What is VoIP?
A hosted VoIP phone system uses an organization’s existing broadband connection to transmit voice. Traditional business telephone system transmit voice over the PSTN or Public Switched Telephone Network (what we commonly refer to as telephone system or telephone wires). The VoIP calls are routed using a VoIP Service Provider’s network just like traditional telephone calls are routed.
VoIP is often less expensive than traditional telephone systems, especially for long distance calls. A VoIP handset has the same telephone number regardless of location, so a users can plug the phone into any high speed internet connection and continue to make or receive phone calls as if they were sitting in their office without notifying the IT department or the VoIP Provider.
To the average small business, VoIP may seem like an esoteric technology that will be difficult to adopt. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Most small business VoIP installations do not require an on-site visit from the provider.
VoIP equipment is interchangeable and therefore is less prone to becoming obsolete. Although there are dedicated VoIP telephones, the system can be used with traditional telephones. The operation of the phone system is the same as a traditional system. Customers, vendors and other incoming callers dial the number just like they did before. They won’t even realize the telephone system is changed. Outgoing calls also operate the same way and your staff won’t need to learn new technology just to make a phone call.
There are few limitations to small business VoIP over traditional phone systems. The biggest concern is if your internet connection goes down you lose your phone service as well. And the internet connection may have lag that isn’t noticeable in normal web surfing or downloading but makes back-and-forth conversations slow and frustrating.
To overcome the limitation, many business VoIP phone systems provide legacy phone ports so you can still connect a few traditional phone lines to the system. The system will automatically route the calls to the best available one according to the pre-configured rules. So when the internet connection is down, the phone service can still be available.
Hosted VoIP is a great alternative for businesses that can not afford to have a dedicated in-house IT staff. With a Hosted VoIP system, most of the telecom equipment is located at the VoIP Provider’s office. The only telecom equipment located at your offices are the VoIP Phone Sets.
Overall, VoIP has far more advantages than disadvantages and some experts predict it is only a matter of time until analog phone systems go the way of the rotary dial.