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Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the transmission of phone calls over the Internet, instead of using traditional telephone landlines.
VoIP (typically pronounced “voyp”) is also called “IP Telephony” since it channels voice calls and voice data through IP networks, LANs (Local Area Networks) and the Internet.
On-premise VoIP phone systems are what you might picture when you think of a traditional business phone system. They include on-site hardware and IP phones, as well as any other necessary equipment to connect to your VoIP network.
IP PBXs can save businesses money, time, and IT resources, and they also have the added benefits of increasing flexibility, scalability, and ease-of-use. Those are the benefits of all IP PBXs regardless of deployment type.
On-premise solutions are great for businesses that expect their communication needs to remain relatively stable in the near future and are ready to make an upfront investment that will save money and improve business communication.
The main advantages of on-premise VoIP phone systems are stability, quality, and capability. Because you’re operating off dedicated equipment that is on-site, on-premise VoIP solutions tend to be capable of offering more reliable service and better quality, even at higher volumes.
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This is perhaps the most appealing benefit for many small businesses looking to optimize their budgets. VoIP phone systems tend to be much less expensive than traditional systems for both local and long distance calling. And if you go with a cloud-based system, you’ll save even more money on hardware and setup costs as well as upfront capital expenditures as cloud VoIP phone systems are paid on a monthly basis.
Another extremely appealing benefit of cloud-based VoIP phone systems to small businesses and organizations is the fact that they can be very flexible and have the ability to expand or contract with your organization. If your business is growing rapidly (or has the potential to grow rapidly), or if your business is seasonal in nature, it wouldn’t make sense for you to purchase a certain number of phone lines and telephones just to have to turn around and add to or remove those resources 3 months down the road. With traditional business phone systems, growing or shrinking resources can get expensive. But not with cloud-based VoIP phone systems.
Because VoIP uses your internet connection instead of physical phone lines, resources can often be added or reduced simply and easily, making transition periods a breeze for your business.
VoIP phone systems operate over the Internet, which means they are capable of being accessed anywhere there is an internet connection. Many VoIP providers offer what’s called “softphone” capabilities, which is essentially a mobile app that allows you to use your business phone from your mobile device – that way you can make and receive calls from anywhere you’d like and it’s as if you’re still sitting at your desk!
VoIP phone systems have the capability of using auto attendants to answer calls and route them to the appropriate location. This saves your business time, money, and frustration, as you’ll no longer be forced to pay someone to manage the often tedious task of fielding and routing initial phone calls. You’ll also get the added bonus of appearing more professional to callers.
With VoIP phone systems, being away from your phone doesn’t have to limit your ability to stay connected to prospects, customers, and team members. With features like “Find Me Follow Me,” you can have your calls routed to several different locations in order to “find you.”
For example, you might want your desk phone to ring first when someone calls your extension, then if you don’t answer there, you might want the call to be routed on the second or third ring to your mobile or home phone for a couple of rings before finally going to your secretary’s desk phone. This is a great way to ensure each caller is able to reach a human being and avoid the often dreaded voicemail where possible.
Speaking of voicemail, if and when your callers are sent to your voicemail, VoIP phone systems have the capability of transcribing that voicemail and being sent to you in the form of an email. That way you can immediately see who called and what they said in their voicemail without having to physically go to your office phone or call into a voicemail system.
What business doesn’t want to know more about their callers and the actions they’ve taken before and after calls with their business? With VoIP phone systems, you can integrate your calls with your business’s customer relationship management software (CRM), allowing you to get better insights into who is calling and what actions they’re taking before and after engaging with your business via telephone.
How does VoIP work?
On its most basic level, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the process of turning analog audio signal into digital “packets” that can then be delivered over the Internet. Simply put, VoIP enables you to make a phone call in much the same way as you would send an email.
Like most other internet technologies, VoIP has the distinct advantage of being capable of use across multiple internet-connected devices. This means VoIP phone services can be accessed from your computer, on your mobile device, or from a desk phone.
On a more technical level, VoIP is a way to make calls across your Local Area Network (LAN) and or Wide Area Network (WAN). The technology behind VoIP converts your analog voice into digital packets which are then sent across a network using the Internet Protocol (IP) to their end destination.
A VoIP phone system uses your Local Area Network (LAN) as the backbone of your system. When you connect your VoIP phones and your VoIP service provider to the VoIP PBX, you’ll probably use HD IP phones to communicate. A VoIP phone system uses IP technology to handle your call control and manage your connections to the Wide Area Network. Even though a VoIP phone system uses VoIP and is connected to your LAN, most systems can connect directly to the Publicly Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). This gives you the ability to use both VoIP and the PSTN for your calling.
- Connect Internal VOIP system to your service provider using PSTN trunk FXO ports,and E1.
- IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
- call recordings server; recordings accessible via web user interface
- Call Detail Records (CDR) for tracking phone usage by line, date, etc.
- Multi-language auto-attendant and call queue to efficiently handle incoming calls
- Security protection using SRTP, TLS and HTTPS encyrptio
- Supports any SIP video endpoint that uses the H.264, H.263 or H.263+ codecs