Unsure about VoIP and what benefits it has for your business? This section is designed to give you a little more information on VoIP and some of the things your business could benefit from.
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’ and in basic terms allows telephone calls to be made over a standard internet connection using an IP Phone. Traditionally business telecommunications relied on century old copper wire and telephone exchanges to connect businesses with customers and their suppliers. But now thanks to the vast improvements in internet connectivity there is now a new option; VoIP.
For VoIP to work in a business environment there needs to be a business grade internet connection to the building, a router and a network switch (PoE or otherwise), with these provisions in place your business can embrace the benefits of a hosted VoIP telephone system.
VoIP – Flexible working and disaster recovery
There are many benefits to a hosted VoIP telephone system. There is no tin box attached to your wall in the office, and the system never needs replacing. Any upgrades are done automatically, meaning there is no business downtime required to keep the system up to date.
A cloud based VoIP telephone system also enables your business to implement flexible working and disaster recovery policies, as employees can simply take their phone home and once plugged into their broadband router the phone will operate as though it is still in the office (keeping all internal calls free and still displaying the main office number on out bound calls). Meaning the next snow shower, flash flood or other natural and unplanned disaster does not need to affect your business or its customers.
Free multi-site calls
A hosted VoIP system is also ideal for businesses with more than one site. Essentially all the phones are linked to the same ‘phone system’ which is hosted in a secure data centre, so all inter-business calls between sites are free, regardless whether the sites are in the same country or not. For example, if your business had an office in Singapore, they could call head office back in the UK and it will not cost the business a penny in call charges.
Unified Communication options
Another advantage to having a cloud VoIP system is that you do not need a physical phone on your desk to be able to use the service.
If your laptop or desktop PC has speakers and a microphone it is possible to make and receive calls using a simple PC application, which is usually called a softphone. You simply open the application on your computer (which appears as a standard telephone on your screen) and you can then make and receive calls as you would with your desk phone.
This is ideal for people who are always travelling abroad or never have a fixed office location, removing the need for a company mobile or needing to set up a call forward whenever that person’s location changes.
If you are regularly away, it is important that the application you are using is of business grade. Some systems can offer these features as a standalone option, but they are widely not recommended for constant business use.
Keep your numbers even when moving
A strong advantage of a cloud based VoIP system over a traditional PBX is during relocation.
With a standard telephone system an office relocation would result in a potential number change, which can be both inconvenient and costly when factoring the expense of changing stationary and advertising. There is also the additional hassle of advising customers that your numbers have changed and provisioning costly call redirects, or risk losing business.
A hosted VoIP telephone system removes all that stress and cost, as you can take your existing numbers with you – regardless of where you move to.
Expanding your business
A VoIP telephone system adds flexibility and removes hassle, lost business hours and cost. Upgrades and additions are easy to make with a hosted VoIP telephone system.
If your business grows and needs to expand, simply purchase more phones and plug them in to active CAT5 connections and then they are fully operational, no need to pay for an engineer to come and physically install a phone (any programming requirements can be done before the phone is sent to you).
Additional features such as call recording and voicemail can also be added on a by user basis, removing the additional cost of purchase and support of new hardware.
Quality of Service (QoS)
When VoIP was first introduced there were initial concerns over voice quality, but now this is no longer an issue.
Depending on the router you can set up QoS (Quality of Service), this gives voice traffic priority over the internet connection, meaning there is no drop in voice quality. If you choose du Pré as your hosted VoIP supplier, we have established agreements with our suppliers regarding SLA repair times and Quality of Service.
du Pré – Offering hosted VoIP telephony to UK Businesses
du Pré offer its own business grade hosted VoIP telephone solution, called du Pré Connect².
The system is fully scaleable and offers features such as Call Recording, Voicemail, Auto Attendant and a softphone and smartphone application as standard.
du Pré Connect² enables your business to reduce costs, implement flexible working and disaster recovery practices as well as offering a future proof cloud telephone system for your business.
Polycom VVX500 handset on hosted VoIP Telephone System du Pré Connect²