Everyone is talking about it. By it, I mean Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)—a popular, cheap, and effective way to provide telephony to businesses. But you probably didn’t know that VoIP has been around since 1974, did you?
The very first type of VoIP call was known as Network Voice Protocol (NVP) and was made in August of 1974. From there it was turned into the technology we know and use today by a company called Vocaltec in 1995, and in 1998 the first PC to Phone calls began. It’s simple really: instead of using the existing telephone lines in your building, or having new ones installed, everything is pushed through the Internet.
How? Well, the most expensive element of a phone bill is the minutes. But VoIP differs from regular telephone service by treating your phone conversations as data passing through your IP network. Today, broadband is relatively cheap and easy to get, so many businesses are switching to VoIP and cutting their phone bills in half.
How VoIP Saves You Money
VoIP can lessen your business costs in several ways
First, you don’t have to worry about installing new phone lines. VoIP services hook up directly into your existing internet, and the rates for these services are very reasonable. Your employees will love it too since they can work from home, and look like they are still in the office.
Second, VoIP operates through an encrypted VPN connection for increased security. Many VoIP products have an app too, so you can have your work phone on your mobile device. VoIP allows our employees to check voicemails or make calls from their cell phones, but to the client, they have no idea that they aren’t currently in the office. Now your employees are reachable from a "work" line, even when they're physically away from the office. The usual business-phone features are available on VoIP: voicemail, caller ID, conferencing, call forwarding, and unlimited long-distance calling since the calls go out over the Internet.
The best part is that your phone system becomes a service that your IT firm handles, which reduces costs and downtime (no waiting for CenturyLink, Time Warner, AT& 2PMT, etc. if the service does happen to go down), or dealing with their horrible customer service departments, long hold times, or uneducated technicians. Most IT companies have at least one technician that has been through specialized training on VoIP systems and is an expert in the field, and lucky for you, you get to have that technician to service your phone system, instead of the poor sap that got stuck behind the headset listening to people’s problems and trying to troubleshoot your issue over the phone before telling you they can’t have a truck on-site to fix the issue until the next day 2 PM. Meanwhile, you have no business phones. Problem? I think so.
How VoIP Works
This process is completely different from a normal phone call, which establishes a connection between two parties, and the communication travels across that connection. VoIP instead breaks each person's voice stream into packets, compresses them, and sends them over the Internet to their destination. The VoIP service then uncompresses them, puts them back into order, and reconverts them into voice all in time for the other person to hear it correctly and hold a normal conversation.
The important thing to note here is, the speed of your connection affects the quality of your calls, so you need to make sure that you have enough bandwidth to handle the VoIP call. Most IT firms that are familiar with this will be able to tell you how much bandwidth you'll need to maximize call quality and while still running your business processes as well. After all, we believe business communication should run the way your business runs.
If you have more questions on NAT and SIP, check out this article here by our friends at N2Net.
Every business is different, so you have to find what is right for your business, but I’m pretty sure any business owner wouldn’t mind cutting their phone bill in half. If you have questions or want to check out what these phones look like or how they work, join us for an interactive discussion and lunch and learn in Hermitage, Pennsylvania.
Voice over IP Lunch & Learn, Thursday, February 16, 2017
Avalon Golf & Country Club, 1030 Forker Blvd. Hermitage, PA 16148
Cost: FREE, Includes lunch & and an interactive discussion with industry expert Melissa Rowe (Allworx)
Or call Megan (330) 898-2100 x113
Or RSVP online here
By: Megan Augustine, Marketing Manager