VoIP Business Phone System

The term IP telephony systems can sound like a very mysterious underground group of people who provide some sort of ESP service for those willing to pay for it. But in reality, these are the companies that provide the means by which a person can use his/her computer as a telephone and have a number of extra telephone services that the POTS (plain old telephone system) can't provide or must charge extra for. IP telephony is another phrase for VoIP or voice over Internet protocol, and this new technology is quickly changing the way the world communicates. A Voip business phone system can provide businesses of all sizes with the ability to drastically cut telecommunications costs and give those in the field more creative ways to get and send information in a quick and cost effective manner. For both residential and business customers, the POTS will be going the way of the dinosaur in the years to come.

VoIP or IP telephony systems providers are now either the traditional phone companies or new telecommunications companies offering radically different means of talking and doing business. All of these companies have many of the same costs and expenses, so the prices for monthly service can be very close in many instances. The question then becomes who has the best customer help with technical questions, and who has the reputation of being the most reliable when emergencies arise and service must be restored or repaired as quickly as possible. At the moment, there may be a few drawbacks to web telephone use, but the advantages certainly outweigh any negatives. For the consumer and businesses, there can be two types of choices in a residential and VoIP business phones system.

Usually the less expensive service, offered by the phone company is DSL service. This acronym stands for Digital Subscriber Line and is a sweeping new technology that enables the POTS of America and around the world to offer high speed voice over Internet protocol service on the standard two copper wire phone lines attached to most homes and businesses. From a theoretical idea written in a scientific paper in 1948, came the idea of DSL. The lower cost for using a VoIP business phone system using DSL technology is based on the fact that using existing phone lines as opposed to running fiber optic cable for broadband telecommunications uses make DSL a real bargain. IP telephony systems providers can use many charts to show perspective customers that DSL speed can almost match, or in some cases rival the speeds of broadband cable providers. There are variables within DSL that make speeds somewhat different from user to user that include how far a customer is from the central office of the telephone company.

For DSL use, IP telephony systems providers will install a modem between the analog telephone and the telephone wire going out of the house. Once installed, this installation can provide multimedia entertainment also for an extra fee. The exciting extras that voice over Internet protocol services can offer are things like voicemail, caller ID with name, three way calling, call waiting and speed dialing and are many times services that must be added to a basic landline bill each month, but of course, this depends on each provider's plan. A VoIP business phone system can also have these same kinds of options available for their staffs. Here are some things you might want to know about IP telephony or VoIP for business.

Over half of business calls in the world are expected to be IP based in the next few years. With one phone network in IP configuration, a company can be completely linked, not matter how far apart the various offices are located. It also means that a company doesn't have to pay another long distance call anywhere in the world. A VoIP business phones system is ideal for companies with branches everywhere. An employee in New York can just dial a simple extension number and an employee can pick up the call at her desk in San Francisco. However, desk to desk at the New York site or the California site is not cost effective, and the traditional phone might still be the way to go. "For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh upon the heart..." (I Samuel 16:7b)

Not every computer network can handle the pressure of data transfer plus the press of voice conversations. While data can arrive out of place, the computer can put the data back together properly, but cannot do the same with voice conversations. So voice quality can be suspect on a network not equipped properly. Sometime a Quality of Service application can help boost the performance. This program can push data aside in favor of a voice call, thereby improving quality. In addition, IP telephony systems can't be ignored like the phone network of the past. Unless a tree limb fell on a pole outside, a traditional phone network in an office could have gone years without maintenance. Software must be updated regularly and when the computer crashes, it's all over until an IT expert arrives and brings the system back on line. That may be a good reason not to go completely IP.

Finally, when the power goes out, so does a VoIP business phone system. The server and PBX system would have to be on a generator to keep the place running without a real glitch. Sometimes the POTS (phone tech talk for plain old phone system) is the best thing to have around. Perhaps that is why its service remains fairly expensive. It's nice to know that God is always nearby too and is always ready to talk to His children!

Small Business IP Telephony

Managed IP telephony is the process by which a company begins to move from the traditional landline phone to the swiftly descending VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) and looks to a service provider to manage the transition. Small business IP telephony has become the next tidal wave in the technological evolution and poses some very difficult hurdles for many small to middle businesses to overcome. The first giant hurdle is the massive cost to move from traditional landline phones to the VoIP telecommunications configuration. Companies are gasping for working capital and yet are feeling the pressure to move quickly into Internet protocol telephone service. Why the rush? Their competitors are savings thousands and maybe tens of thousands of dollars a year on phone bills and that is money that can be used for advertising, marketing or hiring of key staff persons to take them to the next level. So the small and middle businesses are caught in the Venus flytrap of a Catch 22.

Statistics tell us that the companies with between one and one hundred phones will be the most likely to move quickly on the new technology. Managed Internet protocol telephony will be the only way to do so for the majority of those companies. These companies will be willing to pay for someone else to handle the delivery, the setup and installation of a few stations at a time. These companies do not have the manpower nor the time away from the notorious gristmill that has become the survival mode of the twenty first century for most businesses both large and small. Small business IP telephony will be managed financially by leasing the equipment and not buying it, at least for the foreseeable future according to telecommunications experts. Quality of service will become the responsibility of the IP managers and not the company leasing the equipment. The bottom is that in the vast majority of cases, managed IP telephony will devise or create ways to make it easier and easier for holdout companies to move to this technology with creative and even innovative ways of integrating both the old and the new.

If a company has a strong IT team, a self determined approach to transition can be anticipated. This means that the IT team's focus could be taken away from standard service issues to deal with the bugs always present in a new technology. This is a not so managed approach. Another approach would be to place an IP PBX at the company site and the company providing the managed IP telephony could service the PBX unit over the Internet. There could be a number of issues that would be able to be addressed online. A third way to small business IP telephony that is managed by an outside provider would be to place rented or leased equipment at the company site. "By this we know that love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments." (1 John 5:2)

Fourthly, a managed approach to small business IP telephony would be for a customer to rent some space from another client's server to manage their own telecommunication needs. They would pay on an as used basis, enabling them to not spend so much on renting a server entirely for their own use. Managed IP telephony providers would be able to provide assurances that data would not be shared with the other partner in the sharing process and would have to give guarantees to the assurance. Making a symphony happen out of a network of both VoIP and analog system phones can be a daunting task, but one that many managed IP telephony providers relish. So are there any downsides to the VoIP configuration for telecommunications?

Those wanting to pursue small business IP telephony need to remember that unless there is power backup for the IP PBX and all the network stations, there is no phone system if the power goes down. The good old analog telephone of the past could still operate, but the shiny new IP phones will not work when a tornado, lightning, high winds, floods or any other natural disaster hits. Generators large enough to handle the power to one hundred computers and the PBX will have to be fairly substantial and even more so if any of the other lighting or essential services also have to be brought on line by emergency power. These generators or battery backups will be pretty expensive and it may be reasonable to keep one or two traditional landlines available for just those sorts of issues. Then there is the nagging issue of voice quality.

More and more VoIP providers are talking about having the same voice quality as the traditional phone company can offer, and that may be true, but there are still some doubts from time to time. There may be some echoes, screeches, and other strange noises from time to times with some VoIP providers. There may be some dropped calls once in a while, just as there are with cell phones calls. And there is the big issue that might prove to be a life and death issue: no traditional 911 service with IP telephony service. In most cases, emergency calls from VoIP providers are routed to a different call center than your local dispatch center and there may not be a name and address display at that center. Result? Well, that's up to the reader to decide.





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