VoIP Services
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VoIP Services

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by IS Back Office

VoIP services utilize Voice over Internet Protocol (hence the name “VoIP”) and is a technology that allows voice communication and multimedia sessions to be transmitted over the Internet or other IP-based networks.

Modern Businesses utilize VoIP due to the vast features and capabilities at much lower costs than traditional telephone carriers.

VoIP services are so much more advanced and cost effective that the entire United Kingdom is phasing out the old stuff (ISDN and PTSN) by 2025.

The UK will phase out every phone line and move to a fully digital network that uses Internet Protocol (IP) across a fiber-based service.

In the USA, FCC 19-72 outlines a gradual phase-out beginning August 2022.

Many carriers have already notified their customers of their intent to terminate certain services and are implementing price increases for those who do not switch.

The FCC plan is simple.

  1. Phasing Out Legacy Infrastructure.
  2. Promotion of Next-Gen Services: The framework encourages the adoption of next-generation communication services, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which offer enhanced features and cost-effectiveness.
  3. Ensuring Accessibility.

VoIP Services can be “Bundled” and “Unbundled”

This simply refers to different ways of providing VoIP services. Let’s see how these terms relate to how these VoIP services are packaged and delivered to consumers:

  1. Bundled VoIP: Bundled VoIP refers to the integration of VoIP services with other communication or internet services that are offered by a single provider. This often includes services like broadband internet, television, and telephone services, all provided by the same company as part of a package deal. Bundled VoIP services can offer convenience, as customers have all their communication needs met through a single provider, often at a reduced cost compared to purchasing each service separately. Bundled VoIP is typically offered by telecommunications companies or Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
  2. Unbundled VoIP: Unbundled VoIP, on the other hand, involves obtaining VoIP services independently from other communication or internet services. This means that customers can select a VoIP service provider of their choice without being tied to a specific telecommunications company or ISP. Unbundled VoIP services provide more flexibility in terms of choosing the VoIP service that best suits your needs, and you’re not locked into a single provider for all your communication needs.

Key considerations for choosing between bundled and unbundled VoIP services include:

  • Cost: Bundled services might offer cost savings as part of a package deal, but the trade-off could be limited flexibility and potentially higher costs if you’re only interested in VoIP.
  • Choice: Unbundled VoIP gives you the freedom to choose the VoIP service provider that aligns best with your preferences and requirements.
  • Features: Depending on the provider, bundled and unbundled VoIP services might come with different features and service quality levels.
  • Contracts and Lock-ins: Bundled services might require longer contracts, while unbundled VoIP typically offers more freedom to switch providers if you’re dissatisfied.

Ultimately, the decision between bundled and unbundled VoIP depends on your individual needs, preferences, and priorities.

It’s important to research and compare different providers and their offerings to make an informed decision that suits your communication requirements and budget.

VoIP Services: Cloud PBX

voip services cloud pbx
Even the smallest of business can benefit from VoIP services. VoIP services also makes working from home easier.

VoIP services providers each come with their own features, pricing structures, and terms. When considering VoIP services, be sure to thoroughly research and compare offerings. Contact us for help.

Information Systems Back Office

A Cloud PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is a phone system hosted in the cloud, allowing businesses to access advanced telephony features without the need for on-premises hardware.

Cloud PBX systems offer a wide range of features to enhance communication and collaboration within organizations. Here are some common cloud PBX features:

  1. Auto Attendant: An automated greeting and call routing system that directs incoming calls to the appropriate extensions or departments based on user input or predefined rules.
  2. Voicemail: Allows callers to leave voice messages when the recipient is unavailable, with options for voicemail-to-email forwarding.
  3. Call Forwarding: The ability to redirect incoming calls to another number, such as a mobile phone or an alternative extension.
  4. Call Routing: Rules-based call routing to direct calls based on time of day, caller ID, or other criteria.
  5. Extension Dialing: Allows users to call colleagues or departments by dialing a short extension number rather than a full phone number.
  6. Call Recording: Records incoming and outgoing calls for quality assurance, training, or compliance purposes.
  7. Conference Calling: Supports multi-party conference calls, including video conferencing, screen sharing, and virtual meeting rooms.
  8. Hold Music: Customizable music or messages played to callers on hold.
  9. Call Queues: Efficiently manages incoming calls by placing them in queues and distributing them to available agents in a fair manner.
  10. Call Monitoring: Supervisors can listen in on calls, provide real-time coaching, or take over calls if necessary.
  11. Caller ID: Displays caller information, helping users identify incoming calls.
  12. Unified Messaging: Integrates voicemail, email, and other messaging services into a single interface for easier message management.
  13. Fax-to-Email: Converts received faxes into digital files and sends them to email inboxes.
  14. Do Not Disturb (DND): Allows users to set their status as “Do Not Disturb” to block incoming calls temporarily.
  15. Hot Desking: Enables employees to log in to any phone within the organization and access their settings, contacts, and voicemail.
  16. Presence Management: Shows the availability status of colleagues (e.g., available, busy, away) to facilitate real-time communication.
  17. Mobile App Integration: Provides mobile applications that allow users to make and receive calls from their smartphones while appearing as if they’re at their desk.
  18. Integration with CRM and Productivity Tools: Connects with customer relationship management (CRM) software and productivity tools to provide context and streamline workflows.
  19. Emergency Services (E911): Ensures that emergency responders are provided with the caller’s location information when 911 is dialed.
  20. Analytics and Reporting: Provides insights into call volume, call duration, and other metrics to improve call center performance and efficiency.
  21. Security and Encryption: Implements security features such as encryption to protect sensitive communications.
  22. APIs and Customization: Offers APIs for integration with other applications and customization of features to suit specific business needs.

Cloud PBX providers may offer variations of these features, and the availability of features can vary depending on the provider and the service plan chosen.

Businesses should carefully evaluate their communication requirements to select the most appropriate Cloud PBX system and feature set.

Voip Services: What Happens Without It

Without Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), the telecommunications landscape and the way we communicate would be significantly different.

VoIP technology has had a profound impact on both personal and business communication, and its absence would result in several notable changes and limitations:

  1. Higher Costs: Traditional landline phone services are generally more expensive than VoIP, especially for long-distance and international calls. Without VoIP, individuals and businesses would likely face higher communication expenses.
  2. Limited Mobility: VoIP enables users to make calls from virtually anywhere with an internet connection. Without VoIP, you would be tied to a physical landline or mobile phone, limiting your ability to communicate while on the move.
  3. Lack of Global Reach: VoIP allows for cost-effective international calls, making global communication more accessible. Without it, international calling would be more expensive and less convenient.
  4. Reduced Feature Set: VoIP offers a wide range of features like voicemail-to-email, call forwarding, and video conferencing. Without VoIP, these advanced features might not be readily available or would be cost-prohibitive.
  5. Loss of Flexibility: VoIP phone systems are highly scalable and adaptable to changing business needs. Without VoIP, businesses would have less flexibility in managing their communication infrastructure.
  6. Inefficiency: Traditional phone lines are less efficient in terms of bandwidth utilization. VoIP allows for the integration of voice and data communication on a single network, optimizing resources.
  7. Limited Collaboration: VoIP enables real-time collaboration through features like video conferencing and screen sharing. Without it, collaborative efforts would rely more on physical meetings or slower communication methods.
  8. Reduced Accessibility: VoIP services often include accessibility features like text-to-speech and speech-to-text, benefiting individuals with disabilities. The absence of VoIP could limit accessibility for these individuals.
  9. Negative Impact on Businesses: Many modern businesses rely on VoIP for unified communications, customer support centers, and remote work capabilities. Without VoIP, businesses would face operational challenges and reduced competitiveness.
  10. Lack of Communication Innovation: VoIP has spurred innovation in communication technologies, including the development of messaging apps, virtual phone systems, and cloud-based collaboration tools. These innovations might not have occurred in the same way without VoIP.
  11. Environmental Impact: VoIP is generally more energy-efficient than traditional telephony infrastructure, contributing to reduced carbon emissions.

It’s important to note that the continued growth of VoIP and its integration into various communication platforms is a testament to its impact on the way we communicate in the digital age.

Voip Services: Advanced

Imagine a busy office with more than a single receptionist. The next step is called a “Contact center”. A contact center is a centralized facility or department within an organization that handles customer interactions through various communication channels, including telephone calls, email, chat, social media, and more.

Contact centers are designed to manage and enhance customer engagement, support, and service. They play a crucial role in maintaining positive customer relationships and addressing inquiries, issues, and concerns effectively.

Contact centers are utilized across various industries, including retail, telecommunications, finance, healthcare, and more.

Key features and components of a contact center include:

  1. Multichannel Communication: Contact centers allow customers to interact through their preferred communication channels, such as phone, email, live chat, social media, and SMS. This ensures customers can engage using the medium they find most convenient.
  2. Automatic Call Distribution (ACD): ACD systems route incoming calls to the appropriate agents or teams based on predefined criteria. This ensures that customers are connected to the right person who can assist them effectively.
  3. Interactive Voice Response (IVR): IVR systems use automated menus to guide callers through self-service options or direct them to the appropriate department based on their input.
  4. Computer Telephony Integration (CTI): CTI integrates telephony systems with computer systems, allowing agents to access customer information and history as they interact with customers. This enhances the quality of customer interactions.
  5. Skill-Based Routing: Calls and interactions are routed to agents with the appropriate skills and knowledge to handle specific types of inquiries. This optimizes efficiency and customer satisfaction.
  6. Live Chat: Contact centers often offer real-time chat capabilities on websites or applications, enabling customers to get quick assistance without making a phone call.
  7. Social Media Integration: Contact centers may monitor and respond to customer inquiries and comments on social media platforms, maintaining an active presence and addressing concerns.
  8. Reporting and Analytics: Contact centers collect data on call volumes, wait times, agent performance, customer satisfaction, and more. This data is used to improve operations and customer experiences.
  9. Call Monitoring and Quality Assurance: Supervisors can monitor live calls, provide coaching, and ensure that agents adhere to quality standards.
  10. CRM Integration: Integrating the contact center with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems allows agents to access customer profiles and history, providing a personalized experience.
  11. Outbound Calling: Some contact centers handle outbound calls for purposes like telemarketing, customer follow-ups, surveys, and appointment reminders.

Modern contact centers might also incorporate technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) for chatbots and virtual assistants, speech analytics for understanding customer sentiment, and workforce management tools for optimizing staffing and scheduling.

The goal of a contact center is to enhance customer satisfaction, resolve issues efficiently, and gather valuable insights to improve products and services. It’s important for organizations to design their contact centers in a way that aligns with their customer service strategy and business goals.

In most cases, you can get a feature rich VoIP Services solution for less than you are paying now.

As always, contact us if you need help.

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