TMCnet Feature
August 02, 2019

How Does a Business Voice over IP (VoIP) System Work?



The Internet has changed the world, including the way people communicate with one another. Email may be free, but it's not a true replacement for a phone call. For any business to function normally they need to have a phone system installed, in the past this would mean an expensive PBX (News - Alert) system. Now, though, things have changed. You've probably heard a lot about VoIP (Voice over IP) before, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about it.



If it's time to renew your business phone contracts, then you will want to look into VoIP as it offers many benefits.

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. In its simplest terms, this means that instead of using normal copper phone lines, the phones are connected directly to the internet. Conversations are then transmitted over the internet which will keep costs to a minimum.

Why should I care about VoIP?

You might think that a phone is a pretty basic device that just works. Just because something isn't broken, it doesn't mean you shouldn't try to make it better. VoIP offers many advantages over standard copper phone lines. The beauty of VoIP is that once it's set up you can forget all about it. The phone can be used in the same way as before, but with many big advantages and features.

Different types of VoIP system

There are a few different types of VoIP system that you might be interested in. These include:

  • Hybrid VoIP System
  • Hosted VoIP System
  • Managed VoIP System

A hybrid system combines the VoIP features with an on-site PBX. Hybrid systems are becoming less common due to high setup costs. The much more popular are hosted VoIP systems.

A hosted VoIP system, which may also be called cloud VoIP operates remotely. All of your phones simply need to connect to the remote server. The main benefit of choosing a hosted system is that you just pay a one-off fee. There's no need to maintain on-premise servers, and it's virtually plug and play.

A Managed VoIP system is the same as a hosted system, but you will pay slightly more each month. This will mean you don't need to make any changes to the phone system. Simply call up and the changes will be done for you.

Advantages

  • Virtually unlimited number of incoming lines
  • Non-geographical phone numbers
  • Cheaper phone calls
  • Unified communication options
  • Very easy to use
  • Fully scalable
  • Hot Desk support
  • Retain current features
  • High-quality sound - much better than copper lines

Unlimited number of phone lines

With a PBX you might have had one or two incoming lines which were shared among all of the phones in your business. As a result, you might find people struggling to make or receive phone calls as all the lines are busy.

With a Hosted VoIP system, you don't have this limitation. Every single phone connects directly to the Internet and so has its very own phone line. This means that whether you have two phones or 100 phones, each will have their very one phone line.

Non-geographical phone numbers

With a regular phone system, you would have given a phone number that you were unlikely, be able to choose. With VoIP services, though there's no reason you have to choose a number from your own country, you can have a virtual number from over 160 countries. Choosing a virtual phone system makes it simple to have any virtual phone number. These systems also allow you to add multiple numbers which are set to all ring the same phones. This will give your business an international image. What's more, with these systems the call quality is much better than standard international calls which can be unreliable.

Cheaper phone calls

As calls are routed over the Internet, the call costs will be very low. Most hosted VoIP systems come with minute bundles anyway, but even if not the costs are very low. Even international calls won't cost a fortune.

Unified communication

One nice feature is called unified communication. This means that there are a variety of apps which can be installed on your computer, and a cell phone. You can use instant messaging, and even answer calls from your cell phone when you're not at your desk.

Fully scalable

With a conventional phone system, adding a phone line is costly and time-consuming. However, VoIP is nothing like this. If you need another user, simply call up your service provider and add on another user. You will receive a new phone which simply needs to be plugged into a network socket.

Hot desk support

If set up correctly, users can move their phone number to anywhere they want. If they move desks, then it's possible to sign in from any other handset.

Easy to use

Hosted VoIP systems are normally set up by your service provider. After this, they are very easy to use. They just work exactly like a regular phone. You will also get some very nice added luxuries including Direct Dial Numbers (DDI).

Retain current features

When you upgrade your phone system to VoIP it doesn't mean you have to get rid of the features you are already used to. You can still have a busy lamp field (BLF), internal call transfers, intercom, and even fax. Fax to Email services will convert a fax to email and send it to your inbox.

VoIP is quickly becoming the regular phone system for businesses and is replacing old fashioned PBX's. With so many benefits and hardly any disadvantages, it's no wonder why. VoIP makes it possible for businesses to reduce their call costs, whilst still being able to benefit from a fully functioning phone system. The addition of unified communication makes it easy to answer calls from work even when you are on the road. International numbers make it simple to give your business an international presence for very little cost.



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