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A VoIP Crash Course
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is a way of voice communication over the internet, for both voice calls and multimedia sessions. The technology behind this technology is simple: instead of using wires to transmit sound or data over networks like the internet, voice communication takes place via digitally encoded packets that get transmitted over broadband connections. These packets include information such as the length of the phone call, which direction it is headed (left or right), and even the time of the call.
If you want to make cheap long distance phone calls, VoIP is definitely something you should look into. Although many people are apprehensive about VoIP because of the high start-up costs, it actually saves you money in the long run. VoIP providers usually offer a free telephone number with your Internet service, so the cost savings from VoIP are not necessarily in the short term only. Even if you have an expensive VoIP plan, you can still make calls for free using the internet.
There are two different ways to make cheap long distance calls using VoIP. You can change your landline phones to a VoIP enabled phone, or you can use a VoIP Phone System (or VAS) or Virtual Local Area Network service to make the calls. Switching your landline phones to VoIP enabled phones offers great for businesses that have multiple locations. Because switching the phones involves a migration, it is good for businesses that may want to expand their business elsewhere, but not want to incur additional cost and mess with a migration.
Switching to a VoIP Phone System will cost you a lot less than switching landline services. In addition to the low start-up costs, the majority of VoIP services include long-distance and international calling in the bundle. The international call rates are greatly reduced through this feature, which can save you money. Switching to a VoIP based system is also ideal for persons that do not use a credit card on a regular basis. Many people have been able to eliminate credit card debt by using VoIP based calling plans.
So, why is VoIP preferable to traditional landlines? For one thing, it costs much less. While a business can buy and maintain its own IP network for its existing phone lines, it would be far more cost-effective to use a VoIP provider. One IP call made using a traditional landline can easily cost a person hundreds of dollars.
The next reason why VoIP makes great sense for small businesses and for larger businesses is the fact that it does not involve a great deal of technical equipment. Since most voice communication takes place over the internet (as opposed to over a public switched telephone network), all that is needed is an internet connection and a reliable provider. Because of this, many businesses do not need to maintain their own infrastructure to handle VoIP traffic. Large businesses with extensive IT resources may find the technical aspects of their business very complex and in some cases, it may not be cost-effective to install and maintain internal systems. With a VoIP service, the entire premise of the business is instantly moved to a third-party provider who maintains a highly optimized VoIP network and manages the entire data center.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a VoIP service offers a scalable solution to your problems. Unlike traditional phones, calls made with a VoIP system can be placed or received anywhere at any time – even in an overseas location! This is because VoIP works as a virtual telephony solution. Instead of transmitting audio data over traditional phone lines, calls are transmitted via digitally encoded computer code which means that they are as easy to listen to as they are to talk.
It is important to note that switching from traditional phone systems to VoIP is not a simple process. There are a variety of considerations involved. The primary consideration is the cost savings associated with switching to a VoIP provider. Even for businesses that are already heavily dependent on telecommunications infrastructure, there can still be substantial savings if the entire phone system is replaced. In addition, the vast majority of users will only experience minimal increases in their monthly phone bills, if any, making switching to a VoIP service without delay considered an economically sound decision.
How Will I Save Money?
How can VoIP save money?
Many of us are familiar with the savings that we get from using our credit cards and other financial means. And it is no different when it comes to using VoIP as well. There are a lot of different VoIP systems out there today, each offering its own way to save money. The real question is, how do we choose the right system?
One way to know whether you are getting a good deal or not is to look at how much it will cost you to upgrade your current VoIP service plan. Some plans have minimum requirements in terms of the dollar amount that you need to spend every month in order to upgrade. You also want to make sure that there is not a heavy annual maintenance fee attached to the program. If there is a heavy yearly fee, you are likely paying too much upfront and you could save money by choosing a cheaper plan. So how do we compare hosted VoIP systems against traditional phone systems?
One important thing to look at when comparing traditional phone systems against VoIP is the level of usage you are going to be placing on your system. Most businesses who are seriously considering using VoIP are doing so because they are tired of having to pay a huge bill every single month. While there are a few exceptions, most of us end up spending quite a bit on our monthly bills. If you are simply putting the phone on hold once or twice a month, then you may not even notice any savings – but if you are constantly calling hundreds of people and sending out dozens of messages per day, then you will quickly begin to see substantial savings.
One way to compare these systems is to consider how much time you are actually using the system versus the time you would spend if you were using traditional phone systems. If you have an employee who is making calls all day, then you obviously are not going to want to upgrade to a VOIP solution. However, if you are just trying to keep track of who is calling at certain times, then you may find that switching to a VOIP system will actually help you save money. As you can see, this is not an easy comparison to make, but it is definitely a possibility.
One of the other things to consider is the actual equipment itself. Traditional phone systems typically require a phone, a telephone adapter, and a wall outlet. All of this requires space and can be costly. With VOIP systems, you do not need any additional equipment. The calls can simply be made from your computer to the adapter, which will then connect to a phone jack on the computer.
This does have the drawback of being more expensive than some of the traditional options, but many people find it to be less expensive than using traditional phone systems. Even though the cost may be higher, there are certainly many more options to consider. When you consider all of the costs, it can often be much cheaper to switch over to a VOIP service. In some cases, VOIP service may actually end up costing less than using traditional phone systems.
If you are someone who is looking to save money, then you certainly may want to consider switching over to a VOIP phone system. You can easily make sure that you are always using the most up-to-date technology without spending any extra money. It is definitely worth considering the options that are available for savings when you consider switching to a VOIP hosted VOIP service.
Is VoIP Right For My Business?
VoIP offers many significant advantages. It provides cost savings through the elimination of phone costs and long-distance fees. Employees no longer need to carry cash or checks when making a telephone call – they only need a phone and Internet access. For businesses, this means that they no longer need to rent additional office space to have phone lines. This also means no more need for fax machines or photocopiers, and no more need to buy ink for copiers.
Video and audio conferencing are becoming increasingly popular with both small and large businesses. Video conferencing allows two or more remote teams to communicate with each other in real-time. Video can be used to update current information or present previous information to teams. Audio conferencing allows employees to collaborate with one another by providing them with the opportunity to exchange data with each other. Employees need not fear being in different locations, as they can view each other in real-time.
File transfer is another area where VoIP has a leg up on the competition. Through the use of file Transfer Protocol (FTP), a business can transfer a large number of files to one another without the use of email. File transfer is especially important for businesses that send out a large number of documents, and for which sending a file is a time-consuming chore.
Some areas that face challenges from VoIP technology are remote offices. Remote offices are usually small or virtual, and because they are located off-site, many times remote employees don’t have the same access to local phones and network equipment as traditional employees do. This can be a major deterrent to using VoIP in remote offices. However, all office communication can be eliminated through the use of an IP network.
A third area that can benefit greatly from VoIP is call distribution. Many businesses send employees and customer’s voice mail. VoIP offers advanced features that allow call centers to route these calls through their servers, cutting down on overhead and reducing labor costs. It also provides features that will allow multiple operators to work in tandem with one another. Some of these features include automatic redial, caller ID, and caller ID block. All of these features can help increase efficiency and ultimately save money.
So why should I use VoIP for my business? The primary reason is that it allows you to cut costs. By eliminating long-distance and possibly international fees, along with administrative expenses, you can improve your bottom line. The cost savings and efficiency improvements are paid back by higher profits, which will allow you to pay less in capital expenses and more in profit.
The next question is what kind of features do I need in order to maximize the benefits of VoIP. Depending on your company’s specific needs and objectives, you may find that basic features such as call forwarding and call conferencing are enough. On the other hand, VoIP provides a host of other services that will allow you to reduce costs, increase productivity, and expand your business. As VoIP providers continually strive to enhance their services, more features and options are becoming available. If your business is growing, and your needs are growing along with it, VoIP may be exactly what you need to keep your business on track.
Is VoIP right for me? Only you can determine this, but the important thing to remember is that if your business requires a high degree of telecommuting, then you need to make sure that your service provider offers this capability. Otherwise, your employees will have to rely on video conferencing or staying at their office to meet with clients. You may find that this functionality is all that you need in order to keep your business on schedule.
So how do I know if VoIP is right for me? The only way to find out is to test it yourself. Most VoIP service providers will offer a free trial period during which you can try out their service and see if it meets your particular business needs. During this time, you don’t need to commit to a long-term contract. You can evaluate your needs and reassess whether or not VoIP is right for your business. If you’re not satisfied, you can cancel your service at any time.
Is VoIP right for my business? Only you can decide, but the important thing to remember is that if your business needs are unique, you should be able to find a service that meets them. Choosing a VoIP answering service is only part of the equation, however. You also need to choose a company that has smart engineers who can navigate the technological maze that is VoIP.