Sunday, December 06, 2009

What is Voice Over Internet Protocol?

Author: Paul Howe

It delivers these bits and bytes to a specified internet address rather than a telephone number. It's easier to think of it as being like sending e-mail from one computer to another, but in real time and using voice instead of text. The technology that most likely runs your existing switchboard and phones is a traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) service. VoIP's advantage over this is its ability to combine several services, such as voice mail, video, e-mail and conferencing. This instantly increases your ability to collaborate and can result in higher productivity.

You've probably used VoIP services without even realizing it. Every time you've used an instant messenger program to initiate a voice conversation or sent a voice mail, you've used this cutting-edge technology.

But how can this benefit your company? Well, for starters, it's likely to lead to lower phone bills. And it could reduce the need to travel, too. If you have branch offices, they can be connected either through a dedicated lease line or virtual private network (VPN). Since all calls routed over the internet, irrespective of the network, are free, this leads to significant savings over existing voice services for inter-company communications and makes use of any under-utilised network capacity that you're paying for.

VoIP technology is not new, but some work may be needed before it achieves the reliability of traditional phone systems. Dealing with lots of hardware and service providers as well as handling technology considerations like the integration of VoIP networks with traditional phone systems may sound intimidating. However, with a little help, you will realize that the products on offer are easy to use.

Key requirements in the move to VoIP remain lower costs, abundance of choices, bundled services, high quality, reliability and availability. Most of these issues have already been addressed by VoIP service providers. And if you let them help you implement VoIP services correctly, it can lead to significant savings.

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Article Source: What is Voice Over Internet Protocol?

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