Archive for 2009


iPhone SIP Applications

The success and popularity of the iPhone took the world by storm. Keeping pace with the worlds desire to have the freedom to call whenever, wherever – without breaking the bank. VoIP technology makes it’s debut into the mobile world.

The instant success of iPhone applications coupled with Session Initiation Protocols are helping to push VoIP to the mobile sphere. Okay. iPhone applications you’ve heard of. What on earth is a Session Initiation Protocol?

Session Initiation Protocol, or simply SIP, is a signaling protocol used in controlling multimedia communication sessions over the Internet. Session Initiation Protocol can be used to create, modify or terminate communication sessions on one or several media streams.

A SIP phone is a hardware or software based agent providing call functions such as dial, answer, reject and call transfer. The latest groundbreaking SIP phone agent is the Apple 3G iPhone.

VoIP based iPhone applications offer the same advantages and compatibility that traditional VoIP users have come to expect, with an on-the-go functionality not previously experienced. VoIP for iPhone applications have truly created a new direction for IP telephony.

SIP iPhone applications allow users to see substantial cost savings, particularly when making long distance cell phone calls.

The requirements of mobile VoIP are simple. A compatible mobile phone, a soft phone application and a data plan or wireless network connecting the mobile device to the Internet.

Mobile VoIP offers cost efficient international calling on a portable platform. There is no longer a need to be tied to your desk to experience the benefits of VoIP and IP telephony. VoIP on a mobile sphere, is a significant advancement in IP telephony, providing cost and functionality benefits far beyond the traditional scope. However, it is important to check your wireless providers terms and conditions before integrating to a mobile VoIP platform to ensure that you are not in violation of your service agreement.


Web Conferencing Keeps Businesses Connected

In an era where an organizations employees can span the globe, it is important to ensure that people and the business remain connected and well informed of on-going business trends and operations.  The successful business owner understands the importance of keeping people within the organization connected, and sees the value in a unified communications platform.

With technological advances such as web conferencing and video-audio instant messaging it is possible for a business practitioner tending to business in France to participate in a board meeting being held Iowa – without having to step foot on a plane.

VoIP technologies have surpassed their telephony predecessors so well that it is now possible for colleagues, co-workers, clients and the likes to remain connected in real-time, regardless of their geographical location, ensuring that everyone is always current and up-to-date and that the lines of communication are never closed.

IP telephony tools, such as web conferencing, are essential in improving business efficiency and productivity.   Enterprises, small and large, are utilizing web conferencing capabilities to conduct live meetings, presentations and even training in an up-to-the-minute real-time environment. The concept of web conferencing is quite simple: each participant sits at their own computer or conferencing station and is connected to other participants via the Internet.   Much like a standard board room type conference, web conference users are able to utilize features such as; slide show presentations, live or streaming videos, voice and audio communication, whiteboards and even screen sharing.

Since tools such as web conferencing and video-audio instant messaging are part of a unified communications output, businesses can expect substantial savings in both time and travel. The end result is increased productivity and a well informed business unit. Web conferencing is accessible over the Internet, providing a fast and convenient method to ensure that users world-wide remain connected  and quickly updated on all important business factors.

Web conferencing and video-audio instant messaging are just some of the unified communications features that businesses are using to work smarter and save costs.  Since web conferencing allows the use of document sharing, organizations are able to ensure that projects are completed quickly and accurately by allowing the necessary parties to view each document simultaneously.  Documents can be viewed and edited in a real-time environment, a form of group work that would have traditionally cost a business money in both time and travel expense.

A unified communications platform, with web conferencing capabilities ensures that your business remains globally connected. A value unlike any other.


No Maintenance Needed With Hosted VoIP Phone Systems

Businesses gain many great advantages by switching to VoIP. VoIP phone systems give businesses increased flexibility, features, cost-savings, and productivity just to name a few. Hosted PBX phone system providers enable businesses to save time and money by supporting the entire phone system off-site.

With VoIP phone systems, businesses no longer need to store a large PBX (or phone system) in a closet on-premise. With VoIP, all you need is an IP phone and only one Internet connected cable. The cable will be able to accommodate both voice and data. Businesses will even save money by running less cables in their office. Not to mention it looks better when there are fewer wires and cables in an office.

With hosted VoIP phone systems, no maintenance is ever needed. All the technical and service related aspects are managed by the service provider. This allows businesses to focus on their own trade and let the phones be handled by the experts.


Reliability of Business VoIP Service

Each day, throughout the world, businesses of all sizes are switching to Voice over IP (VoIP) and are saving up to 80% on telecommunications costs by using VoIP and Hosted PBX technologies. Although the benefits of VoIP are so large, there continues to be a high-level of concern on the reliability and quality of VoIP phone service.

Very early on when VoIP technology was a brand-new technology, it was considered unstable and a great risk for businesses to use. The reliability aspect and quality of VoIP service has greatly improved and it’s now a reliable communication solution. Experiencing dropped or choppy calls, which at one point was a popular complaint among VoIP users, no longer exists with many top VoIP providers like Nextiva. VoIP phone service providers have significantly evolved and continue to move towards a standard even more reliable than traditional (POTS) telephone service. Companies like Nextiva have established impressive networks with multiple levels of redundancy and power backup systems in order to keep their networks running in the case of a power outage or disaster.

If your business continues to hesitate on using VoIP phone service due to quality concerns, you should re-consider using VoIP. Hosted PBX phone systems undo the need for an in-house phone technician or IT specialist. All the applications and features included with the phone service are hosted by the service provider. This means that all you need in your office are phones.

Considering the features and cost benefits of VoIP phone service, if you have high-speed Internet service, your business should be using VoIP.


Get a VoIP Virtual PBX System For Your Business

With more and more businesses relying on VoIP systems for enterprise telephony, the next logical step is to integrate a virtual PBX.

Virtual PBX provides many valuable features. With Virtual PBX entrepreneurs and small business professionals maintain the ability to harness one primary telephone number. Utilizing the Follow Me/Find Me feature businesses are able to set a call pattern schedule. Virtual PBX ensures that there are no more busy signals or missed calls, calls made to the primary number will be routed to additional phones until the call is answered.

The next ground breaking feature of a Virtual PBX system is the Voice Mail to E-mail function. A Virtual PBX acts as a virtual assistant, providing the user with the ability to listen to voicemails over the phone or from a personal computer.  Voicemails can be retrieved by the traditional method of checking them via a phone system, or users on the go have the advanced functionality of being notified of voicemails from any computer system where e-mail is accessible.  E-mailed voicemail notifications are transmitted to a digital audio file, making it easy for them to be received, reviewed and catalogued efficiently.

Virtual PBX provides subscribers with the ability to modify, configure, and utilize the system for most businesses purposes. Not only does Virtual PBX offer comprehensive call logging and remote call tracking, but it also employs automatic call distribution sending callers to any predetermined person or department.

With Virtual PBX there is no need to purchase expensive special equipment since calls can be routed to any existing cell phone, IP phone or handset already in use.  The enhanced call forwarding and Follow Me/ Find Me features allow calls to be forwarded to users in the office, on the road or in a satellite or remote office location.

Entrepreneurs and small business professional seeking to enhance productivity, save time and money can put confidence in the fact that a Virtual PBX can enable them to do just that.


Every Business Should Have a Toll Free 800 Number

As a small business owner you may be asking yourself, “Do I need a toll-free number?” The short answer is yes.  The implementation of a toll-free number will not only help your small business grow, but it will also help to add more money to your bottom line.

Pick a number relative to your business and remember to add extensions. When used correctly a virtual toll-free number can act as a switchboard, allowing callers to be routed to any department or person they wish to connect with.

Prospective consumers are more likely to contact your business to ask questions or make a purchase if there is no cost to them.  By implementing a toll-free number you are giving your business the illusion of a big-time feel.  Consumers are more likely to deal with a business that they feel has been established or is recognized as multi-national – resulting in more sales for you.

Having a toll-free number allows your business to reach more consumers than you normally would have been able to, since consumers from across the nation can now contact you with no charge. As your enterprise grows there is no need to change your toll-free number should you need to relocate. Toll-free numbers are 100% portable and a wise tool for those businesses seeking to be easily recognized.

The costs associated with a toll-free business number are minuscule in comparison to the benefits. When used as an add-on feature to a VoIP phone system, the telephony host will simply redirect the phone calls to your preferred hard phone or soft phone.  Businesses on the go can even have callers redirected to their mobile phone.

Every business, regardless of size, benefits from toll-free numbers. Toll-free numbers are cost efficient and have been proven to increase customer satisfaction. The value of your business will greatly increase with the inclusion of a toll-free telephone number.


What Do I Need In Order To Use VoIP?

Nextiva provides reliable, quality VoIP business phone systems and includes a free automated attendant to help enhance your company’s professional image.  The benefits of a VoIP business account include unlimited local and long distance calling, no contracts or setup fees and you can keep your existing phone number.  Now that you have found a trusted service provider, what does your business require in order to get the most from your VoIP experience?

The first thing to consider is a broadband internet connection. VoIP telephony works best on a fast broadband, satellite or DSL connection. The ideal minimum bandwidth needed for business VoIP is 512kp-bps/128 kbps or greater. It is important to maintain a speed fast enough to sustain a conversation and permit internet communications (faxes, emails) at the same time.

Next you will need a reliable VoIP router. Many small business VoIP “all-in-one” routers offer the functionality of several ports to connect additional telephones, faxes or to network several computers together simultaneously.  The major advantages to using an “all-in-one” router are the added effectiveness of built-in firewall software and the ability to prioritize bandwidth traffic.

Next on your list of things to consider is an IP Phone. Internet phones look similar to a traditional phone set, however, instead of connecting into a phone jack an IP phone connects directly into the Ethernet port of the router.  Properly configured, an IP phone does not require any additional software to make or receive phone calls.

VoIP is simple to setup and easy to use. By following these simple requirements you are ensuring that your business receives the highest benefits and value possible from your Nextiva VoIP for business experience.  Be sure to ask your representative about the 25 advanced features, included free, with Nextiva VoIP for business.

Nextiva is an award winning VoIP provider. Nextiva has received numerous awards from technology and communications experts for customer service, network features, and reliability.


Auto Attendant For Small Businesses

“To be connected to the future of IP telephony, press 1.”  The implementation of automated attendants are taking the corporate world by storm.

An automated attendant allows a caller to be transferred to a specific telephone extension without the intervention or assistance of an operator or receptionist. The auto attendant identifies and greets incoming callers, manages faxes and messages and routes calls to the correct location or department.

As one of the most powerful features in any business telephone system, auto attendants maintain a very specific functionality; eliminating the need for a live operator or expensive call routing system.

Acting as the initial interface handling incoming calls and maintaining the ability to handle multiple extensions, the auto attendant is capable of efficiently answering all calls and ensuring that they are quickly routed to the intended recipient.

There are many features and benefits associated with an automated attendant system, most commonly is a directory permitting callers to dial by name in order to find a system user.
Other common components of an automated attendant include:
Transfer to Voice mail
Transfer to Extension
Automated call answering with a professional custom greeting
Customizable hold music functions
Interactive voice prompts
Fax, email, or message alerts
Many automated systems also have the ability to route calls depending on the time or day of the week.

The use of an automated attendant in a corporate phone system allows subscribers to receive phone calls wherever they are located as it utilizes the functionality to forward business calls to any phone number and divert unanswered or busy calls to a voice mail system.

Provided as part of a hosted PBX system, automated call answering features can be incorporated into any local or toll-free business number.

In short, an automated attendant system offers a high quality, professional imaging with time and cost saving rewards.


Use Internet Fax Service For Your Business

Fax machines, in one form or another, have been in use since 1843. Historically to send a fax the user would attach a piece of paper to a rotating drum, with the print facing outward.  To transmit the information through a telephone line, fax machines employed a very simple technique: If the spot of paper that the photo cells were viewing was white, the fax machine would transmit one tone; if it were black, it would transmit a different tone.

The receiving fax machine would contain a similar rotating drum and a mechanical pen to dot mark the paper.  Depending on the tone sent by the sending fax machine, the receiving machine would either apply or remove the pen from the paper.

Traditional fax machines were complicated pieces of machinery with motors and finely tuned rotating parts.   Fax machines quickly became a common feature of many offices. More common, however, where the problems associated with the traditional fax machine.

With the rise of IP telephony and virtual infrastructure, paper jams and downed phone lines have become an issue of the past.  Businesses are now realizing the benefits of  Internet based fax systems.

Internet fax delivers a dramatic reduction in communication costs, most notably when exchanging long faxes overseas or between distant offices.

Being as there are no telephone connection charges associated with sending a fax via the Internet, the cost of sending a fax is completely covered by a fixed Internet connection fee.

There are many advantages of implementing an Internet based fax system, including:
The elimination of the need to install a second phone line.
The Green eco-friendly option of paperless communication, integrated with e-mail.
The ability to send and receive multiple faxes simultaneously.
A noticeable reduction in telephone operating expense.
The ability to send and receive faxes from any location maintaining Internet access.

Vfax with Nextiva offers consumers many benefits, including the ability to send and receive fax by e-mail, Microsoft Office, any web portal or even through a conventional fax machine.  With vFax there are no more busy signals, no more lost or missed faxes, the freedom to access faxes from anywhere – even from a mobile phone and privacy is always ensured.

Internet fax is a valuable solution to those enterprises looking to receive the best in IP telephony while reaping the rewards of monetary savings and functionality.




 
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