Simple really, VoIP (or Voice over Internet Protocol) allows you to combine voice, data and video into one easy to manage package. By using the Internet to send and receive voice information, small businesses are discovering that VoIP is a cost effective way to increase functionality with their phone system. In fact most mid-sized businesses can expect to see up to a 40% savings on their phone bill by switching to a VoIP system*.
Past and Present:
VoIP is not new, in fact it has been around since the 1970's, but limiting broadband connections kept it in the background until recently. In order for VoIP to function correctly, 64 to 100 kbps is needed per phone line—certainly not available by the dial up connections of the 1980's. But today with our high speed broadband connections, VoIP is finding new life as a strong business tool that can unify business connections with their customers. Features such as video conferencing and advanced call menus become seamlessly integrated solutions that are fully scalable as your company grows. In fact take a look at some of the call features that are already part of most VoIP installations:
Automated Attendant, Blacklists, Blind Transfer, Call Detail Records, Call Forward on Busy, Call forward on No Answer, Call Forward Variable, Call Monitoring, Call Parking, Call Queuing, Call Recording, Call Routing (DID & ANI), Call Snooping, Call Transfer, Call Waiting, Caller ID, Caller ID Blocking, Caller ID on Call Waiting, Calling Cards, Conference Bridging, Dial by Name, Direct Inward System Access, Do Not Disturb, Interactive Directory Listing, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Local and Remote Call Agents' Music On Hold, and much more.
VoIP for You:
One of the core concerns with VoIP centers around the loss of Internet connection—lose the Internet, lose your phone system. This is an excellent point and one not to be overlooked. However, with analog to digital cards from companies such as Sangoma (www.sangoma.com), installers can build in redundancy by integrating analog phone lines as a backup solution. These analog lines act as a failsafe should Internet connections go down—and can also be used for direct fax lines.
*VoIP News 2009