Business VoIP Frequently Asked Questions
October 15, 2013
By Rachel Ramsey
, TMCnet Web Editor
Today it’s almost unheard of for people to leave their house without their smartphones. Not only are they using these mobile devices for personal use, but the devices have started to blend for work purposes as well. One of the biggest business technology trends enabling unified communications among mobile devices is VoIP – or voice over the Internet. VoIP isn’t just for mobile devices, though. It provides a number of benefits to companies on-premises as well as on the go. But many businesses today aren’t even sure how to go about adopting VoIP or updating their phone system.
Breaking it down, here are some of the most frequently asked questions that will hopefully help businesses evaluate VoIP and understand how it can impact their bottom line.
What is VoIP?
Sure, it stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. But what exactly does that mean? How does it work? VoIP transmits calls over the Internet instead of a traditional landline system. It converts voice information into packets of compressed data, which is transferred online, and can be done on a phone itself, as with IP phones, or separately using an analog telephone adapter (ATA).
Why Should I Turn to VoIP?
The two main driving factors of adopting business VoIP are lower costs and increased functionality. Business VoIP is feature-focused to streamline operations, including auto-attendants, call routing and hold music. There are also more accessible ways to make long distance calls, so savings can quickly add up – many organizations report as much as 80 percent overall savings by switching to VoIP.
What Equipment Do I Need?
No special equipment is required for implementing VoIP in your business. You just need a quality Internet connection. There are IP phones that work directly with VoIP to enhance the experience, but they are mostly offered to make VoIP more convenient and featured. An IP-PBX (News - Alert) system manages incoming and outgoing VoIP phone calls and connects callers to appropriate extensions, but almost all business providers offer hosted PBX services, which means the provider owns and operates the equipment needed and businesses just pay a fee for access and usage.
Do I Need A Special Internet Connection?
The better your connection, the better your call quality. High-speed Internet connections will help deliver optimal VoIP call quality. GetVoIP.com (News - Alert) offers a free VoIP speed testing tool that offers a comprehensive analysis of the quality and performance of your Internet connection and speed. The detailed scan will offer information in real-time on packet loss, jitter, latency and other factors that may impact the quality of VoIP calls.
How Much Does VoIP Cost?
Lower costs are one of the primary benefits of turning to VoIP, but there are still some fees. It depends on what kind of features you select and utilize, but some plans can start as low as $15 per month. Business VoIP providers such as Nextiva, RingCentral, Jive, Vocalocity, 8x8 (News - Alert), voip.com and Improcom offer plans that average about $19 per month and offer a variety of plans and features – Nextiva offers more than 45 premium features and works with most IP phones, Vocalocity (News - Alert) offers no contracts/cancel anytime and unlimited calling and faxing, 8x8 includes a softphone and mobile app, and Improcom offers a free two-week full demo service with free Cisco (News - Alert) phones and BYOD option.
After you’ve decided you want to switch to VoIP, the next challenge to overcome is choosing a provider. GetVoIP.com offers customer reviews, plan options, feature overviews and many other resources to make your business VoIP selection process as informed and easy as possible. Find out how much you can save on your business phone service today.
Edited by Blaise McNamee