Category Archives for VoIP

Three Common Misconceptions About VoIP

Article originally posted on ESI.

Despite its many benefits, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a technology still shrouded in mystery in today’s business world. Even though it has been around for more than 20 years, the industry is still educating customers on the what and why of VoIP. Misconceptions and general unfamiliarity have given VoIP somewhat of a negative reputation, causing reluctance among businesses to adopt the advantageous solution.

This means there is room for substantial growth in adoption rates as more and more companies learn that VoIP puts the user at the center of the communications experience and creates increased flexibility and efficiency for businesses.

So, let’s debunk a few of the common misconceptions that are still out there about VoIP.

VoIP is a pain to set up

One common misconception of VoIP phone systems is that they are labor-intensive and unintuitive to set up. Employers shy away from the hassle, envisioning bundles of wires, connection issues and intricate operations. In reality, VoIP systems simplify everything, requiring only a reliable internet connection and, of course, outlets to power the phones.

VoIP is different than traditional phone services because it connects directly into computer networks (router/modem) – users need only connect their VoIP phone system with their internet connection. Additionally, most VoIP devices come provisioned for plug and play, cutting down on the need for configuration.

VoIP call quality is unreliable

Another primary concern is reliability. Since VoIP systems require a fair amount of bandwidth, substandard equipment or poor/slow internet connections have historically been major hindrances, causing bad voice quality and dropped calls. However, any good VoIP provider will work to ascertain the business needs of a company to ensure that it has a solid internal infrastructure and that its bandwidth is sufficient to properly support its systems.

Another important layer to add to the mix is quality of service (QoS). Voice traffic is more sensitive to network congestion than data traffic, so any blips in a connection are very noticeable. QoS essentially analyzes and assigns a certain levels of performance to different data flows and applications. In the case of VoIP, if a lot of bandwidth is being consumed, QoS will prioritize voice traffic over data so that call quality does not suffer.

VoIP is expensive

When VoIP technology first came on the scene, it was extremely pricey, so it only appealed to larger companies that could afford the expense. Now, the technology has advanced to the point where prices have dropped dramatically, making it cheaper than traditional phone service in most cases. Another significant cost-saving factor for companies is the ability to cherry-pick from a variety of services and features that meet their specific needs so they’re not spending money on services they will never use.

Looking ahead

In today’s workforce, businesses are continually looking for ways to stand out and increase their competitive advantage. Crucial elements in that equation point to the ability to be mobile, flexible and efficient, and VoIP empowers all three of those goals. Even with the apprehension still surrounding the technology, more and more users are recognizing the many advantages and are making the switch, paving the way for exponential growth.

For more information or if you have additional questions about how VoIP can work for you, contact our business telephone specialists at 757-523-9646.

6 Hidden Costs of VoIP

Infographic: The 6 Hidden Costs of VoIP

More and more companies switch from POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) to VoIP, because of the great saving opportunities and higher return on investment (ROI) it offers. However, there are many hidden costs to a VoIP implementation: beware and plan accordingly.

[box]Download The 6 Hidden Costs of VoIP Infographic[/box]

Hidden Cost #1 – Revamping Internal IT Infrastructure

VoIP is a real-time application that requires more resources than traditional email, HTML and databases. Companies switching over to VoIP have no choice but to make these improvements in the network systems and power supplies, because they are critical components.

Network Improvements

  • A loss of data packets sent over traditional IP environments is called “latency.”
  • To have a conversation, the maximum delay can be no more than 150 milliseconds.
  • VoIP works in real time and needs the lowest latency possible.
  • LAN cabling needs to be replaced with gigabit Ethernet or a fiber backbone.
  • Switches and routers need to be upgraded
  • These costs are often very high and usually not included in the vendor’s estimate.

Power Supply Improvements

  • Every device needs a reliable and uninterruptible power supply (UPS).
  • Standard desk UPS’s will not suffice if the building doesn’t have backup generators.
  • Some companies install separate power cabling for network components.
  • These costs are usually not included in the vendor’s estimate.

These Improvements Do Have Hidden Benefits!

  • Applications work better
  • Webpages do not hang up
  • Databases respond faster
  • Users are able to move quickly from voice to video and use richer web applications

These improvements are essential and should be treated as mandatory!

Hidden Costs #2- Vulnerability and Security

The switch to VoIP can introduce unexpected risks into the phone system of a company. Small businesses are especially vulnerable, because they may not have the number of trained, qualified personnel that larger companies have. Smaller companies are also less resilient to any disruptions of business.

Most Common VoIP Threats

Confidentiality Threat – Calls could be eavesdropped upon and/or recorded and voicemail may be tampered with which could lead to the loss of sensitive information, corporate secrets and/or identity theft.

To read full infographic Download Here.

For additional questions about VoIP or other business phone solutions please contact us.