Voice over Internet Protocol – VoIP – is a new way to make and receive telephone calls using a broadband Internet connection rather than a regular phone line. A VoIP service may offer unlimited local and long distance calls for a fixed price, as well as features like integrated calls and email, and access to your phone line from many locations.
Keep in mind:
VoIP: It‘s A Phone, It’s a Computer, It’s…
Limits of Service
Many VoIP companies can arrange for your current phone number to be switched to your VoIP service, but that could take time; in the interim, you will have a new phone number.
VoIP services don’t have the same access to directory assistance services as traditional telephone service does. Your telephone number probably won’t be included in directory service listings provided by the local telephone company.
Power or Service Outages
Consider backup phone service for power or service outages.
Equipment and Installation
Installing VoIP service is not as simple as plugging in a telephone. You may have to connect equipment and adjust to a new system. Note that there are different ways to use the technology: An analog gateway works on your regular phone to enable VoIP calls. Or you can use special Internet telephones, known as IP phones, that look like traditional phones but have all the software and hardware necessary to connect directly to your computer’s router to make or receive calls. If you use VoIP to make computer-to-computer calls, you’ll need special software, a microphone, a sound card, and speakers. If you’re using VoIP and a phone adaptor to make calls, your computer doesn’t have to be turned on as long as your broadband Internet connection is working.
Primary questions your organization should consider before choosing a device:
Look at the brands.
Are there names you trust more than others? Think about service too. Do they have a convenient and reputable service arrangement?
- AudioCodes The AudioCodes 400HD series of IP phones is a range of easy-to-use, feature-rich desktop devices for the service provider hosted services, enterprise IP telephony and contact center markets. Based on the same advanced, field-proven underlying technology as our other VoIP products, AudioCodes high quality IP phones enable systems integrators and end customers to build end-to-end VoIP solutions.
- Yealink has been well known by customers and enjoys a worldwide fame. As the navigator of IP communication industry, Yealink focuses on design and manufacture of IP phones with low carbon and high quality to provide excellent and efficient technical supports, helping clients from all over the world to their business success.
- Poly is the global leader when it comes to productive and effective engagement with colleagues, partners, customers, and prospects. You can’t look at a serious VoIP solution without including their product line in your decision-making process.
- Cisco is the big name in business networks and internet infrastructure and another lead player in the VoIP hardware realm.
Now look at the first row labeled – Line Appearances.
How many lines does each device in your business need to be able to handle?
Do you or your receptionist already use headsets?
What type of connector does he or she have? An RJ-9 is a small telephone type while phones with USB ports will also support USB headsets. If you need Bluetooth, then make sure your device supports it.
Is PoE important to you?
Then make sure the device you pick has that capability.
Don’t forget about future needs.
Try to predict what you will need in a year or even five years. Is this device going to be able to handle healthy, realistic growth? Whatever you choose, be comforted by the fact that VoIP is more scalable and flexible than any phone system of the past.
How Do I Know My Organisation is Getting a Business Grade VoIP Service/Package?
There are a few critical elements to look at when considering whether the VoIP service you are looking at is of a quality high enough to be considered for your business, these include:
- Does the VoIP service provider use a secure APN if it is wireless? An APN is defined as an “Access Point Name” and is the connection verifier ensuring that the your connection to our Tier One voice network is secure and stable at all times.
- Is the VoIP network you are connecting to Tier One? Tier One networks are those networks that connect directly to the core South African mobile telecommunications suppliers including Telkom, Vodacom, MTN and Neotel, now Liquid Telecoms. Wikipedia defines a Tier One Network as – an Internet Protocol (IP) network that can reach every other network on the Internet solely via settlement-free interconnection. This is important because you do not want to be routing your voice traffic through multiple tiers.
Request details on other sites or review the VoIP service providers’ online reviews to ensure you are dealing with a stable, competent VoIP service provider that understands business VoIP systems.
Enhance your phone security with VoIP Hybrid Gateways
Q-KON SA’s selection of VoIP gateways and SBC’s (AudioCodes, Ribbon, Synway) gives users plenty of options. Providing the best service that’s technologically available, connecting your system through a VoIP gateway will make it easy to get into the system, share documents, and maintain a quality internet connection that keeps your company running.