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Soft Dollar Savings of VoIP

Most businesses leverage VoIP for its cost savings, but achieving ROI with VoIP isn't about cost savings alone. Return on investment for VoIP should be evaluated through both hard dollar savings (traditional cost savings) and soft dollar savings. Soft dollar savings are intangible benefits for your company that cannot be qualitatively measured like cost savings can be.

There are various benefits from VoIP soft dollar savings:

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Is VoIP Service Right For You?

VoIP technology has become popular for many reasons, and businesses across the globe have adopted it as their primary means of communications. Since VoIP is a revolutionary way to combine multiple branches of telecommunications, businesses often invest in it as a long-term approach to improve the transfer of information and as a way to cut costs.

However, switching over from a traditional telephone service to VoIP can entail a large financial investment at the start and require time for implementation. Businesses may wonder if this move is right for them.

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VoIP Buying Checklist

Congratulations on your decision to purchase a VoIP system! You’re in the right track to great savings and features you never thought you could afford. With so many options available, you need to have a checklist to guide you through this process and focus your attention to items that are important. Besides costs, you must consider other issues, such as:

If you plan on using your existing setup, consider VoIP systems that are compatible with your current equipment. Probably, you will need to buy an adapter, but be sure to inform the vendor of your intention to keep your own equipment and cables—not all VoIP systems are compatible with older setup. If you're purchasing new equipment, you're less likely to have compatibility problems, but double check anyway.

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IP-PBX Vendor Selection Checklist

You already understand that purchasing an IP-PBX solution for your business can help you communicate more effectively and efficiently while lowering costs. You have decided that a hosted VoIP solution is the right choice for your business. Now comes the hard part in finding the right vendor to fit your needs and ensuring that your business ends up with a service package that will help it function most effectively.

When your business is evaluating potential IP-PBX providers, it is helpful to determine which attributes are most important to your business’ goals. Not all service and equipment providers have identical strong suits, and it is important to understand the specific features that your business is searching for in a vendor. If your business is primarily concerned with the ability to modify or change your service arrangement as it grows for instance, then it behooves you to seek out vendors that have a specific emphasis on adaptability. Likewise, if call quality is of paramount importance to your company, then selecting your future VoIP provider based on service quality and uptime may be the best route.

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VoIP Vendor Selection Checklist

Getting ready to buy a Voice over IP (VoIP) telephone system? One thing you’ll have to do in the process is compare various vendors to determine which is best for you. What’s the right way to do that, in a fashion that will yield the best results for your particular situation? A vendor selection checklist can be handy.

The vendor selection checklist will list a variety of items that are vital to your company and potential VoIP installation. For each vendor, you would tick off whether the item is provided or not, and then add any notes that may be appropriate. The best way to use the checklist, then, would be to grade each vendor on each item, tally up the scores, and go with the vendor that scores the best. This is a successful and proven way to make a good business decision.

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Trends for VoIP

According to In-Stat, a popular market research firm, the total number of mobile Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) users will reach 288 million by the end of 2013. The year 2013 will also usher in over 400 million dual-mode handsets or mobile phones capable of transmitting data over more than one type of network. The use of VoIP over a wireless internet (WiFi) connection also guarantees higher audio quality and quicker connections.

In-Stat also reported that Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region currently has more mobile VoIP revenue. The company also predicts that Asia Pacific will be the largest regional market in terms of VoIP revenue by 2013.

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VoIP Trends

Consumer trends are often connected to economics, such as cheap access. However, features, or how easy it is to use the latest advance in this area  also prompt consumers to utilize VoIP systems. Sometimes, though, these trends are affected by government regulations, such as France’s opening up of the market in 2006, allowing for IP communications.

Canadians are embracing VoIP with VOIPGizmos.ca estimating that 1 out of every 12 currently use VoIP systems, taking advantage of lower costs and certain popular features, such as voicemail, PBX -like call control, call queuing and auto attendant services.

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Phone System Review: ShoreTel vs. Mitel

Choosing the right Unified Communications (UC) solution for your small business can be a complex and research intensive task. Finding a solution that will fit your business’ needs without going overboard in terms of budget can be a tall order for small businesses looking for the best Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system or UC solution. Both ShoreTel and Mitel are well regarded providers of VoIP and UC solutions for businesses of all sizes. With pricing that comes in slightly lower than Cisco, Avaya, and several other well known providers, these two telephony vendors are often compared to one another.

ShoreTel – ShoreTel is known for both their UC hardware and software, and more recently for the service aspects relating to UC communications. Their full service UC suites encompass voice, data, video, and mobile communication and strive to create the perfect solution for all of your business’ communications needs. Advertising a lower TCO than Cisco and Avaya, ShoreTel is often referred to because of the technical complexity of their systems.

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Cisco vs. Avaya for Small Business

When choosing a Unified Communications (UC) solution for small and medium sized business, the choice often comes down to a few industry leaders. Cisco and Avaya, both recognized leaders in the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and UC arenas, offer their customers slightly different solutions to the same basic issues. Both of these giants offer complex top-tier communications service and hardware packages, but each has a slightly different focus and comes with their own drawbacks and advantages.

Cisco – Cisco has been a major player in the UC and networking world for years, and has earned a name as one of the most reliable and technologically advanced providers of hardware and business solutions. Cisco has been aggressive with its ongoing research and development and in its acquisition of companies that increase their reach in regard to communications. Known primarily for the quality of their network hardware, Cisco is a name often repeated when discussing UC solutions for small and large businesses.

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How to Write a Phone System RFP

You're nearing the end of the line in your quest for a phone system for your company. You've done your homework and you know what your company needs and what you want to get out of a phone system. You've looked at products and narrowed your choices. In regards to vendors, you've got your field down to a manageable handful. You're at the point in the process where it's time to get serious. You need to ask the vendors you've chosen to put together proposals for you to go over. In regards to a Request for Proposal (RFP), though, exactly how should you do it? If you haven't been through a purchase process before, this step might be new to you. Let's take a few minutes to discuss the items that should make up a Phone System RFP.

Begin your RFP by taking the time to lay out your existing telephone system. Talk about the system that you have, how it's configured, what you like about it, what you don't like about it. Include any network information related to the phone system that would be helpful to the vendor. If possible, a diagram of the existing system would go a long way here. A picture is worth a thousand words.

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Reasons Why Phone System Strategies Fail

Voice over IP (VoIP) has been touted as the way of the future, and companies are being encouraged to jump onto the bandwagon to save money and enjoy the benefits of features previously on available to enterprise sized businesses. Many companies will join the rush and enjoy what VoIP has to offer. Other companies, though, will sign up and then find they have nothing but a big headache. The VoIP strategy will be viewed by them as a failure. Why is this? What are the reasons that phone system strategies fail? Let’s examine what can go wrong.

This is the only reason where you’re off the hook…partially, at least. If you’ve decided on a vendor that then flaked on you, there isn’t much you can do. If your ISP suddenly has issues providing your Internet connection, there isn’t much you can do. Make sure that you researched the vendor thoroughly before you pulled the trigger on the sale. That way, you can justify to management that you did your homework and that what happened was completely unexpected. If you didn’t do your homework…well, you’re going to have a lot of explaining to do to the management team.

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Getting the Most from Your Existing Phone System

No matter what phone system an enterprise presently employs—whether a key system, private branch exchange (PBX), or a PBX with Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) capability—there are a number of features and techniques that should be employed to maximize the usage and efficiency of such telephony devices. Standard practices related to policies for phone usage, integration with information technology systems, and proper techniques for handling high call volumes may all be used to increase productivity and generate more business.

The rendering of a uniform, standard means for employees to communicate with customers and other businesses while on the phone is fairly integral to the integrity and image of a particular enterprise. Therefore, it is essential to mandate a formal greeting that should be used by all telephone representatives, as well as to adequately train employees in the responsibilities and names of employees in the various departments of an organization for the sake of accurate, expedient transfer of calls. It may be of value for companies to monitor calls for the purpose of training and quality control, to ensure that representatives are sufficiently fulfilling these responsibilities.

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8x8 Review

Among telecommunications providers for business 8x8, Inc. has proven to be a rapidly growing provider and has become a mainstay in the arena. If your business is looking into Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or Unified Communications (UC) solutions, 8x8 has probably come into play in your research. Among the leaders in VoIP and UC solutions for businesses of all types and sizes, 8x8 has a reputation as a forward thinking and reliable communications provider and partner.

Named for the number of video pixels used in image compression, 8x8 has a long history in designing and manufacturing chips and hardware used in video conferencing, VoIP, and telecommunications equipment for business. Beginning in the mid-2000’s, 8x8 stepped into the service field and began offering its VoIP and UC services to businesses of all sizes through retail and other channels. Today, 8x8 is used by businesses of all shapes and sizes, residential consumers, city governments, and other entities, and offers a truly comprehensive array of solutions from UC to cloud hosting and more.

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Who Should Be on the Strategy Team

There are a number of key staff members who should be involved in the strategy team for a specific purchase for an enterprise, particularly one which involves communications or significant hardware and software such as various computer and telephony equipment. As the strategy for such purchases often requires a substantial amount of research, organizations should look to involve various members of human resources, information technology, and financial operations departments, as well as a wide selection of staff members who will be utilizing the particular product to be procured. A synthesis of all of these disparate entities is needed to produce an effective strategy.

Representatives from the department of financial operations provide key input during the formulation of strategy for a particular organization wide system, as they are the ones to determine exactly how much funds may be dedicated to the various costs associated with the purchase. Costs to be considered outside of the immediate purchase itself include those for training, additional hardware and software, as well as for system upgrades. Additionally, this department will determine projections for ROI, capital outlay, and other important financial implications that enable organizations to know what their limits are for the purchase.

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VoIP Buying Reviews

VoIP usage is steadily increasing in business settings and in home and in personal environments as well. Consequently, it has become more prudent than ever for potential customers to ascertain what options are available in terms of VoIP service providers, as well as to gauge the plethora of features and specific applications which their services enable>

Vonage is one of the most longstanding VoIP service providers still active in the market today. The company is often touted for its array of features, some of which are included and some of which are in addition to its monthly rate plans, which may be as low as $24.99 for residential customers and as low as $40 a month for businesses. Standard features include caller ID, call waiting, weather alerts, visual voice mail (in which voice messages are transcribed and sent via email or text), as well as unlimited virtual phone numbers in several area codes and local access numbers with which callers can dial customers from long distances without incurring long-distance charges.

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VoIP Buying Market Trends

In the year 2010, several studies from research companies confirmed that VoIP became a widely used telecommunications service in North America and across the world. By the end of 2010, the U.S. cable companies were providing telephone services to more than 22 million subscribers.

Reports also indicate that SMBs individual users will continue to choose VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) over plain old telephone systems (POTs).

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What is PBX

When looking into phone systems, one often finds that there are a lot of terms and acronyms thrown around. The assumption made by the people doing the talking is that those listening understand what is being said. In some case this is true. In other cases, the listener has no idea what is being passed along. A common term in this case would be PBX? Technophiles and administrators won’t have a problem understanding what a PBX is. The normal user, however, or an executive looking at alternatives for his company, might not. Let’s answer the question of what it is.

PBX stands for ‘private branch exchange’. It is a telephone exchange that serves a particular business or office. This is not the same as the public telephone exchange that phone carriers and telephone companies operate for the general public.

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What is PBX?

You may have heard the term ‘PBX’ when researching office phones and wondered what exactly it means. This article will provide information about the technology and how it can be used at a small business.

A PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is a telephone switching system that can manage and connect multiple phone lines to each other without having to deal with the telephone company. They can also provide basic information to the administrator like the overall length of the phone call.

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What is Voip?

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) has become quite popular with small businesses over the last few years. Many people still don’t know what the technology is, however, or how it can benefit their business.

To put it simply, VoIP is a way to make and receive phone calls over the internet. You don’t need to use the telephone network, and can quickly scale the system up or down depending on the number of employees.

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Can My VoIP Calls Be Listened In On?

One of the common concerns about VoIP is the possibility of someone listening in on a phone call. This concern exists because you don’t need to tap a physical wire – you just need a protocol analyzer that can intercept the voice packets.

Here are five methods to encrypt phone calls made through VoIP:

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