VoIP is a buzzword that everyone is talking about these days. However, not everyone knows what oil actually is and how it can help to save money and improve business. Most people refer to internet telephony and voice over IP. But corporate voice is something a lot more than that. It is essentially the integration of traditional telephone service with Internet voice protocol technology.
In other words, oil is simply the way you make telephone calls from your computer to the Internet. The VoIP equipment connects via broadband or telephone line to the IP network of your choice. In turn, this IP network acts as a telephone system. What this means is that instead of having to use that traditional telephone system that everyone has in their home or office, you can use the Internet to make telephone calls for no additional cost. It is a much more economical way to communicate than standard phone lines.
However, many people are still unfamiliar with the difference between internet telephony and conventional telephone systems. To put it simply, telephone systems are composed of a series of circuits and wiring that connect a specific phone line to multiple receivers. This allows the call to be placed and received without any human intervention. Internet telephony on the other hand, requires that each phone line is connected to a computer system that actually performs the actual functions of the telephone system. The computers then pass the phone calls and routing information back and forth between the computer and the person who are on the receiving end.
As you can see, there is quite a bit involved in putting an IP telephone system into place. Fortunately, there are several companies of today that provide complete packages that make the entire process very easy to handle. Rather than paying for individual components separately, you can pay one flat fee for everything that you need to get up and running. Most of these companies also offer consulting services for a monthly fee.
One of the first things that you will notice when you start looking into the various packages is that they all offer a wide variety of features. These include such things as call distribution and call forwarding. Call forwarding refers to the process by which you can forward an incoming call to another department or office. This is done using caller ID and is usually done with regards to long-distance calls. Another feature that you may find is something known as VoIP call recording. This feature records your voice so that you can use it later, either for training purposes or just for fun.
It goes without saying that the quality of these services that you receive will be highly dependent upon how well you configure them. Since IP telephony utilizes the Internet as its basic platform, you will have access to web-based tools and applications. These allow you to conduct business nearly like you would conduct it over your public network. Of course, you will need to configure these applications in terms with the appropriate software that is provided by your corporate VoIP service provider. Many times these web based tools are free to download, although some do charge a nominal fee. In either case, they are worth checking out.
Along with the many features that we’ve talked about so far, you will also want to consider the cost of configuring everything. These solutions vary greatly in price, so it is important that you do some comparison shopping to make sure that you are getting the best deal possible. Many companies offer free trials so that you can get a feel for the product before making a financial commitment. During these free trial periods, you can test out the software without any commitment so you know whether or not it is right for your business.
Now is the time to determine whether or not this technology is right for your business. The truth is that it is never too late to get started. Try to incorporate this new software into your business sooner rather than later.