VoIP is a process in which you send digital voice signals over an IP network using a codec software that encodes the information and changes it back to analogue signals to the receiving party. Voice over IP converts a caller’s voice into a digital signal, compresses it to make it faster, and sends it over the internet using a codec software. At the receiving end, the digital data is then uncompressed into the sound that the receiver hears.
The IP phone ideology operates with the Voice over Internet Protocols technology, which suggests that you can make and receive phone calls, texts, and share files like videos, images, etc., using any internet connection. It is really a phone connection using the internet instead of a local telephone tower.
- How Does It Work?
- What Can I Expect With IP Business Phones?
- How Are They Different From Traditional Landlines?
- How To Choose The Right IP Business Phone Systems For My Business?
- Popular IP Phone System Brands.
- Which One is Right for Me?
- How Hard Is It To Change The Phone System?
- Cost Of Installing An IP Business Phone System?
- Can An IP Phone System Work With An NBN Connection?
- What Are Some Additional Cost I Need To Consider When Installing An IP Business Phone System?
- Why IP Business Phone Is Cheaper Than Other Phone System Options
How Does It Work?
A VoIP system works by employing and channelling calls between users or to a separate person. In a cloud-based IP system, a virtual Private Branch Exchange (PBX) does that job.
This means in common expression that all inbound calls are sent to the cloud-based server hosted by your VoIP provider where the VoIP provider then transforms the call into an audio file and transfers the uncompressed data to an IP phone.
You’re then connected with the caller, just like a normal phone conversation—although actual transmission is done using the internet, instead of a cell tower.
VoIP separates your chats into tiny segments of data that it channels over the internet. You need to understand that codec technology just offers every call its speech clarity because it manages both the bandwidth speed and the size reduction in voice data. There are several patented, exclusive and free voice codecs around.
What Can I Expect With IP Business Phones?
An IP phone system delivers more value than Plain Old Telephone Service system, giving Small and Medium Businesses opportunities to use a system usually limited to enterprise-level companies.
VoIP systems give you much more options. More ways of staying in contact. More value for the purchase, etc.
VoIP phones are software-based, which has the advantage to benefit small businesses in two ways. First, it means you won’t have to make a substantial investment in new equipment to go from POTS to VoIP. Second, it means you won’t have to fret about the costs associated with maintaining physical equipment.
Learn more about IP Business Phone Systems
Consider a virtual VoIP service provider to help you with automatic online setups such that you don’t have to install anything physically by yourself.
All that may be needed for business is a strong internet connection such as NBN connection or a Business NBN Fibre connection, a quality headset, and a good microphone as your setup.
How Are They Different From Traditional Landlines?
Traditional landlines are installed on-premises, which incurs a setup fee and requires physical hardware that gives rise to expensive maintenance.
Calling on POTS is very expensive while VoIP is best known for its cheap calls features.
How To Choose The Right IP Business Phone Systems For My Business?
Your objectives, accomplishments, and vision for your future should be the main criteria when choosing the VoIP phone service that is right for you.
Some other useful considerations include:
Developmental Stage – Are you a new business venture that hasn’t selected a phone solution yet? Or are you ready to improve your present phone system from a traditional system? Ease of virtual setup transition?
Volume of Voice Data– If your call volume is heavy and you have or need a call centre, it’s time to move to VoIP.
Capacity and Capability – SMB businesses will profit from a VoIP phone system where they can easily add lines as occasion warrants without incurring further expenses.
Budget – PBX systems are expensive to operate and maintain while Hosted solutions are easier on your budget overall.
Deployment Ease – How fast and easy is it for your employees to become familiar and adept on the new systems
Popular IP Phone System Brands.
The market is somewhat competitive, with systems having identical features and price ranges. However, SMBs should choose companies that offer support for them. The leading brands in the market are: Ericsson-LG, Avaya, Yealink, SpringCom, Samsung, NEC, Alcatel, and Cisco Cloud/ Hosted IP solutions.
Which One is Right for Me?
The decision comes down to your resources and operational factors. It would be best if you considered the cost projection, the level of growth within your business, your IT department’s expertise and experience, their capability to operate and maintain an in-house phone system, and whether you have to access a high-speed internet connection.
In choosing an IP phone provider for your small business, significant effort must be made to find a service provider with the features and tools you want in a phone system and offers an excellent customer support during and after the sales.
Utmost priority should be given to uptime operational statistics in a virtual/ cloud-hosted system. This is so important because whenever the system experiences any downtime, telephony services are disrupted or stopped. However, excellent providers have many data centres around the globe to minimize such disruptions on businesses. It is advisable for SMBs always to have a backup option like forwarding calls to another number- mostly internet enabled-mobile phones.
How Hard Is It To Change The Phone System?
Businesses should always make adequate preparations before migrating from a traditional system to a VoIP system for easier integrations to the VoIP services. Such preparation aids include-
- Evaluations: Giving attention to your internet connections, broadband, and bandwidth; making sure that it can handle a high volume of quality voice traffic. Routers should be optimized for voice calls.
- Reputable Service Provider: Due diligence must be carried out in the choice of your VoIP service provider. Such providers should be able to provide great technical support with excellent customer relations.
- Migration Schedule: Coordinate with your VoIP service provider on a migration schedule that will detail how and when the switch will be made. This is to minimize interruptions to business operations.
- Training: Staff, management and network administrators must be trained on the new system to enhance their productivity and efficiency.
- Test-run/ Diagnostics: Extensively test the new system for bugs and remove kinks that are discovered. Adequate observation should be on the Pings, i.e. the speed at which data is sent and received and on jitters, which is the fluctuation and latency variation. Ensure that the system is perfect before finally disposing of the old traditional system, i.e. Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS).
Cost Of Installing An IP Business Phone System?
The cost of a VoIP phone on a business depends on many factors. The best way to get a good grasp on what a VoIP system may cost is to have an appointment with an IP consultant, who will give you a fairly accurate cost quotation after taking an inventory of your business’s needs.
Number of Workforce: The number of persons in the organization dictates how many physical phones, the requirement of cloud extensions, etc., which means that more users equate more expenses.
Volume & Frequency of Voice Data: How often do you make calls, and how long do such conversations last, to whom do you make the call- local numbers or international numbers?
Preference of Hardware: your hardware setups must include but not limited to these- quality internet connection, routers/ firewalls and server, SIP trunk, wireless routers, and IP phones (quality & prices differ). Should you decide to separate your IT setup from the VoIP setup, you may need to get different internet connections for each.
Choice of Service Provider: The reputations, experiences, packages, support, and customer satisfaction of VoIP service providers differ and their billings amongst others.
Software and Enhancements: These boost productivity in the business. There is much software, but the most important ones are Desktop User Clients, Mobility Apps, Contact Center, Reporting, Automatic and Manual Call Recording, CRM Integration, etc.
Can An IP Phone System Work With An NBN Connection?
It is no longer news that an NBN rollout is underway in Australia, which will change phone systems to VoIP technology. Users’ prior experiences of their landline should be of great help in their new adventure to a VoIP landline in many ways, except one: whenever there is power/ internet outage in their areas, the landline connection will go down too. Once, users switch over to the NBN; landlines will need to be plugged into their NBN modems or routers for connections.
What Are Some Additional Cost I Need To Consider When Installing An IP Business Phone System?
Some factors to consider are;
Cost of Subscription: The likely amount spent by the organization on incoming and outgoing calls must be a factor. This may be steep or cheap depending on some factors like- the IP service provider, packages, scalability, remote workers, etc.
Reliability and Uptime: the more often a hosted service experiences downtime, the more money and resources an organization deploys for Plan B.
Onsite IT department/ Staff: If an organization has an onsite PBX, an IT staff/ department must service such equipment. The number of IT employees will always incur additional costs.
Why IP Business Phone Is Cheaper Than Other Phone System Options
A huge capital layout is only once for an IP business phone system. This comes at the beginning stage of buying the devices, hardware, installation fees, and subscription packages from the VoIP service provider. Future upgrades are mostly automatically installed without the need for new equipment/ tools. This is in sharp contrast to landline phones that are expensive to install and more expensive to maintain. The PBX system is static and becoming obsolete as no research is being done; this will lead to parts that are no longer available in stock.
VoIP is an in-vogue technology. It is cheaper than a landline system and has exciting features that are great for businesses beyond PBX’s scope. It has the ability to ‘multitask’ on the same line at the same time.