Is VoIP Right For Your Business?

Why Should Businesses Adopt VoIP Phone Systems?

In order to grow, businesses have to tap into new markets to increase their customer base. It is imperative to maintain an impeccable communication system. An efficient communication system allows a business to not only maintain seamless connectivity with customers and employees, it also lowers their telephone bills. VoIP is a new technology that businesses across the world are banking upon to solve all their communication woes and, at the same time, bring down their monthly telephone expenses.

Small businesses in particular should consider the latest communication systems like a Hosted VoIP business phone system in order to stay ahead of competition. The Voice over Internet Protocol is perfect for small, medium and large businesses. Not only is it easy to subscribe to VoIP services, it is also easy to scale the packages up or down depending on your usage. VoIP uses the Internet to transmit voice signals in the form of data packets over a secured network. It is not only a secure form of communication for the companies but also a very reliable and efficient solution.

Let us understand why VoIP suits businesses and adopting VoIP phone systems is the logical way to building a robust communication system:

• VoIP helps to serve customers better:

Pleasing customers is vital for all businesses and is even more important for small businesses that want to survive stiff competition in the market. It not only helps businesses acquire new clients but also retain the old ones by providing better services. VoIP has several features like automated call routing, call holding, IVR etc., which helps companies attend to all customer calls and queries on a priority basis. No customer calls are missed and customers get a feeling that the company cares for them, so they are more likely to return with more business.

• VoIP helps to make business processes efficient:

Businesses have started to realize the importance of staying connected to customers as well as employees – this is easily achieved by implementing VoIP. VoIP lets the users log in from anywhere; even when they are not sitting at their desk. Thus important voicemails, messages and other communications are never missed. Important issues can be easily solved by getting in touch with the respective department or executive. All this eventually helps in better decision making.

• Bringing down costs:

This is probably the biggest advantage that businesses enjoy by migrating to VoIP. The telephone bills footed by many companies run up to thousands of dollars a month when they are using the old PSTN telephones. This is never the case with VoIP. The only costs that the customer bears is the charge for the Internet connection within a stipulated FUP. Since VoIP communications can be initiated with just an Internet connection and some basic hardware, the high installation costs are avoided too. Companies do not have to pay any upfront bills for installation and maintenance, so this translates into heavy savings.

Companies that need to make overseas calls on a frequent basis can take advantage of VoIP. If the other party is also on a digital circuit, there are no additional costs for international calls. If the other party is on mobile or land lines, you can use SIP trunking with fixed rates to call anyone, anywhere.

Thus, we get to see that VoIP is the most practical option available to business owners if they truly want to establish a seamless communication service for their company.

About Universal ComOne

Universal ComOne offers award winning business telephone systems that are right for any business. We can design a solution to fit your needs.

Call 337-205-9364 for all your communication needs.


On-Premise vs Hosted Phone Systems

Modern VoIP business phone system come in two major flavours. One is an on-premise IP-PBX, and the other is hosted, or cloud based solution.

If you are looking at new options for upgrading your telephone system in your office, it is a good idea to take a look at the hosted PBX systems. We are aware that local, on-site telephone systems are something that everyone is quite familiar and comfortable with. However, hosted PBX systems are the latest trend in the market, and it has several advantages. If you are looking at options to replace the old telephone system at your office, then it is important to weigh all the options.

Some businesses have compulsions to have on-premise IP-PBX. Keeping track of calls, keeping tight control on call costs, privacy, and a number of other factors contribute to this requirement.

There are certain facts that distinguish on-premise phone systems from hosted PBX phone lines.

On-Premise Business Phone System:

The biggest difference in an on-premise phone system is the greater upfront costs. An estimate is approximately $500-$800 per employee which includes all expenses such as individual handsets, the main IP-PBX hardware, cabling/wiring which is mandatory to operate the system. Many newer phone systems are considered to be a hybrid as they are capable of handling both IP as well as PSTN circuits.

Another factor to consider is the maintenance of an on-premise phone system.  Maintenance has to be done regularly, so there may be a need for a network and/or technical engineer.

If you are using a hybrid system, there are additional monthly costs for the use of PSTN trunk lines. The telephone service company then adds taxes, surcharges, and additional fees.  These charges add up and can really become excessive.

Hosted PBX Service:

A hosted phone system is basically a cloud-based solution. A service provider hosts all the hardware needed in a data center, and gives you connectivity through the internet.

First, there is no need to purchase or install an IP-PBX. You only have to buy the number of IP phones you need.  All the hardware is installed in an alternate off-site data center. There is no other cabling or wiring cost because the IP phones are simply connected to your existing computer network which is connected to the Internet.

Second, since there is less hardware to maintain, monthly maintenance costs are reduced. The user simply picks up the phone, plugs it into an Ethernet jack, and the rest of the work including registration of the phone is done by the hosted IP-PBX server.

Service providers offer very attractive rates for hosted VoIP business phones. For example, Toshiba hosted phone service is available for as low as 24.99 per month.

Take a look at your requirements, and choose the best VoIP phone system ideally suited for you needs.

About Universal ComOne

Universal ComOne offers award winning business telephone systems that are right for any business. We can design a solution to fit your needs. Call 337-205-9364 for all your communication needs.

Improving VoIP Voice Quality

VoIP is the new technology in telephone service which uses the Internet. This is a great way to be in touch with family and colleagues, irrespective of their location. VoIP does not distinguish between national, international and, local calls as it uses the data network. This emerging service helps business owners stay in touch with their clients, employees and others. VoIP has its own set of unique advantages and disadvantages.

Since VoIP is a relatively new technology, call quality can be a concern at locations where Internet connections are slow. The calls are more often rife with many issues like unclear sound, echoes, jitters etc. VoIP depends on the Internet and it requires genuine bandwidth or speed to function without any issues. Given below is a list of tips that can help you overcome the problems that can mar the overall experience of using VoIP technology:

  • The first and foremost countermeasure is to have a fast Internet connection. Opting for a VoIP based on a dial up connection is not a meaningful way to use VoIP as it will have poor audio quality. DSL connections do not help either, so the first need for a high quality VoIP call is a high quality Internet. Look at broadband options where you can allocate a minimum bandwidth for VoIP calls.
  • The next problem is interference from natural elements. Natural elements like rain, thunderstorms, snowfall and other factors can affect VoIP calls and increase static noise. In those circumstances, the only option left is to reboot the entire system to remove static noise. A more permanent solution is to have a connection that is immune to the vagaries of nature. Your service provider needs to change the cables with some high quality cables to reduce static noise. Inside your premises, protect you wiring and make sure they are not close to electrical wiring.
  • VoIP works by transmitting voice-turned-data packets over the Internet. In this process, software compresses large data into a smaller size for transmission. Low quality compression software can lower the quality of voice that is being transmitted. Make sure that a high quality voice compression software is used.
  • Hardware can be another reason for bad audio quality. The hardware is directly responsible for the transmission of data through the Internet. The most important piece in the system is the ATA or Router. ATAs have support for echo cancellation, security firewall, etc. There are several instances where the equipment used in the system can interfere with each other to create feedback resulting in noises and call drops. Therefore, it is mandatory to place the hardware and the equipment for the system in such a way that there is no interference.
  • There are many things that can affect the VoIP call quality. So regular maintenance of the computer is vital. There should be enough memory for the high quality microphones and speakers.   This will secure the quality of VoIP calls.
  • The sort of phone as well as the frequency can also affect the class of one’s VoIP. A lot of people have the belief that the higher a phone’s frequency is, the better the excellence of VoIP. However, in some cases, a lower frequency phone may be more suitable for one’s connection than ones with higher frequency. It may be desirable to attempt a phone with a lower frequency if someone is experiencing a lot of audio feedback.

The above tips would help to improve the quality of the audio in VoIP, and it will ensure high performance of communication one needs to run a business conversation effectively.

About Universal ComOne

Universal ComOne offers award winning business telephone systems that are right for any business. We can design a solution to fit your needs. Call 337-205-9364 for all your communication needs.

Benefits of Unified Communications

Unification is the buzz word for UC. It combines business data and telephony in the same network and allows businesses to use and combine voice and data information in a common business application. One can save and forward faxes, instant messages, emails, use video conferencing or do voice phone calls as just a simple chunk of data. Above all UC can encrypt the data. Thus when your data floats on the web, there are no chances of it being intercepted by the wrong person.

Unifed CommunicationsThe advantages of Unified Communication go beyond this and can be experienced when an employee uses a single phone number or handset and an inbox, which is unified for all their communications. It is different from other standard systems which are server-based and use digital networks and IP. Here are some of the applications and their benefits.

Advanced Telephony

If your business is spread over multiple geographical locations, your employees can communicate directly with each other by using UC. Unlike with a normal PSTN system, they don’t even have to remember the area code. You can also offer advanced call forwarding to various devices. With hunt groups, the incoming calls may search for an idle extension. Regardless of the location, UC can offer ringing of multiple devices like mobile phone, desk phone and desktop simultaneously. Thus, as a phone user you are benefitted by having a single number for all your devices.

Users also benefit from UC by only having a single unified voicemail box to check messages. These messages can also be sent to your email inbox for more convenience.

Cheaper calls and simplified billing

UC offers lower cost calling than the traditional telephony as it is mainly based on a digital network. As the voice and videos are carried as data over the various networks, businesses receive the benefit of reducing their phone bills by using this unified system in their organizations.

With it, the billing system can be simplified and even system administration becomes much easier. And combining the disparate services through a single vendor also reduces the total cost of conferencing. With UC, businesses can get predictable bills and thus can estimate their monthly costs.

Presence and knowing when you can take a call

With UC, businesses get Presence technology which allows different business associates and colleagues to find out who is available online and whether they can be contacted or not. Just as one sees the status of their friends in social networks, the presence of one individual is indicated if they are available either on their home phone, mobile or desk phone. The users can also state whether they are driving or are in a meeting and are allowed to put a comment about their status.

Another way presence is beneficial is that with it, an employee can easily locate an expert on a specific issue and get connected to them easily with UC. For example, if there is a problem of any critical technological aspect, one can get to the expert and get the solution. In such situations the communication starts with a simple SMS or instant messaging, and then they may be escalated all the way up to video conferencing if required.

Unified Communications and Contact Management

Last but not the least, contact management integration can be easily done with UC; hence, employees can easily access a single phone book for all business contacts, throughout the organization and across the globe.

About Universal ComOne

Universal ComOne offers award winning business telephone systems that are right for any business. We can design a solution to fit your needs. Call 337-205-9364 for all your communication needs.

4 Simple Reasons To Choose IP-PBX

PBXs have existed for many decades and were considered to be a luxury as they were not affordable to the small business concerns. The special PBX feature that is applied to the VoIP system is known as IP-PBX and it is the acronym for Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange. PBX connects the telephone extensions of an organization to the outside mobile or public telephone network. It comprises of multiple telephone system branches and the connections are switched among them by linking the phone lines. Phones in a company are connected to the PBX, which in turn connected to the external line. Thus, one line can be leased and multiple users can use the phone line with individual phone numbers for every user. The format of the phone numbers does not follow the phone number format of the primary line. The PBX allows only a 3 or 4 digit number to be dialed for connecting to the users on the same network. The numbers are usually known as extension. A caller calling from outside the network asks for the extension for placing a call to the desired person.

The IP-PBX is an affordable technology which can be availed by even the smallest companies. The users will be able to avail the wide range of features at a fraction of the price. The installation of IP-PBX requires a little investment for the hardware as well as the software but the benefits and return on investment does complete justice to the expenditure.

The primary benefits offered by an IP-PBX are numerous features, scalability and manageability. Adding as well as removing a user from the telephone system can be a cumbersome task but with the IP PBX, it is breeze. The cost of adding or removing a user is negligible compared with the old PBX system.

1. Easy to Manage GUI based Configuration

Managing the latest IP-PBX is extremely easy as the GUI interface provides easy access to all the controls. You will be able to customize some of the features without too much technical understanding about the underlying technologies. It is also impressive to note the easy availability of all the management features on a single platform. Adding or deleting a user to and from the network is an easy task.

2. Cost saving using VoIP Provider

Since the IP-PBX uses the existing VoIP connection so the users are not required to buy additional hardware or software. All the essential hardware and software will be provided, maintained and upgraded by the VoIP service provider. Thus, users will be able to experience huge cost savings on the PBX system. This is really attractive for the small business owners who cannot afford the expensive PBX equipments. The smaller companies will be able to maintain a sophisticated and professional VoIP service.

3. Scalable

Small businesses and start-ups always prefer to work with systems that can be flexible enough to accommodate the growing demands of business communication. It is imperative that the PBX system too complies with this policy followed by the companies. The latest PBX systems are highly scalable and the number of communication lines being handled by the PBX can be easily increased or decreased depending on the growth rate of the company.

4. Better Customer Service & Productivity

Equipped with an efficient and effective PBX system, it will be easier for the companies to provide better customer service and register higher productivity. The employees of a company will be able to cater to the needs of the customers in an efficient manner, thus solving the customer issues without delay. Hence, a higher productivity can be easily registered by the company.

About Universal ComOne

Universal ComOne offers award winning business telephone systems that are right for any business. We can design a solution to fit your needs. Call 337-205-9364 for all your communication needs.