Also known as hosted telephony, Voice Over Internet Protocol (or VOIP for short) describes business phone services that are delivered and managed entirely over the internet. If you have the internet connection to support it, Voice Over IP allows you to manage a unified communications business telecoms capability without the need for PBX hardware on your own premises.
VOIP and hosted telephony solutions are, instead, hosted in the Cloud, allowing you to make, receive, and record calls from telephone sets, from headsets connected to computers, from your business smartphone and a range of other devices.
How does VOIP work?
As the name ‘hosted telephony’ suggests, with the VOIP phone system, a hosted communications platform is at the centre of the solution. This is hosted in the Cloud and connects directly to the PSTN (or public switched telephone network) through high-speed connections that ensure office phone system call quality and reliability.
From there, clients who make use of our VOIP services or hosted telephony services are able to connect to the hosted communications platform from a range of devices. This includes VOIP telephones built specifically for the system, as well as smartphones, head seats, tablets and software applications like CRMs.
The fact that everything is connected digitally to one centralized system makes it much easier to connect offices or locations to one another and to manage call traffic volume that encourages flexibility and ensures consistency in communication. Both internal and external telephone calls can be routed through this Cloud-based VOIP hosted communications platform, making VOIP solutions a great fit for larger organizations.
Features of VOIP
There are different VOIP or hosted telephony systems and products available on the market. However, the following features are commonly found amongst many of the professional standard options available:
- Platform dashboard: A call user interface on digital devices allows users to make, answer, and transfer calls as well as to see who is already on calls, to hear and arrange voicemail, to see call history, and to set caller status so that appropriate messages can be played if, for instance, you are away on a meeting or on holiday.
- Set-up control: Manage different users and phone numbers in ring groups, huint groups, call pick up groups and more to ensure better control over business communication spend.
- Admin controls: Administration privileges can be given to the IT team or others in charge of the VOIP system. This can provide data on call volumes and details, active users, how calls are being routed, and more. This insight can help you learn better ways to manage the costs or efficiencies through use of your VOIP system.
- Call recording and Analytics: Whether for training, audits, or compliance eg MFiid or PCI, recording both inbound and outbound calls is becoming more common thanks to VOIP business telephony.
- Voicemail to email: If an inbound caller is unable to reach you, they will be able to leave their voicemail as with most other telephone systems. However, VOIP allows you to receive those voicemails as a downloadable sound file attached to an email, or even with voice transcription services. This can be useful if you are out of the office and disconnected from the VOIP system but still want to hear your voicemails.
- Video capabilities: Voice and audio aren’t the only things that can be transmitted through a VOIP system. Video can also be transmitted. As such, remote meetings between individuals and group videoconferencing are both available on high-end VOIP solutions.
- Deskphone Choices: When you upgrade your business phone system, you’ll probably upgrade your office phone handsets too. IP-enabled handsets are specifically designed to optimise call quality and are available in desktop, conference and DECT or WiFi wireless options. Alternatively, you can use a VoIP adaptor to enable you to use your existing analogue phones. There are a multitude of VoIP phone system options we can guide you through from brands such as Polycom, Fanvil, Yealink, Netgear, Gigaset, Sennheiser and Cisco.
- CRM Integration: VOIP platforms integrate seamlessly with a host of CRM platforms out of the box providing screen popping of the chosen CRM platform and integrates it with certain desktop features such as desktop contacts searching or click to dial. Most of the key systems are supported, Salesforce, Zoho, Pipedrive, Zendesk, SugarCRM, and many specialist Real Estate systems such as DezRez or Rezi, or recruitment applications like Bullhorn.
The features of specific VOIP or hosted telephony systems can differ greatly. To learn more about individual features that you could benefit from, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We would be delighted to help you find and install the solution that best fits your needs.
The Benefits of VOIP
Reading the above, you may well already be able to spot some of the potential improvements that a VOIP phone system could bring to your business. However, here, we are going to explore some of the other advantages that a digital, Cloud hosted unified communications solution could offer you and your business:
- Lower rates than traditional phone companies: In many cases, especially for businesses with several team members on the phones at once, VOIP can be much more cost-effective in the long run. The ability to manage and configure your phone lines can help you control those costs, too. Inclusive call packages are more prevalent with business VOIP telecoms solutions.
- Built for flexibility: There is no physical equipment that is exclusively tied to your VOIP system. You can connect to it from laptops, desktops, headsets, handsets, smartphones, and more. As such, you can log into it from anywhere in the world and make, receive, or manage calls so long as your internet connection is strong enough.
- Cost-effective scaling: When you want to scale your hosted telephony systems, you don’t have to buy any more equipment or find more room for it. You simply need to purchase a license, handsets or headsets which allows for more user connections and your system can grow to meet your office telecoms needs.
- Built for disaster: Traditional phone lines tend to be vulnerable when a disaster, such as a blackout or fire, hits the office. Expedient communication is often of the utmost importance when responding to such a crisis. With VOIP systems, you are still able to keep your communications up, thanks to your ability to connect to the system from anywhere, or to set up disaster recovery routing plans to ensure call completions.
- Unify your communications: One of the greatest benefits of VOIP is its use in Unified Communications. The ability to combine video, voice and data across a wider range of devices, like mobile phones, PC’s, tablets etc allows teams to communicate more flexibly, make international calls from anywhere, and with presence insights make efficient use of resources, time and users.
If you would like to learn more about how VOIP or hosted telephony could help your company, or transform your office phone systems get in touch with us for a consultation.
Get in touch with us today
At Juno Telecoms, we would be glad to take the time to find out about your business needs and to advise you and install VOIP business telecoms or hosted telephony solutions that fit both your demands and your budget. Our aim is to help connect your business, but how you benefit from that connectivity depends on your needs.
In our consultation, we will go through the details of VOIP or any of our other communication solutions to help us understand, without technical mumbo-jumbo, the best possible options for your business on the market.