When you are looking for a new phone system these days, You may hear the term VoIP used a lot. VoIP stands for “Voice Over Internet Protocol“. It is a system for sending phone calls over the public internet network, or any private IP network as opposed to old fashioned copper lines. First, your analog voice calls are converted into small pieces of data called “packets”. Then the packets are sent like any other type of data, such as e-mail, over the public Internet and/or any private Internet Protocol (IP) network. By using VoIP, you can call any other VoIP phone, landline or cell phone anywhere in the world just as you would with traditional phone service.
There are many advantages to using VoIP for your phone service including:
- Lower costs – because you are not using the old fashioned copper line network, you don’t have the extra costs associated with the maintenance on those lines. In addition, with VoIP you aren’t charged extra for the long distances that the calls need to travel down those lines.
- No busy signals. Because there are very few restrictions on how many calls you can receive at one time, your customers will always be able to get through when they call you.
- No limitations on the number of calls you can send out. Because VoIP phone calls require a very small amount of bandwidth (5-7 Kilobytes) you can generally fit hundreds of calls over a standard office internet connection.
A traditional phone system can be as simple or complex as you need it to be. A simple configuration would include a main phone number that rings all the telephones at once. If no one answers the phone, the caller goes to a general voicemail and leaves a message. This message can be then retrieved from any phone on the system. Employees can just pick up the phone and dial out without having to select a line. Very simple.
A more complex phone system configuration would include:
- Phones grouped together by priority or department
- Callers can even be routed to different departments based on their area code, caller id, or time of day
- Individual employees can have direct numbers (DID) that ring through directly to their extension or voicemail
- Custom music on hold, advertisements, or seasonal/holiday music
- Calls can be forwarded to several different numbers in a progressive sequence (including cell phones)
- Paging and Intercom
- Video conferencing