With VoIP phone systems, conference calling has made business communication a lot easier. Irrespective of the geographical location of the participants, one can easily host a conference call with VoIP phone systems. For different business models like B2C (Business to Customer) and B2B (Business to Business), this means a substantial saving of time, effort and money. VoIP reduces communication costs significantly as it places and receives calls using the internet.
Why are conference calls important in today’s business world? Irrespective of the size of business, conference calls are indispensable for team consultations, important business meetings, employee training, knowledge transfer sessions, announcements, project meeting, sales presentations, performance reports and webinars. The option for video conferencing opens up endless opportunities with respect to business communication.
What are the major benefits associated with conference calls made using VoIP phone systems?
- Collaborative Spirit: With an option for real time collaboration, companies can discuss important business agenda, conduct team meetings without demanding the presence of all participants in the same meeting room. With Audio/Video conference calling, different stake holders from various parts of the world can come together and discuss common business targets.
- Cost Benefits: In case of VoIP phone systems, voice is converted into digital data which travels as small packets over the internet and again converted back to digital sound at the other end of the telephone. It provides a great opportunity to save money on international calling. In addition to the cut in your phone bills, you can also save on your travel expenses because conference calling allows you to interact with employees, partners and clients without meeting them in person.
- Security: VoIP phone systems are loaded with a lot of security features which ensures that confidential conference calls have restricted access and managed via security passwords.
- Call Recording features: The conference call can be recorded for future reference.
- Participant Management: For video conference calls, participants can raise hands when they need to ask any question. This avoids chaos and makes it easier for the moderator to manage the conference call.
- Admin controls: For a video conference call, the moderator has privileges that allows them to control the conference call by adding, removing or muting any participant from the call.
There are difference conference phone devices available in the market, however each of them should have the following basic features. The phone device should be able to pick up voices within a 360 degree radius so that each and every participant’s voice can be included during the conference call. Also, the device should allow multiple parties to listen and speak using an optimized speak system and receiver. It also lets everyone know when someone joins the call or someone gets dropped. In short, business conference calls using VoIP phone systems make business interaction extremely convenient and reliable.
Compared to in-house PBX business phone systems, hosted VoIP systems allows the phone system to be set up and function in the cloud. It can be a great boost for startups because it offers innumerable benefits like remote access, cost savings, disaster recovery, flexibility and many more. Irrespective of the size of business, everyone understands and values the importance of communication.
Installation costs are greatly reduced with the help of integrated hosted VoIP systems which allows one to install a single VoIP connection which then spreads out into 10 different lines. The VoIP provider would host all the equipment, services and servers, while the customer accesses the equipment via the internet, thereby offering features which are simply not possible with traditional phone systems.
With an increased need for speed, companies are always looking at ways to ensure that they have a network infrastructure which can perform at maximum efficiency. For high speed data transfer, Cat 6 cables are preferred over the commonly used Cat 5e cables. Voice and data cabling services are extremely important for businesses to thrive and prosper in their market. So, when you plan for office relocations and infrastructure upgrades, you can upgrade to Cat6 cabling and enjoy assured benefits irrespective of the size of business.
Any security breach in Business Telephone Systems would open up a treasure trove of valuable data. There are few critical institutions like government agencies, professional service firms, call centers dealing with health records, payment card data and confidential account information, who need to be extremely careful and ensure that there are enough safety measures to foil any attempt to hack the telephone systems.
With the switch from traditional phone systems to IP based business telephone systems, voice and data services have become more vulnerable to cyber attacks. VoIP systems need to have reliable, strong and stable security protection which needs to have consistent and constant monitoring facilities as well. If your organization has VoIP systems installed, here are some important and useful security tips to protect your network from data and voice theft
Share the voicemail box details only with intended users
Notify users via email whenever they have new voicemail messages
Use of call barring to curb un-necessary outbound access
Use of personal IVRs for transferring calls should be restricted
Firewall and intrusion prevention systems should block unauthorized VoIP traffic
Domain restrictions and two-factor authentication should be in place for any access
Regular Installation of OS updates
Strict Security Policies for Users
Share the security features of the phone system and how to use them with the users
Enforce use of strong passwords to access the VoIP phone system
Prompt for password change frequently as per company’s policy
Sensitive voice mail messages should be promptly deleted
Any anomaly must be reported and investigated for details
Data transmission over the network is vulnerable to cyber attacks which is why it is important to implement data encryption so that the data cannot be decoded easily
The encryption process can be applied either at the user, segment or device level
There are different means to encrypt the signaling at the Internet Gateway
It is always recommended to outsource the security of your business telephone systems to professionals who can effectively manage and ensure highest standards of safety, reliability and data protection.
Long distance calls should be managed with a long-distance security code, thereby preventing unauthorized access
The network firewall should be always up-to-date and secured
Business telephone systems should have a proper support and maintenance plan in place
There shouldn’t be any default corporate password
If you would like to know more and discuss the protection measures required to secure your business telephone systems, please get in touchwith us today.
There are several success stories associated with Voice over Internet Protocol, VoIP which has proved itself as the most cost effective and efficient method of business communication. However, some businesses are still reluctant to accept VoIP whole heartedly because it’s a relatively new technology and there are few myths which discourage anyone thinking about an upgrade.
VoIP enables a wide range of advanced communication services where a single network carries data, voice and digital media. Business VoIP systems would increase competitiveness, reduce cost, and guarantee high scalability and flexibility. Let’s get to business and clear the myths and misconceptions that shroud the beauty of VoIP.
VoIP Myth#1 The Voice quality is not great
Fact: When your network is optimized to support your bandwidth requirements along with state of the art business telephone systems, you don’t need to worry about the voice quality. Users also have the option to select specific codecs and protocols to make the most out of business VoIP systems. In actual, VoIP calls are comparatively clearer over long distances when compared with traditional phone systems.
VoIP Myth#2 VoIP isn’t secured
Fact: Many businesses would believe that their data could be under risk and vulnerable to virus attacks and hackers if they switch to business VoIP systems, however the truth is completely different. These days, VoIP phone systems use strict encryption schemes thereby making business communication completely safe from eavesdropping.
VoIP Myth#3 Forget VoIP, it’s too costly
Fact: Agreed that the initial switch to VoIP telephone systems would include purchase of new equipment, however VoIP systems would ensure low operating costs thereby guaranteeing a higher return on investment and more savings in the longer run.
VoIP Myth#4 Unreliable business telephone system
Fact: The growing demand for VoIP systems bears testimony to the fact that VoIP is definitely more reliable than traditional telephone systems. With several features like auto call forwarding, voicemail etc. it prevents any loss of information and provides easy accessibility.
VoIP Myth#5 Cheap only when you’re calling other VoIP systems
Fact: This is one of the most common deterrent to an upgrade to VoIP systems. It’s true that there are several providers which allow free calls within their network, however VoIP still remains as the most cost effective method to call irrespective of the telephone system at the other end i.e. VoIP to VoIP, VoIP to PSTN, international, long distance calls etc. You never miss out on the savings actually.
VoIP Myth#6 Works well only for the large companies
Fact: The enterprise grade features are actually created for small and medium sized businesses to ensure high productivity and lower operating costs. Impeccable customer services and infallible support ensures minimal downtime, good voice quality and easy upgrades. Switching to VoIP business systems is a smart move irrespective of the size of business.
VoIP Myth#7 Complicated Installation and delays
Fact: VoIP installations can be completed quickly without any disruption to your business if done in an organized and planned manner. Many businesses stick to legacy systems because they expect longer delays and extended downtime periods during the upgrade. Most of the devices are preconfigured and ready to be installed which means you can enjoy the benefits without fretting.
Lack of information is one of the biggest reasons behind the myths shrouding VoIP business telephone systems. VoIP is definitely cost effective and efficient which is why millions around the globe are making a switch to VoIP systems every year and the numbers are growing.
Modern day offices are heavily dependent on business phones and broadband which makes office relocations extremely challenging. When you move into your new office location, you need to ensure seamless business operations without any delay or downtime.
When you are planning for an office relocation, it is important to understand your existing voice and data cabling infrastructure and assess the new location to ensure that the new premise has everything you need for your business operations. A site visit to the new office location with your telecom service provider is extremely important to understand the cabling infrastructure. Some of the common things to note would include: Structured cabling points, Power outlets, Number of ISDN or VOIP lines, Number of analogue lines, the broadband speed in the area etc.
Voice and Data Cabling Checklist
Choosing a new business phone system or even relocating your existing one is one of the most challenging part of any office move.
Do you need to upgrade your existing business telephone system?
The cost for reinstalling or upgrading the voice and data cabling infrastructure.
Is the existing cabling infrastructure in the new office location capable of meeting your business needs and technology requirements?
Are you planning to recruit additional staff which would mean need for additional phone systems and lines.
Do you know the broadband speed requirements necessary for your business?
The relocation should be planned after office hours and at weekends to minimize downtime and delays.
There should be a robust business continuity plan and necessary data backups kept ready for any misadventure during the relocation.
Post relocation, all packaging and waste should be cleaned and disposed from the site to avoid hazards.
The benefits of any upgrade should outweigh the cost. Also, consider voice and data cabling infrastructure as a long term investment which means you should never compromise on the quality.
Office relocation not only opens up additional business opportunities but also provides an excellent opportunity to review your current voice and data cabling infrastructure and equipment. Once you know what you need, and what you got, you should consult a professional Telecom provider and seek assistance with the relocation of voice and data cabling infrastructure.
Traditional phone lines may need new cabling or re-patching during an office move, however Voice over IP i.e. VoIP systems can be easily integrated with the new network infrastructure. One just needs to have a CAT5 or CAT6 outlet to plug the VoIP equipment. There should be lot of planning and decision making done much before the actual move so that you can have an easy relocation without any issue.
The only difference between a successful and failed office relocation is the lack of experience and planning. Avoid that! Professional telecom experts would provide a single point of contact, quality control, impeccable customer service and dependable services. Building codes in many states makes it important to remove any old cabling before replacing it with new voice and data cabling infrastructure. Depending on your budget and speed requirements, you may even consider upgrading to fiber optic cabling.
While choosing a new office location or even upgrading the existing voice and data cabling infrastructure, always ensure to have the cables patched and labeled accurately which would allow ease of maintenance. Test all existing cabling and repair or replace them before your actual move to avoid any unexpected downtime. A good cabling infrastructure would optimize performance and offer great user experience along with improved business productivity and profits.
Business telephone systems play a critical role in every business because it’s the lifeline of your business communication model. In case of any disruption, it would break communication lines between people within the organization, while your customers and vendors won’t be able to reach you. Over the last few years, advancement in technology has allowed greater reach, higher performance, high efficiency and impeccable functionality, however it has also added complexity which is best handled by professionals.
Previously, communication meant just voice communication, however with the introduction of digital networking, we are now in an era of voice, data and LAN technology.
Risks of not having a reliable technical support
The entailments of not having a reliable technical support may include the following risks
Unscheduled downtime: Long periods of business outages will not only cause serious financial damage but also dent your reputation.
Loss of important data: Without an efficient and reliable Business Telephone support, important business data is at risk. You may lose critical data which cannot be retrieved.
Added costs: Without reliable technical support system in place, you would require to hire network engineers for emergency repair which will involve substantial time and money. Also, it would stretch the downtime period thereby causing cascading impact on business productivity.
Loss of productivity: Breakdown of Business telephone system may bring business operations to a standstill, thereby preventing your employees to work.
You may as well be tempted to choose cheaper repair options which can result in permanent damage to your networking model and business telephone system.
On the other hand, a reliable technical support system managed by experienced and qualified engineers would mean that your organization is always ready for disaster management and prompt recovery thereby resulting is minimal disruptions.
The benefits associated with a reliable and professional technical support includes
A singular point of contact for all normal repairs and emergency situations: This also includes constant access to a fault reporting system either by a phone call or through priority tickets.
Infrastructure changes during office relocation
Regular software upgrades are ensured
On-site and remote support is made available based on the severity of the problem: Remote corrective action and repair will limit downtime and minimize disruption to business
Assistance in case of third party dispute resolution
Faulty equipment repair and replacements: Based on the terms of your contract, defective equipments may be replaced free of charge.
For complex repairs, an alternative solution would be provided in the interim which would allow your business operations to run smoothly.
Apart from the above, there are several companies which provide preventive diagnostic checks which can be managed remotely by a qualified network engineer. The detailed report includes any findings and recommendations which provides peace of mind to customers. Also, reports mentioning service history details are provided which are crucial in troubleshooting and fixing recurring issues.
Irrespective of the size of the business organization, you need to ask yourself whether you prefer prolonged outages or a reliable technical support which can ensure least downtime. The benefits associated with having a reliable technical support for business telephone system outweighs the cost involved.
For all business organizations which depend heavily on their communication network, it is highly recommended to ensure a fast and reliable technical support system in place to minimise the risk of downtime and loss in productivity
Modern day business requires convergence of voice and data cabling services to support various communication services like video conferencing, security applications like CCTV, VoIP, cable TV and many more. It is important to have an organized cabling system which supports clear labeling of wires to ensure more flexibility and better working conditions.
Planning is the key to ensure a high performance network infrastructure. The installation of voice and data cabling system is governed by a set of standards using Cat5e, Cat6, Coax or Fiber Optic. Structured Cabling System allows easy accessibility features which further facilitates regular maintenance and upgrades. Also, in case of any problem, it becomes easier to troubleshoot an organized cabling system thereby improving productivity. There are several companies which provide customized design and cost effective Voice and Data Cabling services.
Reports suggest that improper cabling can cause up to 80% of your communication failures. The cabling system also determines the available network bandwidth and capacity which translates into your business capabilities. In order to ensure that your technology is scalable with your business operations, you need to plan for future and stay ahead of your competitors. Always ensure that the cabling system can support your bandwidth requirements, any relocation, future growth and additions to the infrastructure.
Important Tips for Best Results!
Choose the best cabling system because it’s a long term investment
Label the wires appropriately to facilitate further upgrades, maintenance or troubleshooting
A basic data cabinet allows an organized and easy to manage system
Horizontal and vertical cable management makes structure cabling system more manageable
Always make use of latest technology and trends
Ensure to comply with the standards set for structured cabling system
Test your cabling system thoroughly to make sure that it is suitable for your business needs
While planning the cable pathway, avoid noise interference which can be introduced by electrical wires, motors, lighting etc.
Making the best choice with the Cables
There are two basic choices before you when you are planning for a structured cabling system viz. copper or fiber. Both would support high quality data transmission, however your choice should be based on your business need, budget, bandwidth requirements and more. Customized networking solutions may also include a mixed cabling system involving a fiber backbone supported by a copper horizontal cable.
Copper cables which are most commonly used is less expensive when compared with fiber optic and it also offers myriad choices of connecting networking devices. Using light as a data carrier, fiber optic cabling system is generally preferred for applications which demand high bandwidth, low attenuation and which spans across long distances.
Every business organization must set up a well established and seamless communication platform to ensure optimum results in their daily business functioning. Also, one must ensure stable connectivity which can only be achieved with high quality voice and data cabling system. Your cabling infrastructure is the backbone which supports various important segments of your business like transmission of voice and data (including VoIP), security arrangements, Power over Ethernet (PoE) and various wireless access points.
It is always recommended to work with an experienced cabling professional who can help in planning your voice and data cabling infrastructure which best reflects your business needs, budget and future scalability options. Color coding, adherence to standards and cable grouping is extremely important for proper operations and future maintenance. Always remember that a good cabling infrastructure can propel your business to surpass every challenge and achieve every goal.
An effective maintenance plan for Business phone systems is important to ensure business continuity. Even a minor disruption to the phone systems can cause havoc to business operations and result in considerable losses. For large organizations which depend heavily on various communication channels like fax, voicemail, communication and web connectivity need a reliable business phone system for seamless and effective functioning.
Have you ever thought, what would happen if some day your phone system crashes or develops a fault? The thought itself is scary, isn’t it? Even a short downtime would be extremely inconvenient and frustrating and may cause serious damage to your business. A reliable maintenance program ensures that your business phone system is always up and running, any identified fault is remediated, and use of latest technology updates to ensure a robust and reliable communication system.
Business phone system is the lifeline of any company and any glitch may cut you off from your suppliers, clients and data. The era of convergence brings in voice, data and video over a single network connection with advanced phone systems capable of handling complex job activities.
A typical maintenance program may include the following features based on the requirements of your business and budget.
- Necessary software upgrades
- Reliable point of contact for all escalations
- Infrastructure changes
- Faulty equipment repair and replacements
- On-site and remote support for diagnosis and fault correction
- Dedicated plans to minimize costs
- Preventive maintenance checks
Importance of a Reliable Maintenance Plan
In order to keep your phone lines operating smoothly, it is imperative to have a reliable maintenance plan in place. You need to choose the right supplier who can provide you the best maintenance support and a complete peace of mind. In order to ensure system accuracy and guarantees an infallible phone system, you need a proper maintenance program and preventive checks.
- Keep your phone equipment and business telephone systems in an excellent condition. Investing in a high quality communication network and business telephone system is important, however it is equally important to have a proper maintenance plan to ensure business continuity.
- Early detection of faults can prevent major losses in business. Regular maintenance checks can ensure that minor defects don’t transform into major issues.
- Defective phone systems can dent your business reliability and productivity. Any downtime is a strict No for business continuity and must be avoided at any cost. There should be planned maintenance checks and necessary back up plans to tackle any outage.
- A well planned maintenance program provides complete peace of mind for business owners and various stakeholders of the company.
- Necessary software and technology upgrades are carried out which ensures a secure and reliable business phone system.
- Scheduled backups ensure an easy and quick disaster recovery plan in case of an unexpected issue.
- The risk of not having an efficient maintenance plan includes inflated labor expenses in case of emergency services, loss of competitive edge, cascading effects which can bring the entire business system to a standstill.
With the above points, it is quite clear as to why every business organization should have a reliable maintenance program. You need high quality support for your business telephone systems to ensure a secure, resilient and feature rich network.
Over the years, PSTN phone service which is also called landline has made way for voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), informally known as Internet telephony. What makes VoIP deployments so popular? Irrespective of the size of business, VoIP can provide substantial cost savings, simplifies communication, and provides opportunities for a flexible business.
ADVANTAGE AND BENEFITS OF VOIP TECHNOLOGY
There may be certain challenges involved initially, however in the longer run the cost involved with VoIP services is largely outweighed by the horde of advantages associated with it. The added features, flexibility and cost effectiveness offered by VoIP allows Small and Medium sized companies to match the capabilities of larger companies. Here are the reasons behind the growing popularity of VoIP technology and why you should consider implementing VoIP services into your business plan.
- Cost Effectiveness
The cost-saving potential of VoIP is immense in terms of reduced cost for equipment, lines, maintenance etc. The first thing one used to think while calling someone on the other side of the globe would be the phone bill, however thanks to VoIP, cost will never be the villain again. Studies have confirmed that VoIP ensures potential savings of around 40% on local calls and 90% on International calls when compared with a PSTN line.
For geographically distributed projects, VoIP systems suits well. You just need a broadband connection to log into your VoIP from anywhere in the world.
- Easy Installation
The easy installation and setup for VoIP systems makes it a favorite for business organizations. Managing and maintaining communication resources becomes easier since the transfer of voice to digital signals happens using software resources.
- Highly Versatile and Effective
VoIP systems can offer several useful features apart from making phone calls like video conferencing, voice mail, voice to email transcription, Music on Hold, Call Screening, Do Not Disturb mode and many more. VoIP systems take communication to a higher level which is critical to modern day business telephone systems.
- Easy to Manage
With a User control interface to change features and services dynamically, it becomes easy for the user to customize VoIP features as per their business need. Users can change call forwarding number, alter music-on-hold f eatures, anonymous call block, status information etc.
- High Scalability
The high scalability features associated with VoIP makes it easy to add new connections without the need for major changes in wiring, lines or equipment. Also, while moving offices or cubicle locations, it is really easy to move VoIP systems when compared to dedicated lines required for PSTN connections.
- Converged Architecture
The WAN connectivity can be easily leveraged by converging voice, video and data services which also saves wiring, administration and maintenance costs.
- Improved Productivity
With flexible features and lowered operating costs, employees can manage their time better and prioritize their tasks wells to ensure improved productivity. Rich media services which includes audio conferencing, document sharing, instant messaging, video recording, etc., there are endless options with VoIP.
VoIP technology is still emerging and there are lot of new features added every day. VoIP ensures improved manageability, productivity and cost effectiveness for businesses which require reliable communication services. Reduced maintenance costs, advanced features, and extreme flexibility makes VoIP a great choice if you are looking for client retention and improved conversions of new opportunities.