VoIP can suddenly become very technical. Although you may never have heard of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) there is an excellent chance you are or have already used it within the consumer world. If you have ever used Skype, Google Hangouts or Facetime, then you will undoubtedly have been using VoIP.
VoIP uses internet connectivity instead of the old fashioned telephone line. Using any common Broadband service with enough bandwidth can reduce costs immediately and remove the tether of a traditional office-based telephony system.
Who uses VOIP?
VoIP is used in many large enterprise businesses as it offers them a large cost saving when they have many international offices. Calls between offices are carried via the internet so have no additional cost to the one already incurred to allow each business location access to the Internet.
Many of the larger Enterprises are likely to have some form of hybrid system in place, using traditional lines locally and VoIP to enable the office to office calls for free.
Why should it be considered?
VoIP is now available to all businesses and should be considered for any Small Medium Business (SMB) when looking at implementing or replacing a phone system.
VoIP can provide many features for a growing business that traditional systems which use telephone lines (such as ISDN and physical Phone Branch Exchange (PBX) hardware on-premise) cannot easily deliver.
- Reduced cost
- Ease of Management
- Enhanced Usability
- Reduced Costs
VoIP can be purchase using physical hardware in a hybrid mix on a site or can use cloud-based systems, like Ring Central, which MirrorSphere use. A Cloud-based VoIP solution helps financially as there is no capital outlay, and you can scale up and down as required.
You don’t even need to purchase the traditional physical phones, you could issue soft-phones (software programmes which allow the user to make calls on a range of devices) to all staff or perhaps purchase a single physical phone for the reception desk.
Another immediate cost reduction can be the removal of additional phone lines. You only need the one line that is providing your internet. None if you are not using broadband, but a leased line.
VoIP can allow for flexible working, with employees being able to use their mobile phone or an app on a laptop to make and receive internal calls as though they were still in the office. Accessing cloud-based VoIP offerings can save businesses money on high mobile phone charges while allowing employees to hot-desk with full flexibility and ease. Soft-phones also help those who operate a hot desk environment within their business.
Ease of management
Cloud VoIP programmes can offer easy management in terms of reporting, billing, and configuration. You can implement an auto-receptionist to managing end users devices, be that physical phones or soft-phones. With physical phones, a phone is assigned an extension number, and that phone can be moved from desk to desk, just by disconnecting it from the network point and reconnecting it.
Most VoIP enabled systems, either on-premise or cloud-based, have an interface to allow easy assignment of phones and extension to users. Always check the interface before signing up to a particular provider as some systems are far easier to use and have had lots of development to ensure that the management interface is intuitive compared to other providers.
The difference between the Cloud Interface of Ring Central and the On-premise system is striking. With an eight-week update cycle on Ring Central, to the totally manual update, if one is available, for the on-premise shows how fast system can change.
Reporting can be very detailed and can show calls as they are happening and also provides a daily summary of inbound and outbound traffic. I will do another blog on that in the future. Restrictions can also be imposed directly from the cloud interface. like premium numbers can be banned or all or some international numbers.
This will also help ensure that employees do not need to use mobile phones (either personal or business) and allow all outgoing calls to be made from the business number or the employee’s direct dial number. Cloud providers also offer additional features, like the ability to have a local phone number assigned and displayed during calls.
Do not forget that when having hardware onsite, new features or updates can be a costly exercise, whereas Cloud offerings provide improvements every 8 weeks or so.
A new law introduced on the 16th May 2016, states that any unsolicited calls must display a number. If your business is a marketing or sales driven organization, then having a central number is now becoming essential.
If you are using a mobile phone, either private or provided by the company, that phone number is exposed. Additionally, a recipient may be hesitant about taking a call from an unrecognized mobile number.
A phone system such as Ring Central allows you to have a non-geographical number or a local number. From our experience, when dealing with local businesses, it is more likely that the call is answered if it comes from a number local to the customer.
Having a single number displayed when calling provides a single contactable number for your customers to use and can stop customers calling just one particular person for help on a particular topic, which can lead to customer frustration if that person is unavailable.
A single published phone number can provide a very professional appearance to your existing and future customers and can provide an auto-receptionist to direct calls to the correct department.
- Skype – works with both smartphone and PC. It is free for PC to PC phone calls or Video calls as well as chat. but, it cost money to make a local call. For this purpose, you have to buy credit.
- Viber – An apps for using free VoIP with smartphone, it also has PC software.
- iTel Mobile Dialer – A SIP Softphone, which allows users to make long-distance VoIP calls from mobile phones.
- iTel IM Dialer – Allows its users to make audio & video call, share files & location, mobile top up and many more.
- iTel Switch – A single Softswitch platform for global Retail, Wholesale, Calling card & Call shop business.
- SyncSwitch – An asterisk based carrier grade Softswitch with the functionality of switching and billing.
- Google Hangout
- VoIP dialer software system – A VoIP dialer software is call processing system designed to maintain a high level of utilization. It helps you to save precious time and close more leads.
- MoSIP Mobile Dialer – MoSIP is a SIP-based application that allows VoIP calls over the internet to any landline or mobile worldwide.
- Vox Switch – Vox Switch is a carrier-grade Softswitch which enables a service provider to deliver a wide variety of VoIP solutions.
- Vox Bridge – A highly scalable VoIP tunneling software that delivers data encryption and compression to enhance the quality of VoIP communication.
VOIP PBX and Servers
- Elastix: Elastix is a leading IP PBX Distribution based on Asterisk and Freepbx. With a complete GUI interface providing features such as Conferences, Webinar Functionality, huge range of PBX functionality, Web Based Company/External Directory with click to dial, Presence/IM, Endpoint Configurator, Faxing both in and out, Extensive reporting tools, SugarCRM and Vtiger built in, Email Server built in. Installation of the ISO takes no more than 15 minutes.
- FreePBX: GUI Frontend and PBX configuration for Asterisk. Supports modules for adding various functionality, but primarly designed as an SMB PBX system
- FreeSwitch: Open source cross platform (*nix, Windows) multiprotocol (SIP, IAX, WOOMERA/H.323) softswitch.
- PBX in a Flash: Asterisk distribution (free ISO download) that gets its name from the short time it takes from installation to operation. Consists of Asterisk PBX and the Web GUIs FreePBX for managing Asterisk and Webmin for managing your Linux server. Very active support forum.
- VoIP PBX Software: ipbx eXpress software is designed for small to medium sized environments, offering all the key advantages of Taridium’s ipbx software. ipbx eXpress configurations are fully compatible with Taridium’s ipbx enterprise solution allowing for a seamless upgrade path. Taridium also offers Hosted PBX Software for Service Providers.
- USB2PBX: Asterisk and FreePBX bundled together on a single USB key. Boot your server from the USB key and it will transform in a powerful PBX system.
You can find a complete list here: http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/VOIP+PBX+and+Servers
Here at Connecticut IT Solutions, we support all aspect of VoIP and we can recommend the best solution for you based on the size of your business and your budget. We worked with many businesses (Private and public) and we’re confident that we can deliver the best solution no matter how complex your situation. Visit our VoIP and page for more and give us a call today at 860-952-9587 for a free consultation.