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What is Voice Over IP (VoIP) and how does it work?

What is Voice Over IP (VoIP) and how does it work?

If you’re not sure what Voice Over IP (VoIP) is nor how it works, this blog post is for you! That’s because we are going to give you an insight into how VoIP works; tell you about how it can be used to boost your efficiency and cut costs; and outline some of the different ways it can be deployed.

By the end of this post, you will be in a much more informed position to make a decision on whether VoIP is right for your business.

But before we delve into what is VoIP and how does it work, did you know that ISDN and PSTN networks will soon be things of the past? That’s right! British Telecom (BT) will soon cease supplying both technologies to private customers and businesses ahead of them being switched off for good in 2025.

In other words, after 2025, you won’t have any alternative but to embrace VoIP technology. Find out more in our recent blog post: The Great BT ISDN Switch Off: Is Your Business Ready?

So what is VoIP?

In a nutshell, VoIP is a technology that enables traditional telephony services to function over computer networks. It works by converting your voice into a digital signal which can then be transmitted over private Internet Protocol (IP) networks and the public Internet.

If you’ve ever had a conversation on Skype, then you’ve already used VoIP technology. Chances are you used Skype to call someone from your computer or smartphone and the person you chatted with used a similar device.

But VoIP isn’t restricted to just facilitating calls between people who both have VoIP technology. It can also be used to make calls to traditional landlines and mobile phones too. In fact, providing you’ve got the correct network adapters, VoIP calls can be made using traditional analogue telephones.

More than just voice calls

Because VoIP technology converts analogue voice calls into data packets, much more information can be transmitted over a network and that enhances your overall communication capabilities.

For example, in addition to traditional voice services (call forwarding, call waiting, etc.), VoIP can also handles faxes, voicemail, email, web conferences, video calling, instant messaging and more.

When VoIP technology is utilised in this way, it is often referred to as a unified communications service because it brings together a bunch of different solutions.

VoIP benefits

VoIP technology affords a number of benefits. Here are a few to consider:

Save money, boost flexibility

You’re already paying for a computer network, so why not utilise it to also handle all of your telephony needs too? By managing and paying for just one network, your costs will go down. Plus, with VoIP, you can make free calls (even international ones) to other people and businesses that are using VoIP technology.

Furthermore, a VoIP telephony system allows you to easily add, move and/or change telephone extensions and locations whenever you or your business users want. This provides an enormous flexibility boost for your staff and makes the job of your telephony team easier.

Increase productivity

With VoIP technology, your employees can literally carry their extension number around with them. That’s because VoIP enables workers to have exactly the same telephony experience regardless of where they are physically located – even if they are at home!

By always having access to their individual extensions, your workforce will never miss an important call (even if they are on the road) and their overall productivity will be boosted.

Enhance collaboration

With an array of communication services unified, your collaboration potential as a business vastly increases. Your staff have the ability and freedom to collaborate through voice, video, web conferencing, instant messaging and more, which ultimately results in better outcomes for your business.

With the great BT ISDN switch off only a few years away, VoIP technology is more important than ever. However, implementing a VoIP solution that is perfect for your individual business needs requires in-depth knowledge of the technologies involved.

Luckily, here at Network Strategy, we’ve got that knowledge – tons of it! And can provide you with a hosted, fully-managed VoIP solution in just 3 days. Contact us today to find out more.

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