Voip Telephone Systems 101
Here at PMC Telecom, we get a lot of people asking questions about VoIP systems. This is unsurprising really, as although the technology was developed in the mid-nineties, its growth since then has been astonishing, meaning it is one of the hottest topics within the industry. We will try and debunk some of the myths regarding costs and the process of transferring from an old system, as well as answer some of the more common questions regarding VoIP systems.
What is a VoIP system?
In layman's terms, a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system makes phone calls through the internet, rather than through a regular landline or a mobile network. It works by digitising analogue voice signals and sending them as data over your broadband line. Calls made this way are much cheaper and have more features than traditional analogue phone systems.
What’s the difference between VoIP and hosted VoIP?
Both provide telecommunications via the internet; the difference being that a hosted VoIP avoids the need to physically have all the IT equipment and data storage in-house as the host will have all this available on their cloud over the internet. This means that the service provider is responsible for the hardware, software, maintenance and integrity of the system, making it the most cost-effective option.
What is an example of a VoIP?
The are many examples of applications, especially via smartphones, that use VoIP. The more popular ones that you would have heard of and probably used are apps such as FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Whatsapp and Skype. These are often described as consumer VoIP and are on the whole designed for personal use.
Business VoIP, as the name suggests, is geared towards businesses of various sizes. Although both use the same fundamental technology, they do differ - mainly due to the extra features and functions offered by business VoIP.
Usually a hosted business VoIP has much more control over calls, managed via an online portal, giving access to functions such as call diversions, call queuing, on hold music, recording, direct inbound dialling (DDI) and so on.
How do I get VoIP phone service?
By speaking to a company that specialises in providing high quality VoIP services. They will set you up with a broadband connection (if you don't already have one), as well as providing advice on the proper equipment you will need such as phones and headsets along with set up and installation. This allows you to concentrate on your business rather than setting up and maintaining your phone system.
Here at PMC Telecom, we offer services such as:
- Automatic cloud call recording.
- Free and unlimited internet calls from your business to anybody else within your organisation.
- A number that isn’t tied to one location
- Fully integrated IOS and Android with the VCHD app
For more information follow this link to our page on hosted VoIP packages here:
Can I use a regular phone with VoIP?
Another plus point about VoIP is the ability to use your regular analogue phone via an analog telephone adaptor (ATA). The adaptor will differ depending on both your phone and VoIP connection, but in most cases an ATA will allow your phone to communicate with your VoIP service. The ATA will simply connect to your analogue phone (usually via an RJ-11 jack) and then to your router or internet connection via an Ethernet cable, using an RJ-45 jack.
Is Skype a VOIP?
Skype was one of the first services that made VoIP so popular. It has allowed people to share instant messages and make voice and video calls for free worldwide.
Although ‘Skype for Business’ sounds similar to other VoIP services on the market it does have its limitations as it tends to be geared towards large organisations that use Microsoft Office. In that respect it is not very flexible or adaptable so it may not suit many types of businesses.
Why do you use VOIP?
The main reason businesses use VoIP is usually down to lower cost. Because a VoIP system is software driven and usually hosted via a cloud, it pretty much guarantees that you will spend less money on your hardware and system maintenance. Calls will also be much cheaper, especially as you won’t have to pay extra for phone calls to other countries. Other call savings can be made depending on the provider – for instance here at PMC Telecom calls from your business to anybody else within your organisation are totally free - no limits.
VoIP systems also have increased functionality compared to traditional phone networks, and are a lot more flexible. You can take and manage calls not just from your desk phone, but from your computer or your mobile. Incoming calls are routed automatically to your VoIP phone, meaning you can take it wherever you like, as long as you can connect it to the internet, and still receive your calls - ideal for staff working from home or various offices nationally or globally.
It also allows several people in your office to make calls at the same time, avoiding the need of having to install multiple phone lines.
Can you text a VOIP number?
The simple answer is yes – as long as your service provider offers it as part of their package. Combine this functionality with calls, fax, voicemail, call recording and call forwarding and you will see how a hosted VoIP system can be a powerful tool indeed.
So should I make the switch from analogue to VoIP?
Some companies are still dubious about moving away from their traditional office phone system, but the fact that an ever-increasing number of businesses are switching over just highlights the numerous benefits available with hosted VoIP.
Hopefully this article has answered many of your questions regarding VoIP, but if you have any further queries then don’t hesitate to contact us here at PMC Telecom by visiting our website – we are happy to help.
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