In this modern world where most companies communicate through the telephone, it is very important that businesses have their own telephone system; and the most common solution is called business VoIP or voice over internet protocol (VoIP). What is VoIP? VoIP is a telephone solution which allows for seamless connectivity of voice calls over the Internet. VoIP is currently the leading alternative to conventional telephone systems. There are three kinds of business VoIP solutions to consider:
On Premise PBX – This kind of business VoIP provides the features offered by a traditional private local telephone exchange plus a few additional features. If you have a traditional private local telephone exchange (POTS), an on-premise VoIP provider offers all the features offered by the traditional POTS – ringing tones, caller ID, extension dialing, call waiting, etc. This kind of service is usually sold as a service contract and charges a monthly fee for the use of these features. However, there are providers who offer hosted VoIP which means they don’t provide any hardware to maintain the connection between the customer and the network.
One advantage of having a premise based business voip phone system is the lower costs. The cost of a hosted VoIP provider is half or even less than the cost of a traditional POTS based private local telephone exchange. Another advantage of having a hosted system is the flexibility. If a small business needs to modify the functionality of its existing private local telephone exchange and wants the benefits of a hosted VoIP provider, it is possible.
Unlike a premise-based business phone system, hosted VoIP providers do not require any long distance charges or other hidden charges. It is also a lot easier to find a good provider as there are many options available online. Some websites even offer comparison charts so that the user can compare the features and benefits of each voice phone system with respect to price, quality and features. Some sites also allow users to read reviews of VoiP phone systems that can help customers make their decision on which is the best VoiP phone system for them.
There are two main functions of a business voip provider, namely, voice communication and fax communication. There are various types of phones that can be used with a business phone system. These include, telephones, wireless headsets, broadband phones, cordless phones, PDA phones and Bluetooth. A virtual phone service is also available where, the user can use an ordinary mobile device and connect to a public switched telephone network. This feature is quite popular among students and employees.
There are various factors that need to be considered when selecting a business VoIP PBX phone system. These include, cost, features, aesthetics, licensing fees, reliability, scalability, maintenance and compatibility. Cost is usually the first factor that most people consider, and they then go to the nearest or the most popularized service provider. However, it is important to note that not every provider provides the same services at the same price. Different providers have different pricing structures and customers should therefore do a thorough market research before finalizing a VoiP phone system.
Features vary from one VoiP provider to the other. Most VoiP providers include features like call waiting, Caller ID, call forwarding, call conferencing, call transferring, music on hold, speed dials, video on hold, voicemail, IVR, and some even have web browsing capabilities. However, not all providers include these features. Some VoiP providers offer standard on-premise PBx solutions and some provide enterprise-level services that are highly customized. Since a number of small businesses cannot afford to invest in purchasing and maintaining a PBX system for their entire organization, most business owners opt for hosted Voip providers.
One can also find cheap VoiP phone service providers as well as business VoIP virtual service providers. Businesses that require bulk calling might require larger bandwidth and greater capacity than small scale businesses and so they would require larger bandwidth and greater capacity. Hosted solutions or virtual service providers would suit such organizations well.