VoIP telephone systems

By Robin Wilding
Updated: March 07, 2011

VoIP telephone systems are becoming popular and for good reason. This relatively new technology is not only cheaper, but also comes with a myriad of options not available on traditional phone systems.

How it Works

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems are quickly replacing traditional analog-based phone lines amongst businesses small and large. While traditional and VoIP phone systems provide the same call quality, the processes of routing the calls is quite unique. A traditional analog phone runs signals over a hard wire, which requires significant bandwidth but establishes a high-quality permanent connection. VoIP phone systems are able to leverage an existing Internet connection into temporary phone lines—turning your Internet service provider into your new phone company. A VoIP telephone system can typically produce 8 times the quantity of calls over the same line without reducing quality.

A VoIP phone system consists of telephones, a strong Internet connection (DSL or better), hubs or switches, and possibly a PBX. The design of VoIP networks varies depending on the specific setup and your requirements. Many companies are opting to go with a hosted solution, which limits the hardware you need to invest in and takes over the installation and maintenance aspects.

When considering implementing a VoIP telephone system you need to consider the type of Internet bandwidth you will need (determined by your call volume, compression rates, and quantity of lines and extensions), whether you want a hosted or non-hosted solution, and whether you want to use SIP trunking. These can be discussed with your Internet service provider or VoIP host.

Features

VoIP telephone systems are feature-rich but specific functionalities may differ from system to system. VoIP phone system functionalities include:

  • Analytics, tracking and monitoring tools
  • Application integration
  • Auto Attendant
  • Caller ID, Call Transfers, Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, Three-way calling
  • Call Queues
  • Call Park, Call Pick-up
  • Call Monitoring and Call Recording
  • Call Routing
  • Call reporting
  • Conference Calling
  • Direct Inward Dialing (DID)
  • Remote or Virtual Extensions
  • Remote web-based management consoles
  • Voicemail
  • Voicemail to email


Benefits


Many people think that switching to VoIP is just about saving on long distance charges, but it offers a wide variety of benefits to companies:


  • Can be integrated into an existing CRM solution, increasing productivity and ROI.
  • Cost savings through toll-free calling, lowered maintenance costs, less downtime, no line rental fees, and no need for expensive service calls.
  • Increased communication and collaboration between office locations.
  • Valuable communications intelligence through advanced functionalities.
  • Remote deployments to any location with centralized management controls and web-based console.
  • Scalability, as the virtual system can be grown or shrunk down as needed.
  • Communications intelligence through advanced call functionalities.
  • Less hardware needed than traditional analog lines.
  • Hot-swappable portable phones.
  • Better reporting and analytics tools than analog phones.

Conclusion

VoIP telephone systems are becoming the way of the future as their cost savings shows valuable ROI and the added features offers valuable business intelligence. As there is no sacrificing of call quality and incredible scalability and flexibility, many companies are opting for VoIP technologies.

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