Understanding VoIP phone systems and services

Understanding VoIP phone systems and services

Free telephone calls over the internet are nothing new and fine for calling friends and relatives. These service providers use the public internet with its many variable of which you have no control. Business VoIP connections need to be efficient and reliable and to work correctly should have direct connections to the BT IPEX exchange and most of the main business broadband providers.

There are two types of Business VoIP setup

1. Remotely hosted Telephony AKA Cloud Phone System
VoIP Handsets connect via a business grade broadband connection (eg: ADSL, FTTC, FTTP, EFM etc) to a remote server (cloud based) which delivers all the features normally associated with a traditional site based PBX telephone system. Hosted services can also deliver features  such as simultaneous ring whereby an inbound call can ring multiple locations eg: IP phone, fixed land line, softphone, mobile etc. A VoIP App such as Bria http://www.counterpath.com/bria-iphone-edition.html can turn your smartphone device into a virtual softphone connected to your business VOIP account. This enables users to work anywhere as if at their deskphone. The operational and financial savings that can be gained from this technology can be significant

The key advantages of Cloud based Telecoms is the low capex (there is no need to buy a PBX). You can port your existing numbers to Hosted services ensuring no loss of business number just because you moved from Brighton to Hove. You can also take new numbers from any UK geographic area. You pay a licence fee per seat and therefore only need to purchase an IP handset and a licence (to enable the user on the network) so you don’t pay for unused lines/extensions. Additional Handsets can easily be added as and when required. Most Cloud Telecoms suppliers provide web based portals or mobile apps so if you are connected to the internet you can easily change ring plans, call forwards etc.

2. Site Based IP Telephone Systems (aka IP PBX, SIP PBX etc)
Mixture of Digital, Analogue or IP handsets which can use Analogue, ISDN or IP Lines

The Key Advantage of IP enabled Telephone Systems are flexible use of different types of handsets and lines. SIP Trunk or IP lines can be connected to allow for non-regional numbers to be used. IP extensions can be connected at remote sites or used for home workers who login when required. These can be programmed like any other handset on the system and work as though they were actually in the office.

If you have already invested in a phone system but want to benefit from VoIP you could enable your existing phone system to make VoIP calls over a broadband via SIP trunking. By 2015 BT will have withdrawn ISDN30 lines and moved all users over to VOIP/SIP.

So there you have it, a brief overview on Business VOIP services. If you would like to find out more about how the above technologies can benefit your business you can contact me david@phoenixcommunications.co.uk or call 01273 956111.

Have a great weekend.