What is VoIP and how could it help my business?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. To break this down more, it is simply a set of rules that allows voice to be sent across data networks such as your office network or the internet.
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. To break this down more, it is simply a set of rules that allows voice to be sent across data networks such as your office network or the internet.How does it work?
Your voice is broken down and converted in to IP packets by a VoIP device such as a VoIP telephone or phone system. Those packets contain an address and your voice. However unlike normal IP packets voice packet must arrive in the correct order for your voice to sound audible. Imagine sending someone a jigsaw piece by piece in the mail. You have to send the pieces in the correct order so the person receiving the pieces can lay them in the right order.
What are the benefits?Homeworkers
If you have staff that currently work from home or that could work form home then VoIP could be just the thing for you. Home Working is a proven way to increase productivity. By using a VoIP phone at home your staff will be connected to the office phone system as an extension just as if they were sat in the next room. They will be able to benefit from all the features of your phone system including visibility of other extensions, call recording, call logging, screen popping and much more.Branch offices
For a company with more than 1 office, VoIP is essential. Not only are all inter-site calls free (saving you money), but productivity is also increased as calls can be taken at any site. So if one site is busy calls can be routed to another site.
If you have branches outside the UK then by using VoIP and intelligent call routing you could save a fortune. Inter-site calls are free which is a great saving when making international calls but intelligent routing of calls is also a great way to save money. Calls are routed out of the office most local to the number you are dialling. Eg. I have a London office and a New York office. When I call a supplier in New York, instead of paying international charges, I route the call through my New York office automatically. Now that call is a free call as local calls in the States are free.Flexibility
Not enough Cat 5 points? No problem with IP Phones. Just add a small data switch to add more points. Or daisy chain your PC’s off the back of an IP phone. If you have an Avaya system you will also get Quality of Service as standard on the phones. This means your IP Phone will automatically prioritise voice traffic over any data from you PC, such as email.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Keith McGregor is a partner of Strawberrysoup, a web design agency with offices in Chichester and Bournemouth. Strawberrysoup specialise in creative web design, content managed websites, search engine optimisation, search engine marketing and graphic design