VoIP Phone System – Should Your Business Switch?

Published 2014/09/02

With the roll-out of the National Broadband Network (NBN) and the increasing internet capability it brings nationwide we’re seeing an increase in VOIP phone systems in small and medium Brisbane business.

For the uninitiated VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, or in more common terms your phone service over the Internet. VOIP has become common place thanks to such services as Skype, Viber and even FaceTime for Apple users with VoIP Phone Systems becoming widely adopted by small and medium business.

Using a cloud-based service means

With VOIP, analogue voice calls are converted into packets of data which travel in the same fashion as other data packets such as texts and e-mail – over the Internet. Depending on your service this may be sent via the public internet and/or a private Internet Protocol (IP) network.

 

How VoIP Works: At a Glance

  • An Internet connection of reasonable quality is required before you can get your phone service delivered through an Internet connection.
  • A VoIP phone system will enable your business to make and receive calls using landline telephones, at least, only requiring an analogue telephone adapter connected to your network.
  • A VoIP service will enable you to call landline, cell phones, and also computer-to-computer, with both parties using microphones and speakers (or headsets) connected to their computer.
  • VoIP services reduce the amount of equipment a business needs to own and maintain for their phone system.
  • A VoIP phone system will deliver the best Quality of Service (QoS) and security on a private IP network; this is because you can prioritize voice over other types of traffic on your network.

 

What Equipment Will My Business Need For A VoIP Phone System?

For a basic VoIP system, all you need is a broadband Internet connection and an adapter can convert your existing business phone system to handle VoIP capabilities; a computer with VoIP software would also suffice, however in its basic form this would not be integrated with your current phone system.

 

Advantages of a VoIP Phone System for Your Business

Lower Costs – You’ll save money and introduce cost certainty through bundling your voice and data lines deliver cheaper call rates on VoIP while maintaining call redundancy in case voice or data service issues.

Flexible – You can easily add, move, or change phone extensions and locations, which saves money and gives you more flexibility.

Scalable – VoIP services are provided via a data network (internet) rather than voice, so there is greater scope for increasing or reducing the number of phone lines to your business.

Portable – Your workforce can use your communications system from home or on the road.

Feature Packed – Wireless IP phones connect users to your communications system and data resources, such as customer information, while they’re in the warehouse, on the sales floor, or anywhere they can access your data network wirelessly.

Voip phone freedom
Image sourced from fineartamerica

Disadvantages of a VoIP Phone System for Your Business

Call Quality – As noted above, the best Quality of Service (QoS) is best delivered over a private IP network where you can prioritize where your data is allocated.

Security – Being an internet based service VoIP phones are can be susceptible to attacks. A private IP network can address security concerns.

Dependent on Power – The modem, router, PC and other associated VoIP hardware requires a power source to function, in the event of a blackout your VoIP devices would be unable to work. For businesses who depend on their telecommunications a combination of voice and data would provide a redundancy.

 

Is VoIP the same as Unified Communications?

VoIP refers to a basic Internet-based telephony system. Unified communications solutions for small businesses go beyond basic VoIP capabilities in enhancing collaboration.

What is Unified Communications?

Unified Communications (UC) is the integration of real-time communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, telephony (including IP telephony), video conferencing, desktop sharing, data sharing (including web connected electronic interactive whiteboards), call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax). UC is not necessarily a single product, but a set of products that provides a consistent unified user-interface and user-experience across multiple devices and media-types



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