VOIP refers to the ‘Voice Over IP’ phone system. It is a way to make calls across ‘Local Area Networks’ (LAN) and or ‘Wide Area Networks’ (WAN) instead of using networks of telephone service providers. By adding voice to data networks, one can reduce costs of calls, improve productivity as well as enhance collaboration.
Once one decides to upgrade from a legacy phone system to VOIP, he or she probably needs to think through some of the below considerations:
- How many users do one has? The more users one has on his or her network, the more bandwidth he or she needs.
- What are one’s growth plans? If one’s company is growing quickly, it may be worth to invest more in appropriate networking equipment to ensure that the quality of one’s services does not suffer.
- What kind of internet connection one has? One’s internet connection has a significant role in choosing the type of service provider one requires for his or her phone service.
IP phone systems are usually built on standard PC or embedded hardware which is more cost-effective and powerful than the hardware of traditional phones. At the same time, IP phone systems are scalable, as they are not limited to a certain number of physical phone ports. This means one does not need to replace one’s phone system when one’s company grows.
VOIP phone system is easy to use as one just needs to plug his or her IP phone to the nearest LAN port to make it work. IP phones are able to automatically register with VOIP phone systems. IP phones are always able to keeps their numbers and this feature is not location dependent (i.e. one can plug it in-on his or her desk or even in the office next door).
Migration from analog or ISDN to VOIP phone systems can lead to significant changes in one’s business communications. Benefits that one can glean from being on VOIP phone systems are as follows:
- Portable extensions
- Web based managed and provisioning
- Desktop Soft-phones
- Simplified expansion
- Voice mail to Email
- Cell phone access to office line
- Call forwarding
- Digital Receptionist
Typical features of VOIP phones includes Call hold, mute, DND One-touch speed dial, hotline Call forward, call waiting, call transfer Group listening, emergency call Redial, call return, XML Browser, action URL/URI etc.