You may have heard “VoIP Telephony,” but you’re unsure what it means. You understand that it has something to do with your phone system and the Internet, but beyond that, you’re in an area that you don’t understand at all. This article aims to give an overview of VoIP telephony so that those unfamiliar with it will have a basic understanding.
What is VoIP Telephony?
Sometimes referred to as Voice over IP (VoIP) or a converged voice/data network, VoIP Telephony is an increasingly popular way to provide telephone services in the business world. Traditionally, companies have had separate infrastructures for their data and communications. As the “converged” portion of the converged voice/data network implies, VoIP Telephony combines voice and data into one network. It is a method for taking the analog audio signals you hear when you talk on the phone and converting them into digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet.
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Comparing VoIP Telephony to Traditional Phone Calls
Existing phone systems are driven by a method that has been in use for more than 100 years called circuit switching. When you call another party, the call is routed through a switch at your local carrier to the number you call. When the person on the other end answers the phone, a connection is made and the circuit is complete. It remains open the whole time the calls occur and closes when you hang up your phone.
VoIP Telephony works in a much different fashion. While the traditional circuit-switched call stays open the entire time and transfers everything (including dead air intervals), VoIP Telephony uses packet switching to pass information from one caller to another. Data networks use packet switching for communication. Only data, broken down into small packets and with an address for the network device where it will be sent, is transferred. Instead of transferring the data over one open connection between the two devices, it flows through a network, taking any one of thousands of possible paths. The result is a method that is much more efficient than circuit switching. Only true data (voice, not dead air) is transferred, and a dedicated circuit is not required.
Benefits of VoIP Telephony
VoIP telephony offers a wide range of benefits for both individuals and businesses. One of the most significant advantages of VoIP telephony is cost savings. VoIP telephony providers typically offer lower call rates than traditional phone companies, especially for long-distance and international calls. Additionally, since VoIP telephony uses the internet to transmit voice data, it eliminates the need for separate phone and internet lines, resulting in lower infrastructure costs.
Another benefit of VoIP is its flexibility and scalability. VoIP telephony systems can easily be scaled up or down based on business needs. They can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, making telecommuting and collaboration more efficient. VoIP telephony also offers a wide range of features, including call forwarding, voicemail, and call recording, often included at no additional cost.
Finally, VoIP telephony offers improved call quality and reliability compared to traditional phone systems. With the use of data networks and packet-switching technology, VoIP telephony is less prone to call drops and interference. Because VoIP Telephony uses the packet switching currently used by today’s network, it can essentially be plugged into an existing network and put to use with relatively little pain. For many companies, that means there is no longer a need to maintain the data and voice infrastructures. The data infrastructure can handle all of the Internet and local traffic and the data from VoIP Telephony.
How Do You Implement a VoIP System?
Implementing a VoIP telephony system in the changing landscape of communication can seem daunting, but it can be broken down into key steps. First, assess your current infrastructure to ensure it can support VoIP telephony. This includes evaluating your network bandwidth and quality of service (QoS) capabilities.
Next, select a VoIP telephony provider that meets your business needs and budget. This may involve comparing features, pricing, and customer reviews. Once you have selected a provider, you must choose the type of VoIP deployment that works best for your organization. This could include an on-premise solution, a cloud-based solution, or a hybrid solution.
After choosing your deployment method, you must set up and configure your VoIP telephony system. This includes installing any necessary hardware and software, creating user accounts, and configuring call routing and voicemail settings. Training your employees on using the new system and ensuring they can access technical support if needed is also important.
Finally, once your VoIP telephony system is up and running, it is important to regularly monitor and maintain it to ensure optimal performance and troubleshoot any issues that may arise. With careful planning and implementation, a VoIP telephony system can bring significant benefits to your organization, including cost savings and increased employee flexibility and mobility.
Best VoIP Telephony Providers
RingCentral and Nextiva are two of the best VoIP telephony providers in the market. Both offer a variety of features and pricing options to suit the needs of businesses of all sizes.
RingCentral is known for its all-in-one communication platform, which includes voice, video, and messaging capabilities. It offers a range of pricing plans, from basic to advanced, to cater to different business needs. RingCentral's VoIP telephony platform is also highly customizable, allowing businesses to tailor it to their specific requirements. One of RingCentral's standout features is its integration with other business tools, such as Salesforce and Microsoft Office.
Nextiva, on the other hand, prides itself on its exceptional customer service and support. It offers a range of features, including voice, video, and messaging, as well as collaboration tools such as team chat and screen sharing. Nextiva's VoIP telephony pricing plans are highly flexible, with per-user and per-feature billing options. Another standout feature of Nextiva is its easy setup and management, making it a great VoIP telephony option for businesses that need a quick and simple solution.
This article has only touched on the basics of VoIP Telephony and given a very easy, abbreviated overview. Much information on VoIP Telephony exists on the Internet. Interested readers should do additional research to learn more about the product and what benefits it can bring if implemented at their business. Compare the best VoIP telephony providers to select the best vendor for your business.