Voice over IP (VoIP) converts analog voice signals into digital data in real-time using an IP address. There are many different functions that VoIP can bring to a business however the overriding reason to move from traditional ISDN lines to VoIP is reduced cost. Popular VoIP features include conferencing, do not disturb, the ability to play music when placing callers on hold, caller ID, sending voicemail notifications to email, as well as rerouting calls to a different number if the office phone is not picked up. VoIP is something that may benefit your clients and provide you with another stable income stream. VoIP can also be integrated within their existing infrastructure or via a partner service.
Requirements for VoIP
There are just a few requirements for using a VoIP system that you will need to consider before deciding if your clients could benefit from it. The first is that there is enough bandwidth available to facilitate the VoIP system within the office or workspace. Bandwidth considerations need careful planning as high speed internet may also be contended. The key is the number of handsets in use and the amount of upload bandwidth available. It is also important to choose a good router to maintain the highest call quality for your clients, as well as the most suitable hardware.
Pros and cons
VoIP does need power to work, so it is worth considering a battery-powered backup system in the case of a power outage to reduce downtime for your customers. Most VoIP systems will operate using power over Ethernet. However there are some huge benefits to using VoIP such as the cost savings that come from internal calls, and the ability to move the VoIP phone to any location wherever you are working, and use it as long as there is a broadband internet connection. Besides this, the collaborative nature of the VoIP system makes it ideal for companies using many different forms of communications or that have a number of employees that work remotely.
Despite the fact that sound quality can be lost with insufficient bandwidth, VoIP can significantly reduce the amount spend on telecommunications and most service providers include generous incentives for resellers. You may need to supply a backup in case of power failure, but VoIP can bring flexibility to a business by providing the ability to communicate across different devices easily.
Microsoft Lync compared with Cisco UC
Both Microsoft Lync and Cisco UC are popular choices when it comes to VoIP solutions. These are two of the most well-known unified communications tools and both have their pros and cons. Users who are already familiar with Microsoft Office may find that Microsoft Lync Server is the most logical choice, whereas those who are used to Cisco Systems may find it easier to integrate with their UC functions. Both of these are relatively similar, and a lot comes down to how they will be used and understood by your customer. Other solutions include voiphone.co.uk as well as hardware providers such as Polycom and Snow that provide their own preferred software partner.
Choosing an VoIP solution for your client
As an IT provider it is important to choose the best VoIP solution for your clients, and install it to collaborate with their existing or new infrastructure to provide the greatest benefits and functionality. For more advice or information about VoIP systems, give Marathon a call today on 020 8329 1000.