One of the first tasks for anyone starting a business is ensuring reliable phone access. A lot of work is done on networked computers, but offices still need phones for day-to-day communications.
Older, proprietary phone systems were quite expensive, and they were difficult to reconfigure or scale up or down as business dictated. However, Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, offers phone technology using broadband internet connections, and hosted VoIP systems in particular offers many advantages over the old systems. Here are some of the biggest advantages of hosted VoIP phone systems.
WHAT IS A HOSTED VoIP COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM ?
VoIP is an acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol, or in more common terms phone service over the Internet. If you have a reliable quality Internet connection and a healthy data network you can get phone service delivered through your Internet connection instead of from your local phone company.
VoIP makes easy some things that are difficult to impossible with traditional phone networks. Incoming phone calls are automatically routed to your VoIP phone where ever you plug it into the Internet.
Take your VoIP phone with you on a trip, and anywhere you connect it to the Internet, you can receive & make all of your business calls, Basically, it is another way of making phone calls, with the difference of making the calls sometimes cheaper than traditional phone lines. The ‘phone’ part is not always present anymore, as you can communicate without a telephone set by integrating your cell phone or a soft phone app installed on your computer.
Anchor can provide a very robust fully scalable Phone system for your business and in some cases save hundreds monthly for your business!
Now let’s take a look at a Traditional option.
With a traditional solution you hear about high upfront costs, the technology ages and has to be replaced, support and maintenance costs along with extra cost for long distance. However, many of those complaints are not accurate and sticking with the tried and true approach has its pros and cons:
Perfect solution for those business’s wanting to keep their investment for 10-15 years and are not interested in paying monthly for the phone equipment.
Long distance is included by almost all of the carriers.
Service and maintenance costs are optional, not required.
When choosing a solution for your business, make sure to consider all options and do your research! Telecom should be part of your IT Plan and Strategy which will also help you to determine your needs and budget. Sometimes a hybrid system may be the best option, so don’t skip out on assessing your current solution
Hosted VoIP Saves Businesses Money
Saving money is one of the most important features of Hosted VoIP phone systems. Legacy systems were expensive. Setup was intrusive, reconfiguring required time and physical system changes, and maintenance and repairs could be quite expensive. But with hosted VoIP systems, you not only save on the costs of installation, calls themselves are significantly less expensive. If your business makes a lot of international calls, hosted VoIP phone systems offer the savings you need to have a great phone system without a huge capital investment.
A Range of Call Features Is Supported
All of the traditional call system features you expect are available in hosted VoIP systems, including call hold, call transfer, call hunt, conference calling, find me / follow me, and auto-attendant phone menus. You won't give up any of your favorite features by choosing hosted VoIP.
VoIP Scales Up or Down Easily
It's not always easy to predict how many phones you'll need over the next year, and if you have a traditional phone system, you have to estimate carefully to avoid spending money on phone lines you won't use. All this goes away with Hosted Telephone systems. With VoIP for your business, you can add a line as soon as you add a new employee, and when an employee leaves, you can easily reassign or remove the line. You always have the right number of phone lines for your needs.
Employees' Numbers Follow Them Wherever They Go
Are you rearranging or expanding your office space? Hosted VoIP phone systems let users access a convenient web portal to reconfigure the system at any time. Hosted VoIP phone systems are also terrific for businesses that have field workers or workers who travel a lot. Calls can be diverted to anywhere in the world due to cloud-hosted VoIP phone system features.
* General Router Configuration Guidelines
The following check list offers some general settings that apply to most routers. These settings should create an optimal environment for VoIP interoperability.
Disable Application Layer Gateway (AKA – “SIP Awareness”)
Set UDP window timeout to 90 seconds
Disable STUN, ICE or any other local NAT traversal settings
Enable QoS for local devices
By IP address
By MAC address
By VLAN ID
Enable Bandwidth QoS (if available)
Set the upload speed of the internet connection. Router will prioritize based on the available bandwidth.
Create firewall policy if the local policy is blocking SIP and/or RTP.
If you’re looking to buy a business phone system, there are four important things you need to figure out:
1. Do you need a full phone system that includes physical telephones or could your business get by with a virtual phone service that uses cellphones instead of traditional office phones?
2. If you do need actual telephones, what kind of service do you want? You will need to choose between a traditional landline telephone service provided by a local or regional phone company or a system that runs over the Internet (Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP)?
3. Does it make sense to install a Traditional or a VoIP Phone system ?
4. Do you need multiple locations or cell phone integration ?
Choosing a Business Phone System: 2015 Buyer's Guide