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VoIP Basics

Is there an easy way to understand VoIP?

VoIP technology is complex. We help simplify it.

VoIP clearly provides many benefits of combining your business phone and internet service into one helpful resource.

Like any high-tech industry, VoIP has a long list of acronyms and buzzwords that are common for your local VoIP service provider. For you, however, keeping up can be a challenge. Let’s get behind the jargon and discover the meaning of today’s most common VoIP terms—and learn how they can benefit your business.

 

Audio Conferencing

Traditional conference calls use analog telephones. IP audio conferencing, on the other hand, uses VoIP to connect callers to a server called a conference bridge. It lets multiple callers communicate using telephones, softphones, and computers. The IP infrastructure of a VoIP network provider should include strong security options to keep audio conferences confidential.

Bandwidth

Also known as a “data-transfer rate,” bandwith measures the maximum data amount that can be carried across a network from one point to another. Bandwidth is critical in increasing productivity, satisfying customers, and generating revenue. It’s important for businesses to assess their bandwidth needs before they pick a carrier. A hosting company’s network connections determine its bandwidth (expressed in bits of data per second).

IVR (Interactive Voice Response)

Your communications system can interact with customers automatically using a touch-tone telephone keypad or voice commands on a normal phone. IVR’s prerecorded audio and menus give callers information and directs them how to proceed. Beyond simply retrieving information, IVR solutions can also place outbound calls to deliver scheduled appointments or overdue bills. As helpful as touch-tone IVR technology can be, it’s crucial that you give customers the option of connecting with live agents.

Managed On-Premise System

Your business can enjoy the benefits of an IP phone system without the costs, risks, and hassles of having a VoIP solution on-premise. With managed on-premise systems, a third-party provides the equipment, software, technical expertise, facilities … everything needed. Along with the management and maintenance of a new VoIP network, your business gets the design, integration and deployment of IP telephony equipment and software. To maximize a managed on-premise system agreement with a VoIP provider, businesses should get a guarantee on a certain percentage of network uptime.

Packets

When two computers communicate, the data exchanged is called “packets.” Packet switching happens when a call is divided into packets that travel efficiently across the Internet individually. When packets arrive at their destination, they’re assembled back into the original call.

SIP (Session Initiated Protocol)

SIP is a protocol for internet telephony. Your business can communicate over IP within the enterprise and outside your business by connecting a SIP trunk to a traditional PSTN (public switched telephone network). Plus, you can enjoy a single conduit pipeline for your voice, data, and video. Best of all, SIP-trunking delivers greater cost savings and increased reliability.

Speech Recognition

Callers can speak words or phrases that are used to control applications. See “IVR” above to see what transactions can be accomplished using both input and responses delivered via spoken words. Speech recognition can replace touch-tone input. Quality varies, so carefully assess your business’s options.

Switches

Connect multiple phone lines to one Ethernet port using VoIP switches, allowing every connected phone to place VoIP calls. Compared to traditional voice devices, PBXes and ACDs for example, VoIP switches are usually less costly and easier to maintain.

VoIP Models

Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) lets voice calls traverse a data connection. Voice calls don’t have to go over the internet, but in some models they do. The term “VoIP” is used many ways, so it’s helpful to review the three most common models.

The Internet Model uses the internet to connect calls. This costs far less than typical voice technology. One downside? Losing control over calls, so quality may be compromised. Technology is improving, but it’s far from guaranteed.

The Internal VoIP Model uses VoIP in your network but not outside your building(s). This provides VoIP features without the possibility of the internet reducing quality because the VoIP is in a controlled environment.

VoIP to the Provider provides VoIP in your network and to the provider’s central office. When the private connection reaches the provider, it’s converted to traditional TDM technology. To complete the call, it uses the public switched phone network. You get VoIP power without the risk of calls going on the internet.

Call 800-421-9282 or contact us now and see for yourself how a "different animal" can be a true business partner and make a real difference to your bottom line.