VoIP, which roughly stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, has been one of the latest and lowest priced methods to provide your business with an effective and efficient phone line. A typical PBX telephone system is also included in VoIP service, along with some other advanced call-management features for the telephone itself. Some VoIP providers include voicemail and call forwarding with their service as well. But you can also buy VoIP systems separately. You need to decide what features are most important to your business and what features you’re willing to spend for it.
In addition to all the features offered on a traditional telephone system, many VoIP services offer additional features like SIP Trunking, IP Centrex, IP phones, and more. Most VoIP providers offer SIP trunks for both voice and data traffic to and from the Internet, and IP phones that allow you to make and receive calls using your Internet phone number. The benefits of these extras vary greatly from provider to provider.
SIP Trunking is probably the most popular feature offered by most VoIP providers.
SIP is simply a method to exchange information between different networks. For example, if you dial an 800 number in the United States and want to call Australia, you would first use a normal telephone network to make that call. When you get to the “to” number, you would then go onto a SIP trunk, complete with an Internet connection that is equivalent or identical to the Internet connection you’re using today. The “from” number is sent over the Internet to your computer, where it is converted into an IP address and given a unique series of numbers that uniquely identifies your computer. This “trunk” contains the original destination as well as all the information required by the “to” caller.
Many businesses have discovered that they can save a great deal of money by using their existing network infrastructure for much of their telecommunication needs instead of renting a new phone line or using a hosted VoIP solution. One of the key benefits to using a business VoIP service is that your internal network remains intact and doesn’t need to be replaced. Businesses can enjoy a low monthly fee and enjoy a high degree of control over how their phone lines and servers are used. In addition, there are usually no long-term contracts involved which can be a problem for companies that need to switch carriers on a regular or recurring basis.
Another advantage to business phone systems that many businesses don’t consider is the fact that many VoIP-only plans include voicemail. You will never be required to hire an extra employee to handle voicemail for you. Instead, you can set up an alert for all messages in your Inbox and pull them up at any time. A major advantage of this is that it makes it easy for your customers to reach you if they have a question. This is a major differentiator between VoIP-only services and those that offer a hosted VoIP solution.
One final advantage that some people don’t think about when they compare traditional phone lines with VoIP services is the fact that they can be shared by multiple users. With a traditional phone line, that’s not possible. With a VoIP provider, a single line can be shared by one person with another user, with each being able to hear calls made to that line. This can have a significant impact on the amount of money that’s saved by using your existing network infrastructure to provide your VoIP services. Many businesses find that they save five percent or more by using this method as opposed to a dedicated server solution.
There are a number of additional advantages to choosing a hosted solution when it comes to business communications. Some of these include instant conferencing, call recording, transcription services, the ability to integrate with other applications and web-based remote access. Many businesses also choose a VoIP phone service provider because it offers advanced features that they weren’t able to utilize with their regular phone service. For example, many businesses now use web-based tools such as CRM software to manage their contacts, information, and sales. If you were unable to take advantage of advanced features with your business phone systems, then switching over to a hosted solution can give you everything you need.
There are a number of factors that will determine which business VoIP phone service provider you select.
Although price can be one of the most important ones, there are several other things that you’ll need to consider as well. The size of your business and its specific needs are among the most important ones.
- Another important factor will be the type of technology that you’re looking for.
- Most businesses are choosing hosted solutions, but there are also other options such as dedicated IP phone systems.
- Regardless of which business VoIP phone service provider you decide on, keep the following tips in mind.