Reviewing VoIP Phone Systems

By Kristine Hegglin
Updated: April 15, 2011

There are several vendors on the market who offer VoIP (voice over internet protocol) phone systems. VoIP phone system solutions are made for all sized businesses. Some vendors offer small business solutions while other vendors cater to large businesses. All businesses can benefit from a VoIP phone system solution because telephone calls are made over a LAN (local area network) or WAN (wide area network). Making calls over a LAN or WAN costs businesses less than using a plain old telephone service. The size of a business and the type of VoIP phone system solution needed will help to narrow the long list of vendors on the market today.

Types of VoIP Solutions

There are many different types of VoIP phone system solutions. Some solutions vary by functionality, some by available features, and others vary by the way they are delivered.

Features and Functionality

Each VoIP phone system solution typically offers different functionality. Some features and functionality that are commonly included with a VoIP phone system solution are:

  • Auto Attendant
  • Direct Inward Dialing
  • Caller ID
  • Call Transfers
  • Call Waiting
  • Call Forwarding
  • 3-way Calling
  • Call Park
  • Call Pick-up
  • Call Monitoring and Call Recording
  • Call Queues and Call Routing
  • Voicemail
  • Voicemail to email
  • Conference Calling
  • Remote Extensions
  • Virtual Extensions
  • Analytics and monitoring tools
  • Call Reporting
  • Ability to utilize VoIP and PSTN calling methods
  • Web-based management
  • Application integration

Delivery Method

Besides features and functionality, VoIP phone system solutions differ in the way they are delivered; hosted versus onsite. Hosted VoIP phone system solutions eliminate the need for on-site equipment, which can be expensive. This type of VoIP phone system solution is maintained remotely and generally at a vendor's headquarters of data center. Onsite VoIP phone system solutions require on-site equipment. Some companies prefer to invest in their own VoIP phone system equipment. The type of VoIP phone system solution a business choses depends on their particular needs. In general, small and medium sized businesses typically opt for hosted solutions while larger businesses opt for onsite VoIP phone system solutions.

VoIP Solution Vendor Relationship

When selecting a VoIP phone system solution, select a vendor you can easily form a partnership with. A partnership with a suitable vendor is important to build a successful vendor client relationship. Finding a vendor with good support services is also important should any issues arise with your VoIP phone system solution.

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