VoIP: What is it and why is it so great?
I recently attended a social gathering where I had the chance to meet new people and make new connections. During the normal small talk chit-chat, I was asked what I do for work. I explained that I am in “sales and marketing for VoIP technology and services.” This was typically met with a look of confusion as if they didn’t know what VoIP was. I was left to ponder… is it still possible that anyone doesn’t use VoIP, or even know what VoIP is? I know I’m in the communications business, but VoIP seems like a no-brianer.
So I thought I would write an introductory post about VoIP and what makes it so great. Let’s begin with the basics.
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It’s essentially voice communication that travels over the Internet rather than traditional copper lines (analog). More specifically, voice communication is encapsulated into packets that then travel across your internal network or over the Internet. Pretty simple, right?
If we dive a bit deeper, we encounter terms like protocols, codecs, and unified communications. Let’s have a quick look at these.
Protocols are sets of rules. VoIP protocols establish a set of rules that dictate how voice packets are transmitted across a network. The most common protocol that you will undoubtedly encounter, if you haven’t already, is SIP (Session Initiation Protocol).
Codecs are kind of like the work horses behind VoIP. They are responsible for converting analog voice into digital packets so that the voice stream can traverse your network. When you speak into a phone or headset, your voice (stream) begins in an analog state. In order for your voice to travel over your network, Codecs must be employed to switch from analog to digital. They also help determine quality and how much bandwidth is required to send those voice packets over the network.
Unified Communications is a popular term that simple means that all communications are unified together under the same system or service. It’s not uncommon to have a variety of separate devices and services that can’t quite work together out of the gate. Unified communications lets you integrate, enhance, and streamline your business communication into a single VoIP solution that affords many benefits.
Lower Communication Costs
This is by far the most well-known benefit of VoIP. Compared with traditional telephony, VoIP is substantially cheaper. VoIP certainly helps lower the cost of communications, but also helps save money by eliminating costly older equipment that requires maintenance and manpower. VoIP also allows you to use the exact number of channels you need, and makes adding or removing channels and features simple and quick.
VoIP unifies communications. Older services and equipment are limiting in features and are often difficult to integrate with newer technologies. VoIP offers the most advance voice technology today, and provides numerous features that help you work smarter and faster and become more productive.
Anywhere, anytime access! As long as you have access to your network or the Internet, you can make and receive VoIP calls. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, or what time of day it is, you will get a dial tone. And most hosted PBX systems include free mobile soft phone apps that let you take your work extension with you anywhere you go.
VoIP systems provide the ability to use a desk phone, soft phone, or mobile phone to make and receive VoIP calls. It doesn’t matter if you’re at your desk, on the road, or at home, you’ll always be able to call. And if you’re not available, you can receive your voice mail messages via email and listen to them on any playback device.
VoIP doesn’t stop a voice calling. You can also make video calls through your VoIP phone, instant message chat with coworkers and colleagues, and send/receive electronic faxes without having to worry about being at your desk.
Easy to Deploy
VoIP installations require minimal technical knowledge or expertise. You no longer require separate wiring for telephony. You won’t need to shell out tens of thousands of dollars in implementation costs. And VoIP systems are incredibly easy to scale, making adding additional capacity and features simple and inexpensive.
With all of the benefits, doesn’t it make sense to migrate your voice communications to VoIP? Leading business voice service providers like Imecom understand the technology and how to provide a service that’s meets your specific needs. After all, this is the origin of handSIP – hand designed VoIP services. Let us work with you to understand your VoIP requirements and design a solution that’s right for you.