Thursday, August 16, 2012

What Does VoIP Mean .... And Other Tips

VoIP just means part of the call uses IP (TCP(UDP)/IP) as a transport, it doesn't mean anything specific.

It could mean you are using SIP (IP delivery of the call) from a carrier to a PBX, and then using traditional digital or analog phones in house (much less expensive if they already exist, and may save money on local loop charges) - it could mean you are using tradition TDM (T1, PRI...) to a PBX and then using (Vo) IP phones in house (much less expensive to pull cable for a new run – and then users can use company phones/soft-phones over public Internet). It could mean you are getting phone service from the cable, or an internet based, company ((Vo)IP to a box which supports an analog phone).

If the call travels over public Internet - the further it travels, the higher the risk and lower the quality. Using IP to connect an office PBX to remote users to save money, and provide flexibility is a good practice – in real life though, it fails now and then. You wouldn’t want the primary connection for an office to be VoIP over public Internet.

VOIP systems have come a long way in their development and implementation. The biggest factor in its performance is having quality of service (QoS) over your connection. Many providers can offer you their connection which provides you with a private connection for all applications including voice, fax and other mission critical applications that are web based.

The flexibility and scalability when you are looking at a hosted PBX is amazing. When having people working from home, in different cities or countries, VoIP is a definite advantage. There is no long distance between these locations no matter where you are. For your situation where you may have trucks all over the country you can connect with them through a VOIP SIP client on their mobile device. This would impact your cell bills in a great way. And you could reach them by dialing a three or four digit extension from the office or another extension.

When you have a high season you can add in more extensions or lines and when you have a low season you can remove them. This really helps in keeping your finances in order.

Something to consider if you have people that like to work from different locations is a soft client. This is an application that resides on a laptop or some tablets that you can place and receive calls. Instead of having a phone on your desk or that you have to carry around, it goes with you. All you need is a headset or a good speakerphone.

Your success with VoIP will largely depend on the equipment you purchase and the state of the network that will be handling calls.

For medium business and larger, you should stick with the bigger equipment vendors in the industry (Avaya, Mitel, and others). In terms of stability, quality, and scalability I've been impressed.

Where things tend to go wrong with VoIP is the network. VoIP requires a certain level of network performance to deliver good call quality. If you have issues on your network in terms of performance, you should do an assessment to see if you can minimize network delay and jitter before implementing VoIP. This goes doubly if you need to route calls over WAN links (between offices, for example). A typical internet connection is usually not desirable for this purpose and you should look into dedicated links with guaranteed performance characteristics. I've seen both sides of the equation here, and a poor network can determine the success or failure of a VoIP deployment.

For help designing just the right VoIP system to meet your specific requirements, including a comparison of available providers, simply request a free quote here ....

Business Voip

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