Still confused about Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)? Still running an old fashioned analogue phone system? Still unsure about whether to make the switch to VoIP and how to go about it? This guide is worth reading.
The ‘VoIP eBook’ is available as a free download from US-based Business Communications Service. It explains what VoIP is, why you should use it and some of the things to look out for when you do.
The most important thing to understand about VoIP is that your conversation is converted into digital data packets that are not much different from those that deliver your web pages, or those that send and receive your emails. And they go over the Internet in just the same way.
So immediately VoIP overcomes one of the big limitations of the traditional phone system. If you want to receive a call you have to be on the phone associated with the number called (unless of course you have put in call diversion). With VoIP you can receive calls to your phone number anywhere that you have an Internet connection. And you can receive that call on a normal phone, a computer, a tablet or a mobile phone.
According to the VoIP eBook, “because VoIP can share your broadband connection it can save you money: you don’t need dedicated phone lines. VoIP can be used anywhere in the world, as opposed to being confined to a certain area or country. Moreover, VoIP is continually expanding. Expectations indicate that by 2015, VoIP will expand via mobile to 83 million lines.”
Also, it says: “VoIP allows for the use of one phone number over multiple devices, providing added flexibility which many users find quite handy.”
But as with any major change, switching to VoIP requires careful planning: planning that starts with the identification of requirements. The VoIP eBook advises: “evaluate what aspects about your current system need to be addressed. Is the system outdated? Has it become too expensive to maintain? Are customers having trouble reaching the right person? Also, what features do you need? Does each employee need an extension and voice mail? How many employees do you anticipate having down the road? Create a list of your specific needs and system requirements by asking yourself these questions.”
And when you’ve sorted out exactly what you want from VoIP there are a few things you need to do make sure it works properly on your network. VoIP traffic does not require a great deal of bandwidth but it is very sensitive to network performance.
The digitised voice is not carried through the network as a continuous stream of data, it is broken up into ‘packets’ and each packet is carried through the network separately. It’s quite possible for packets to take different routes and arrive in a different order from the order in which they were sent. The technology sorts all this out so normally you are not aware that this is happening, but if the process is too slow, you’ll certainly notice the impact on voice quality.
But don’t worry, as the VoIP eBook says: “With a good internet connection and quality equipment, VoIP voice quality remains as good as that of a landline and sometimes can be even better.”
Equipment quality is not something you have to worry about if you take a VoIP service from M5 Networks. The company is a Premier Partner of Cisco - the world’s largest manufacturer of routers, switches and IP phones. M5 will consult with your organisation to select the most appropriate phones, routers and switches for your organisation and they will manage these for you.
Conclusion? As the VoIP eBooks says: “With VoIP now offering the best voice quality and reliability, the amount of money that can be saved, and the ability to make conference calls, VoIP is now the best option for almost any business.” You can download the VoIP eBook here.
M5 Networks Australia are experts in business VoIP and softphone technology with over 10 years experience providing flexible office phones as an alternative to the traditional PABX. The only business phone company will need from the most experienced VoIP Business Phone providers. Contact the experts today.