VoIP for business is fast becoming the norm as opposed to the exception. VoIP or voice over IP transports conversation in a different manner than has been traditionally done in the past. The traditional analog signal is what most people use to receive and make phone calls and VoIP business phones are changing the telecommunications landscape and giving many businesses access to resources that was beyond their reach in the past.
What is VoIP?
Phone conversations are connected via a direct line between the caller and the receiver of the call. When the call is placed, the local LEC or local exchange carrier routes the call based on the number dialed. The call is then transmitted via an analog signal. VoIP phones transmit the signal in a different way. These phones transmit the call in the form of data packets. Much like a computer that communicates by sending and receiving data, VoIP phones send the call in the form of data packets. However, because communication must be sent in a continuous stream, there are certain configuration requirements to ensure that the call sounds seamless.
On most data networks, data is simply processed in the order it is received and if there is a bottleneck, the data will continue to transmit once the bottleneck is cleared. Although voice data packets will work in the same fashion, the audio quality of the call begins to suffer. This is because although all of the data packets will be transmitted, they may not get to their destination at the same time, creating what is called delay or jitter. In laymen's terms, if the end of your conversation gets there before the beginning, your speech is not going to sound anything like the way it was spoken, often sounding like a cell phone out of range.
With VoIP business phones QoS, or quality of service, is implemented to insure that the voice data packets always have priority. This works as sort of a traffic cop directing traffic on the network. Regular data is allowed to go through until a VoIP call is made and then this "traffic cop" stops or slows other traffic and allows the voice call to go through first. In a properly configured network, problems with audio quality on a VoIP calls are kept to a minimum.
How Does VoIP for Business Provide Benefit?
Traditional voice circuits can be quite costly depending on the number of circuits and the call volume processed. VoIP phones minimize this cost by sending calls over the data network. Depending on the size of the network and the circuits, you can process these calls over the same circuits that you're currently using to process data. This eliminates the need for traditional circuits limited to voice communications. In this way, a business can leverage the data network they already have to process both data and voice traffic. This provides more versatility to the business and allows the business to expand in ways where they were limited before.
One of the biggest benefits to VoIP for business is the ability for the workforce to work from any location. Teleworking has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years and saves the business money in terms of maintenance and cost of operations. If you're currently running your business in Texas and want a presence in Ohio, you can simply hire someone and give them an extension in your phone system and allow access to the network. You don't have to open a physical location in Ohio and yet you have personnel without all of the overhead costs associated with a traditional brick and mortar business.
The ability to have personnel in any location provides the business with more options and the ability to expand quickly with minimal cost. This is often the best way to "try out" a particular market without investing the time and effort it takes to procure real estate and set up a fully operational business.
Another issue that VoIP for business solves for many businesses is one of finding quality personnel. This allows the business owner to cast a wider net when recruiting quality associates. In this way, a business owner in a smaller town has access to employees in bigger markets with a broader talent pool.
VoIP for business provides even the smaller business owner with the ability to think big and expand. By leveraging resources that you're already paying for, you are walking onto a larger playing field with many benefits that larger businesses enjoy. VoIP business phones are the vehicle by which any business can eliminate boundaries and limitations in relation to physical location thereby establishing a presence almost anywhere in the world. If you want to expand your business with minimal cost, then VoIP for business should be considered as a viable option to take your business to the next level and beyond.