very last ten many years of VoIP: typically incremental engineering alterations with handful of, if any, stop-consumer feature positive aspects.

Nonetheless…..

I feel VoIP has created great strides in the final 3 years to becoming a thing that most companies will need to have to be competitive. The cause(s)…..

1) Quallity of Services (QOS) has enhanced tremendously,

2) Element Sets accessible with VoIP

three) Price

Characteristics accessible with VoIP usually boost the potential to collaborate on duties a lot more merely and more cost-effective, the capacity to have virtual offices and connect very easily and merely with remote employees is huge. Other attributes like: presence, find me adhere to me, unified communication make this a thing that organizations WANT.

Attributes this kind of as these I assume are virtually to the point of getting disruptive and firms not having these instruments at their disposal can endure by not getting them.

In addition the convergence amongst IT & Telephony is definitely turning into a actuality which only validates the usage of VoIP in the workplace. Furthermore, this will spur developers to improve/add even a lot more characteristics to the plaftform especially in the CRM area.

To me the only road blocks that nevertheless can be a minor sticky the moment in awhile are:

one) 911 get in touch with area

2) Electrical power Backup in the event of energy blackout or brown-out

The over is not meant to be all inclusive. It’s just an overview of the existing and a very best guess search into a possible long term. What truly comes about in the days to appear…. who is aware of. Just sit back again and wait and see.

For no expense support to appraise and design a enterprise VoIP resolution for your existing requirements…. I advocate utilizing the totally free sources obtainable at Organization-VoIP-Remedy.com.What Does the Potential Hold For Enterprise VOIP?

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