How Do VoIP Business Solutions Work?
The premise behind VoIP business solutions is fairly straightforward: Instead of using "circuit-switched" technology, where a dedicated path from caller to receiver is reserved for their entire conversation, VoIP phone systems treat voices as data, turning words into tiny packets of information that are sent over data networks. As they arrive at the receiving end, the data is transferred back into audio.
How to set up a VoIP business solution
To set up a VoIP business solution, you need several components:
- Central device. This device manages calls the way a private branch exchange (PBX) or key system unit (KSU) does in traditional phone systems. This can be a dedicated piece of hardware such as an IP PBX, a regular PBX that has been IP-enabled, or a server running specialized software.
- Phone/data network. In many cases, you may be able to use your existing digital phones and computer network, although you may need to upgrade some of your network hardware. A broadband Internet connection is required, either DSL, satellite, or cable with the exclusion of dial-up.
- VoIP service. While this may seem like a no-brainer, you will have to sign up for service through a VoIP service provider. Most providers will issue the equipment needed to start service, which may be as simple as a basic phone adapter connected to a router or modem for a small business or home office. VoIP service for a larger business with more extensive features required may mandate more complicated equipment, like Polycom expandable conference phones, hands-free headsets, and more.
VoIP business solutions handle internal and external calls slightly differently. Internal calls are sent purely as data on your company network - often, you can get rid of internal phone cabling entirely. Calls to external phone numbers get sent through the network to a gateway, which connects to the public telephone network. All of your calls connect seamlessly to any phone user - there are no compatibility issues to worry about.
What are the advantages of VoIP business phone service?
The single biggest advantage of VoIP business solutions is for companies with multiple locations. With VoIP, any and all offices on a LAN or WAN can get the benefits of having a common office phone system, including extension dialing, seamless call transfers, and all the system features. Plus, if they are on the company network, the phone calls are free - even if your offices are located thousands of miles apart.
Other notable VoIP advantages for business use include:
- Save money on the cost of VoIP service compared to traditional phone service.
- Log in to VoIP phone service with a broadband connection when traveling.
- Flexible adaptation from a conventional phone system using a VoIP telephone adapter or converter.
- Multifunctional call features to include video conferencing.
- Scalable service to add or remove new employees in minutes.
- Up-to-date telephony technologies from industry providers.
- Advanced PBX features and functionalities included in service, such as fax to email, voice to email, hold music, auto attendant, and more.
Businesses that make the switch to VoIP service often appreciate added control over their phone features using an online portal. Many service providers now allow customers to log in to accounts online to update company voicemails, activate call recording, delete or create employee extensions, and organize call groups.
Ready to get VoIP business solutions?
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