Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), also referred to as IP telephony or internet telephony, is a method for taking analog audio signals and converting them into digital data that can be transmitted over the internet using a VoIP phone system. IP telephony is a revolutionary technology that extends communication to anyone, anywhere, using any device: access can be gained through a desktop telephone, a wireless VoIP phone or the soft screen dial-pad of a desktop or laptop- it is entirely portable. VoIP phones are quickly becoming mainstream, and the time to adopt the multitude of benefits delivered through VoIP is now.
Traditional analog telephone services transmit audio signals across copper wires; as this system evolved from analog to digital, it cut costs and improved services. IP telephony is a modernized form of telephony which uses the internet to transmit digitized voice data. Voice signals are broken up into packets of data and sent via the internet or a private point-to-point connection. There are a number of different ways to implement VoIP:
ATA- an Analog Telephone Adapter connects an analog standard phone to an internet connection for use with VoIP. An ATA is a straightforward way to convert analog to digital for conversion over the internet.
IP Telephones- IP phones look like traditional phones, but they connect directly to internet routers and have all of the hardware and software necessary to handle the VoIP call.
VoIP is great for organizations that shift locations often, add locations often, have multiple locations in different telephone area codes or have a relatively small technology staff. This technology is also well suited for organizations that are currently using IP Centrex lines that support phone and internet service on the same network. Making the change to VoIP will immediately lower phone costs since traditional business lines can be quite expensive. VoIP is also appropriate for companies who are changing location or moving into a new building, since the wiring does not exist yet, it’s simple to create a consolidated voice and data network. Companies with employees that work remotely or travel often will also greatly benefit from IP telephony.
Small businesses have a great deal to gain from using VoIP phone systems, from operational cost savings to increased productivity. Cost savings occur from diminished toll fees, decreased number of lines and minimal adding or changing line fees. VoIP also introduces small businesses to a number of features that were previously only available to large corporations: unified voicemail and email, “find me, follow me” to never miss a call and remote extensions.
If you would like to learn more about how VoIP can benefit your business, our team of experts will be happy to help you find the best communications solution to suit your needs.