According to Business New Daily, over one-third of all businesses have switched to using a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone system. Most them are small, with under 50 employees.
What is VoIP?
It’s a technology that uses digital networking over the Internet to send your calls instead of using the traditional public switched telephone network. It’s been around close to 20 years, and has matured since its beginnings, when many users complained about sound quality. Now high-definition codes make VoIP sound better than landline telephones.
VoIP is in the Cloud Now With Hosted PBX
When VoIP first entered the scene companies spent a lot of money building the network; putting in the original VoIP system, purchased expensive equipment and added to their IT staff to take care of it all. Times have changed and with the latest advancements in cloud technology, all that companies need are the telephones and a broadband connection.
With a hosted PBX (Private Branch Exchange), the VoIP provider operates and maintains your system in the cloud. It can work with your current landline phone system or can be entirely on hosted VoIP. Hosted VoIP provides fluidity and flexibility for remote access from home, another office, or on the road. Your VoIP provider has all the telephone bells and whistles of a big company’s system but without the expense of maintaining the updates, upgrades, and system maintenance that comes with an on-premises PBX system.
Major benefits include:
VoIP Systems are Flexible
VoIP phone systems are smart. Using “Find Me/Follow Me” features, they send you calls no matter where you are, from one telephone number. Callers don’t have to guess whether you’re in your office, at home or out with your cell phone. They call one number. The system can ring all numbers simultaneously or in the order you specify. Speaking to someone else? You can send missed calls to voice mail or to another extension. When you call out, whether you’re using your cell phone, business line or a home phone, only your business number shows up on Caller ID.
This keeps your business phone numbers separate from your personal lines. Even when you send text messages, the only number the customer or client sees is your business line.
Maybe you have an established local number or vanity number, but need a toll-free number for long distance customers. VoIP offers a variety of telephone numbers for different purposes, including virtual extensions and virtual faxing. You can get local numbers even for cities where you do not have an office. If you’d like customers to think you have offices in New York City or Washington D.C., you can get local telephone numbers for those cities.
A Virtual Receptionist
With this service, your business is always in business even after all employees have gone home for the evening. The receptionist greets callers with recordings customized to them. It directs them to specific departments and individuals. However, the automatic call distribution option automatically sends calls to the correct person or extension.
You can listen to your messages or read them as texts.
SIP Trunking Connects Your PBX to the Internet
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is the technology that connects a PBX to the Internet, so the Internet replaces the traditional telephone trunk line.
Trunking is a line or link that can handle many signals simultaneously. It connects switching centers or nodes in the system.
The advantage of SIP is allowing your business to connect with landlines and mobile phones around the world. SIP lines can carry many signals at one time, including multimedia. Therefore, voice, data and videos can go over the same line. This eliminates the need to buy separate equipment for voice, email, fax and videos.
To take advantage of SIP trunking, your company must have a PBX that connects to all users inside your business, an Internet telephony service provider and gateway to connect them.
SIP Trunking with Hosted PBX VoIP in the Cloud
These services work together and give businesses far more features and capabilities than their current landline telephone networks. And they do it without the large capital investment required by older types of telephone systems. And they allow you and your employees to call and be called from and to anywhere, as you control. And to speak on the phone, send and receive videos, text, write and read emails and browse the World Wide Web.
Callers will experience the automated receptionist, menu options, messaging and call waiting options they associate with larger businesses.
The goal, though your enterprise may not need all these services, is for a VoIP to combine all possible types of communications that can go over an Internet Protocol network, including:
- SMS texting
- Audio, web and video conferencing
- Instant messaging
- Desktop sharing
- Mobile communications
It also connects different types of devices, so you can listen to a voice message or read it as text on a cell phone.
What’s Best for Your Business?
You need to analyze your business needs, and weigh the cost versus the benefits.
Tie National, LLC (TIE) helps companies sort through the many technology options available to them. Our managed services team covers 5 categories: Data Networking and Security, Help Desk Services, Auditing and Expense Management, Audio/Visual and Voice Equipment. Contact us today for help with making sense of all your may VoIP choices.