TeleCom Unlimited has the answers for phone systems needs.
TeleCom Unlimited is experienced in designing, implementing, and deploying both traditional and VoIP solutions.
What is VoIP?
VoIP (Voice over IP) is simply packetized voice on an IP (internet protocol) network. In a business environment, the most common uses of VoIP are:
• Phone line service provided via the internet (SIP trunks)
• IP phones on an office network
• Connecting multiple offices together using the internet
• Using the internet to connect a remote user to an office phone system
• Software that allows a PC with a headset to operate as a phone
• Providing telephone system apps to a mobile user via the cellular network
Why do we hear so much about VoIP?
The IP network in an office environment is what allows servers, PC’s, printers, tablets and smartphones to communicate with each other, and a high-speed internet service is now a requirement for almost every business. With that IP infrastructure already in place, it only makes sense that voice traffic would migrate to the network. Installing and maintaining a separate infrastructure for phones no longer makes sense.
What are the newer types of phone systems and phone service?
The newest generation of phone systems are servers that communicate with internet-based phone line service and IP phones on the desktop.
The newest generation of phone service is internet-based line service that works with site-based systems, and hosted services that work from cloud-based servers.
What is the difference between a site-based VoIP phone system and a cloud-based VoIP phone service?
A site-based system provides a telephony server physically located at your business, and it is connected to conventional (analog, PRI, T1) or internet-based line service (SIP trunks) at your site. IP phones on the desk use the office network (LAN) to connect to the telephony server.
In a cloud service, the telephony server is simply located at a data center in the cloud, utilizing the internet to provide connection back to IP phones on the desktop. The phone line service for a cloud solution is provided directly at the data center.
Why are cloud VoIP services all the rage now?
Because reliable, high-speed internet service is now generally available and cost effective for even the smallest business. In our region, this has become practical due to the increased bandwidth, lower cost and greater reliability of internet providers using both cable modem and fiber infrastructure.
What is the pricing structure for cloud VoIP service and when is it the most practical?
The up-front cost for a cloud solution is typically very low since there is no phone system purchase involved. Recurring costs are incurred on a per user basis, and heavy discounts are often available for phone purchases with a term contract. Some up-front costs are incurred for installation – and potentially for wiring or network infrastructure upgrades – but for the most part, the initial cost to get into a cloud solution is very low. A major benefit of a cloud solution is having the full feature functionality of a high-end telephone system without having to purchase the system.
Cloud service is the most practical for a company that:
• Has multiple locations and wants all users on the same system but doesn’t want to deal with WAN networking (VPN tunnels, private networks, etc.).
• Wants web-based, centralized administration of a single system for multiple locations.
• Wants the latest and greatest system features without having to purchase a system.
• Would prefer to pay a monthly recurring fee on a per user basis. This is especially practical for a small or start-up business.
• Has a remote or mobile workforce that can utilize smartphone apps to access system features.
What is the pricing structure for a site-based VoIP system and when is it the most practical?
Simply, there is a payout timeframe for a site-based system vs. a cloud service. A site-based system is purchased and owned, and recurring charges are incurred only for the line service. At some point, typically less than 2 years, the accumulation of higher recurring costs for a cloud solution will pay for an owned, site-based solution.
Could there be an instance when a combination of site and cloud solutions would be practical?
Yes, absolutely. A perfect example is a company with one or more large offices that would benefit from site-based systems, and a large number of small offices or remote users that would benefit from a cloud solution. The “container” of users in the cloud system could be networked to the site-based systems, effectively creating a multi-location network of phone users. This would be both full-featured and cost effective.
What solutions does Telecom Unlimited offer?
We offer the Toshiba IPedge for a site-based, all-IP phone system and the Toshiba VIPedge (Virtual IPedge) for the cloud service. The VIPedge is simply the IPedge phone system extended to the cloud.
Why is the Toshiba VIPedge such an attractive cloud solution compared with others available?
Almost all cloud VoIP systems on the market consist of some brand of server software hosted in the cloud, coupled with 3rd-party SIP phones on the desktop. But these 3rd-party phones are more comparable to single-line analog phones than full-featured office phones. Most of us are accustomed to proprietary phone systems where phones are integrated with the control unit, providing voice intercom, paging, busy-indicator buttons, etc. But many of these features so popular in small to medium business environments are lost with generic cloud solutions.
The Toshiba VIPedge, however, is simply an extension of the IPedge phone system into the cloud, and the fully-integrated Toshiba IP phones are provided with the service. This solution works in the same fashion as the office systems we’ve all been accustomed to.
How do I determine if either of these VoIP technologies is a good fit for my business?
Let us help you!
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- Voice over IP (VoIP)
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