VoIP or Voice Over IP is the technology that enables users to make voice or phone calls over an internet connection as opposed to traditional phone lines. It is a standard, not a protocol, which means that although in theory it should work, it relies on a number of factors to ensure that it does so effectively.
Voice Over IP can be adopted in various ways.
Home-workers and remote workers in fact use the internet as a long piece of cable connecting a phone or device at one site to another as if it was in the same office. You can have a home worker or remote worker using a physical handset, software phone and headset on a laptop or tablet or app on a mobile, and anywhere that user has an internet connection (fixed line broadband, or even 3G or 4G) it can talk to the main site/office as if it was in the same office. Calls are free of charge and the remote user has all of the functionality that they would have if situated in the office (extension number, ddi number, voicemail, speed dials, transfer etc) and calls would be FREE OF CHARGE.
SIP trunks are cloud based lines which are gradually replacing traditional BT lines. They are generally at least half the price of BT lines and include FREE PHONE CALLS. These SIP trunks connect to your modern IP phone system just as BT lines would previously have done and you rent one SIP trunk per simultaneous call as you would with BT lines. You also have the added advantage of being able to move your number if you move location which is rarely the case with BT lines. You can also deploy phone numbers with any worldwide code on your SIP trunks which again, you would not be able to do with BT LINES.
Many telecoms and IT companies have either cut corners (often in the hope of providing the cheapest solution) when deploying it or have not fully understood how to deploy it properly and this has led to customers experiencing problems with their Voice Over IP. As a result we have had end users tell us that they have no faith in VoIP but a bad experience should not deter you from considering deploying it again as Southern Voice & Data have vast experience in providing fully working VoIP solutions and can advise on exactly what is needed to make sure it will work for you.
That said, VoIP may not be right for your business. Before we provide a VoIP service we need to look at your requirements and existing costs to demonstrate how it will work for your business, what the specific benefits are for you and if there are indeed cost savings.
Most of the solutions that we provide, whether it is a physical VoIP phone system or a pure Hosted/Cloud VoIP service, use Voice Over IP in some capacity. There are benefits and weaknesses to both physical VoIP and cloud/hosted VoIP solutions and every company has different requirements so one type of solution does not fit all. A pure hosted/cloud based system may be best for you yet a physical on-site phone system using VoIP lines might be better for the business next door.
Unfortunately many new entrants to the telecoms and Voice Over IP market particularly around the Swindon, Highworth, Marlborough & Wiltshire areas along with Newbury & The Thames Valley regions only sell hosted/cloud Voice Over IP which in many cases can have limited functionality and although can appear cheap initially can cost you far more in the long run.
Inferior broadband connections (low or non-voice grade) not suitable to carry voice traffic and IT networks and components (switches, routers, handsets) that are not designed to work together can result in calls being dropped, delays in speech transmission (we have all experienced this when talking to foreign based call centres), inferior line clarity/quality or simply no line availability. There are many considerations and safeguards to ensuring that Voice Over IP works properly.
Therefore when choosing a Voice over IP phone service we would always recommend talking to a provider that offers both physical and cloud options and can help you to understand the strengths and weaknesses based on your requirements. Southern Voice & Data are the ideal company to do that for your business.
Additional, many telecoms companies use this new technology to confuse and convince end users that they are getting real and tangible benefits from buying new Voice Over IP systems or services which in reality is barely any better for them (or sometimes worse) than what they already had in place. Adopting Voice Over IP now isn’t for everyone.