Technology Review 101: VoIP

March 11, 2015

VoIP technology has been in the marketplace for 15 years. You may have seen and heard the term VoIP but not really known what it stands for. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. This means you can have phone service over your Internet connection versus through traditional phone lines.

There are several factors to consider when determining if a VoIP phone system is right for you and your business:

  • Fees: Most VoIP providers do not charge for fees like caller ID, voicemail boxes, long distance, or call forwarding.
  • Scalability: It’s much easier to add extra phone lines as your organization grows because you can send multiple phone calls across your network.
  • One network: You don’t have to have separate networks for your data lines and your phones lines with VoIP. They can run simultaneously on the same lines.
  • Increased efficiency: Many VoIP systems allow more than one device to ring at the same time. For example, both your mobile phone and landline can ring at the same time, which should decrease the amount of “phone tag” that is played.

There are some disadvantages to VoIP systems:

  • In an emergency: VoIP requires special considerations to properly associate the caller with the physical location. It is important to work with a solutions provider that understands the phone system and the processes necessary to achieve a 911 solution.
  • If the power goes out: VoIP systems are dependent upon electricity, so a large portion of phones go down as well.
  • Internet service: Sometimes, if your Internet service is “spotty,” conversations can seem garbled or hard to hear. You’ll need to make sure your Internet provider is reliable.
  • Firewall: Your firewall will require a specific configuration to support VoIP.

New VoIP Twist: The Cloud

A cloud phone system is a new option that you might want to consider utilizing. With this system, a third party takes on the responsibility of keeping your data and systems up-to-date. All that information is stored in a secure data center. This is called an “off-premise” system because you only have your office phones and no other equipment. If your organization is experiencing high growth, this is something to consider because there are no restrictions on the number of phones you can have. Cloud-based systems make remote work more efficient since calls can be taken from anywhere.

High Touch has both VoIP and cloud telephony options available. For more information on how to take advantage of one of these great options, contact your local office.

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