We’ve been hearing a lot of buzz lately about VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol. Which is just fancy jargon for an internet phone system. People are hearing from friends or business acquaintances who are using VoIP that not only are they saving money. But this “new” technology has added a lot of flexibility to their daily operations. While it is true that VoIP systems will save you money over landlines or cellphones. There are even more benefits to utilizing the right VoIP set-up for your business. Let’s take a look at how this technology works and visit some of the strengths and weaknesses of Voice Over Internet Protocol systems.
VoIP phone systems allow you to make and receive calls through the internet rather than hardwired or cellular lines. VoIP systems offer much more flexibility over standard phone lines and even cellphones. By integrating cloud technology with business phone functions. VoIP systems can handle everything you need to run your business and more. Usually an easy set-up, the typical user can switch over to a VoIP system in less than a day. If done correctly, there should be little or no downtime.
In its early stages, VoIP has been around since the mid-90s, and it didn’t work very well at all. Most of the early troublesome issues were due to slow network speed and the inability to package. And read the bundled data efficiently. Today’s high-speed networks, switches, and routers have resolved these concerns. In fact, VoIP is regularly used over WIFI with little or no quality issues. Before installing new equipment, you should test your internal network to make sure it can handle the speed of the new equipment. Generally, there will not be a significant impact on network speed, but you should determine ahead if your network can support the new phone system. We can help with that.
IP, or Internet Protocol, is a collection of rules that govern how data is sent across the Internet. IP works in conjunction with the transmission control protocol (TCP). Which divides network traffic into smaller packets for a means of more efficient transport through the Internet. Together they are referred to as TCP/IP.
Voice data is sent digitally over the internet over your current network. This is how VoIP works. When Cloud storage came out, these phone systems really took off, because the unlimited storage space was just what VoIP needed to send the growing amount of data. Basically, a series of packets of digital information carries your voice data from your IP address to the IP address of your destination. The system at your end converts your voice to data packets. Private Branch Exchanges allow you to send packets via the cloud to listeners, who then convert them back into voice.
VoIP gives you the ability to work from anywhere and still have the ability to answer calls from the same phone number. You no longer have to be at home or at work. And you don’t have to give everyone a series of different phone numbers where they can reach you while you’re traveling. As far as your clients know, you’re always in your office, right next to your phone. And that reliability means a lot to your reputation.
One complaint that used to be fairly common among VoIP users was poor audio quality. Despite frequent updates, clients of VoIP services still occasionally experience issues including jitter, echo, and static. The root cause of the majority of audio issues is usually related to your existing network not being up to current standards, or it may be too old to handle the speed required of the new technology. Contact us and we’ll check your wiring, network switches, Firewall, IP Addresses, Internet Circuits, and everything else that might impede the speed of your network. Then, if needed, we’ll let you know what it will take to get everything up to spec.
Some people ask what happens to the VoIP phones if the internet goes down. Since the phones rely on the internet, if the service goes down the phones go with it. But there are solutions in place. One safety net that is a Virtual Auto Attendant that, in an emergency situation, can forward calls to voicemail or designated cellphones. Calls can also be routed to another location, like a home or a second office. Another option, if you’re a larger company with a lot of daily business on the line. Would be to invest in dual internet providers; one as a primary and one as a back-up. Generally, this is overkill, but if you’re afraid of power or internet outages affecting your business, you may want to look into this option.
Old phone lines that use analog technology are stable and reliable, but everyone knows that they are way too expensive. And they lack the flexibility most businesses require. Plus, how many of us are still relying on hard-wired analog phones to run our businesses? Most of us rely on our cell phones for daily communication because of the remote capabilities. But everyone knows that cell phone plans are also too expensive. It’s clear that VoIP is the wave of future communication. It’s inexpensive, flexible, adaptable, and will grow with the ever-changing technology.
If you want to know if a VoIP system can help you, you can get in touch with us at any time.