Running Over the VoIP Basics for Small Businesses
Sometimes it’s good to refresh ourselves on the basics. Okay, small businesses, when somebody sits down and wants to talk to you about small business VoIP, what are the basics here?
Avad Technologies does a good job reviewing the fundamentals in a blog post, explaining for starters that small business VoIP uses an organization’s existing Broadband Connection to transmit voice the same way that traditional telephone networks transmits voice.
In that case, “the call is routed using a small business VoIP provider network just like traditional telephone calls are routed.” The advantage is that VoIP is often less expensive than traditional telephone systems, especially for long distance calls.
And it’s not like you have to use a lot of weird hardware, or have to juggle different numbers depending on where you are. A VoIP handset has the same telephone number regardless of location, Avad officials say, “so users can plug the phone into any high speed Internet connection and continue to make or receive phone calls as if they were sitting in their office.”
Frankly this is one of the biggest advantages of VoIP that go-anywhere feature. That and the fact that installation is so simple most small business VoIP phone installation doesn’t even need an on-site visit from the provider. That’s simple.
A VoIP system can be used with traditional telephones as well -- in fact, the operation of the phone system “is the same as a traditional system,” Avad officials say, since “customers, vendors and other incoming callers dial the number just like they did before. They won’t even realize the telephone system is changed.”
As TMC’s (News - Alert) Calvin Azuri wrote recently, “VoIP Telephones Systems provide a cost-effective alternative to traditionally employed office phone systems. To enhance their operations, small businesses across the U.S. are increasingly deploying the Small Business VoIP Telephone System which uses the current broadband connection within the organization to transmit voice.”
There are some issues to be aware of. If you lose your Internet service you lose your phones as well, so if your Internet service isn’t the most reliable in the world, well, you might want to stick with your conventional phones. And there is a lag sometimes in conversations that sounds weird. You don’t notice it when you’re accessing Web sites, but it can be obnoxious when it happens to a voice conversation.
But if you have dependable Internet and you don’t mind the odd hinky conversation, well, VoIP might be the thing for you. It’s certainly cheaper, and it’ll probably be the standard service at some point in the not-too-distant future.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Stefanie Mosca