One of the most common questions for small businesses when considering upgrading to an IP-based solution is: How does a voice-over-IP (VoIP) phone can call a non-VoIP phone? The answer: There’s a gateway unit that makes the connection back to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). It’s not as complicated as it may sound.
Businesses that use voice over IP (VoIP) service and IP phones gain many advantages. No wonder desktop IP phones are used by more than a third of small and medium-sized businesses surveyed in Europe and North America.
Prices of IP phones can differ by hundreds of dollars. If you have multiple phones to buy, smart shopping can bring your company exponential savings.
To make the best investment—for now and the years ahead—answer seven key questions:
The right IP phone system can help improve customer service and employee collaboration.
Voice over IP (VoIP) is a technology that seems tailor-made for small businesses, especially now that IP networks are as common as landline telephones, and broadband Internet access is within anyone’s budget. And the benefits of VoIP for small businesses are many, including reduced phone expenses, improved customer service, and enhanced employee productivity.
Small business VoIP solutions include hardware and software dedicated to handling voice traffic and offer a variety of calling features previously out of reach for smaller companies using a traditional PSTN (public switched telephone network) phone system. VoIP systems are designed to be flexible and scalable. So whichever system you choose now will grow along with your business, allowing you to easily add users, upgrade features, and expand into more sophisticated modules as you need them.
If you already have an IP network and a high-speed Internet connection, you can implement a VoIP phone system—and you can do it in three steps.
Skype and Google Voice may seem like attractive, inexpensive options, but business-class IP phone systems offer secure service and investment protection.
I recently wrote about private IP PBX phone systems and the benefits they offer to small businesses, including cost savings compared to traditional PBX systems, easier deployment, and expandability. For small businesses on a tight budget, a free IP phone service, such as Skype or Google Voice, may seem like a more attractive option than having to shell out cash for a business-class IP phone system.
Similar to a private IP PBX, Skype and Google Voice are easy to deploy and offer a variety of voice and data features. In addition, there’s no cost involved up front; they’re free to download. However, both services use the public Internet to make and receive calls, and therefore pose risks in call quality and network security.
Video is becoming the preferred method of communication for enterprises on a global scale. But what is the formula for making video as easy to use as making a phone call?
In the video below, Cordell Ratzlaff, director of Engineering for Cisco’s Voice Technology Group and head of the User Design Engineering team, discusses the important design concepts his team used to develop some of Cisco’s newest voice and video endpoints and encourage the use of video.