What is VoIP, or Voice Over IP?
The odds are you have probably heard the term, VoIP or Voice Over IP recently. Maybe you know what it is or maybe not.
In a nutshell, VoIP is basically telephone service that uses an internet connection to carry the voice signals. If the internet connection is functional, the telephone call operates the same as a traditional telephone call would — you dial a number from your telephone and the call is initiated and sent across an internet connection.
What’s in it for you?
First, choice! Today, how many choices do you have for your telephone service? Most people, businesses, and organizations, there is only ONE choice or, at best, TWO. You have to “take what they’ll give you” without the option of considering others…until now!
VoIP gives you another choice. While VoIP may not be the best choice for all residential needs — one could actually argue that one might not need a residential, land-line at all with everyone having multiple cell phones in a household.
But for businesses, on the other hand, VoIP offers a very compelling option to consider since you totally remove the dependence upon the traditional telecommunications companies with their limited plans, expensive long distance fees, phone maintenance, inside line maintenance, outside line maintenance, and the always seemingly secret increases in fees. With a business VoIP solution for your organization, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars every month (we have case studies to prove it!).
Other benefits of a VoIP telephone solution is that you can add additional lines easily — just acquire another phone and connect it to your network. If you need to add more direct inward dialed (DID) numbers (a fancy way to say “new telephone numbers”), you can do that with a nominal charge.
You can have virtually free long distance as each call is just a connection across the internet (where it doesn’t cost more to connect to a website on the west or east coast of the US, or in Europe, for that matter, than it does locally).
You can have metered monthly rates where you only pay for what you use or you can have a fixed monthly fee. Support and maintenance can be included in your “all in one” monthly fee or you can have support on an “as needed” basis.
Do I have to buy a lot of equipment?
There are solutions that have an “appliance” (another word for computer server) but there is another, cloud-based option that only requires your telephones to be setup on your network and an internet connection to the VoIP service. The latter allows you to have telephones on the same system anywhere there is an internet connection — think a secondary office with an internet connection, whether across town, across the state, or even across the country!
What if the internet goes down?
Like traditional telephone service from the big telecommunications companies, when the connection is down, your telephone service is down, BUT, with a VoIP solution, you can have a backup plan. For instance, with the cloud-based solution, you can have your calls forwarded to designated cell phones until the internet connection is re-established. Or, you could have a 4G backup solution so that if you internet connection goes down, your connection can automatically failover to the 4G, so you have a virtually seamless failover.
What if I’m interested?
SandStorm IT has implemented several VoIP telephone solutions for some of our customers. Contact us at (901) 475-0275 and let us discuss your needs with you so we can design the perfect VoIP solution for your business or organization.