Archive for May, 2010


VoIP Takes Business on the Road

Small businesses often overlook the importance of their office telephony system. When deployed correctly an office telephony system can become an irreplaceable element of enterprise success. Unfortunately, when faced with the task of procuring a communications system that can best improve business performance most small business proprietors find themselves lacking the resources necessary to make a solid, fact based decision. To the small enterprise, communications systems are essential for client relationships, operations and overall business capabilities. Modern businesses require a communications system that is mobile, flexible and able to support multiple office locations as well as employees working from remote locations. VoIP provides a fully functioning phone system that will allow both employees and consumers to remain connected, while enhancing productivity and greatly improving the businesses bottom line.

Business VoIP works by converting voice communications into packets of data that are delivered over the public Internet. VoIP is gaining ground with small businesses that support a telework environment as it provides efficient access to the enterprises communications structure from outside of the physical office location – so long as that location maintains broadband Internet connectivity.

The concept of VoIP in teleworking environments can best be explained in terms of IP address functionality. When a remote worker logs on to an IP phone, or an analog phone with an ATA adapter, their phone number is sent to the current IP address by a centralized server.

Once the IP address is registered the employee is able to make or receive phone calls exactly as they would if they were in the office. Most small businesses elect to outsource their VoIP servers to a hosted VoIP solutions provider. Operating over an outsourced server shifts the equipment maintenance, upgrades, and system support responsibilities on to the hosted provider free up the business to focus on more pertinent tasks. Hosted VoIP is especially beneficial for smaller enterprises that lack the in-house expertise and resources necessary to maintain a complex structure.

Given that nearly ¼ of the US population is employed by businesses that support teleworking in their day-to-day functions, VoIP provides many advantageous benefits. In fact, it is very promising to small business proprietors seeking to attract and retain employees with the promise of flexible working conditions. By deploying a small business VoIP solution, businesses routinely employee teleworkers are ensuring that employees working externally are given access to the entire set of communications housed on the corporate phone system.

The majority of businesses operating today are reliant upon the Internet and web based applications, such as email. It is nearly impossible to locate a business, large or small, that does not have access to the Internet and use it heavily for their most dominant applications. Even so, a large group of smaller businesses overlook the possibilities gained from integrating home offices and remote workers into the enterprise phone system. IP telephony and VoIP allow remote users to collaborate with both internal and external parties directly over an active broadband Internet connection. While providing them with access to ground breaking productivity features such as call routing, enhanced voicemail and find me – follow me. Remote employees also maintain the option of harnessing the potential of web based application integration which will allow them to easily make or receive phone calls or check faxes and voicemails through online software based applications.

VoIP also combats the rising costs associated with mobile phones by providing mobile employees with the same great tools and features they would have in the office while traveling. In the past, businesses are avoided providing mobile employees with mobile phones as roaming charges and pay-per-minute billing was often too great of an expensive. Deploying a VoIP solution in situations like these not only provide extreme reliability and quality, it also completely removes unforeseeable expenses by providing users with an unlimited minute plan for a low monthly rate.

When used in a small business environment, VoIP offers more flexibility, mobility and advantageous business enhancing features than ever before possible.


Maximum Potential: Minimum Capital Investment

The term VoIP is often used to reference the process of utilizing corporate data networks as a medium on which to transport voice communications. While the concept of VoIP is uncomplicated, the technology itself has had a momentous impact on communications in the small business world.
While VoIP can be attributed to a much larger technological spectrum, explicitly the integration of a multitude of communications mediums onto a single platform, it maintains the ability to bring forth substantial advantages when deployed in a small business environment. Not only is IP telephony designed to assist companies with expansion and retention is will also allow businesses to realize the benefits of momentous cost savings while enabling them to boost productivity and mobility substantially.
Nearly half of the worlds small business market is already realizing the advantageous benefits of VoIP based communications platforms. Several attributes can be cited when arguing for the success of VoIP in business use.

• While operating on a VoIP platform small businesses maintain the ability to merge both their voice and data networks; resulting in lowered operational and maintenance expenses.

• IP telephony and VoIP provide the small business market with communications capabilities and tools similar to those utilized by larger enterprises.

• VoIP delivers new services and applications allowing smaller enterprises to generate revenue, while boosting customer service ability.

• The use of VoIP has been proven to greatly increase productivity by providing employees with a
mobile and flexible communications platform.

Smaller organizations are able to realize the benefits of VoIP through a variety of different means. In some cases, migrating to a VoIP system is as easy as upgrading an existing phone system to allow communications between multiple office locations. This can be done with little interruption to existing communications systems while the implementation phase is being completed. Another option available is through the complete replacement of the existing system, which can be costly. The most favorable solution amongst smaller organizations is by contracting monthly service from a hosted VoIP solutions provider. This method enables business to realize the maximum potential of VoIP without a large capital investment.
Most small businesses are excellent candidates for VoIP communications platforms, and have represented to majority of businesses electing to carry out their communications functions via an Internet platform. Since larger enterprises commonly maintain more complex network structures it is often difficult for them to merge their networks over a single platform. Small businesses, however, require less detailed network capabilities enabling them to seamlessly transition from a packet switch network over to a VoIP network.
Small businesses eager to experience the benefits of VoIP communications often make the mistake of migrating before they have carried out the necessary testing resulting in the ability for them to realize the true benefit of IP telephony. Whether it is through the lack of information, a poorly designed strategic plan or even deployment by inexperience technicians – mistakes early on while ultimately cause problems later.
The main ingredients for a successful migration to a VoIP system begin with a solid understanding of the reasoning behind VoIP and a solid strategic plan that most suits the small businesses primary objectives.
There are scenarios where a small business VoIP solution will have a greater impact on certain industries. Businesses with one of more of the following key elements are likely to experience a much more rapid return on investment.

1. Experiencing rapid growth or plan to expand in the near future.
2. Maintain a large employee base that either telecommutes or makes frequent business travel.
3. Have plans to merge with additional businesses.
4. Does a large amount of international business.
5. Maintains a large volume of incoming calls.
6. Has not replaced corporate telephony hardware in the last five years.
7. Has communications network infrastructure that is less than three years old.
8. Is sales driven, and requires excellent client services.

VoIP provides a reliable communications system for smaller businesses demanding communications superiority. It enables them to increase revenue, while providing the tools necessary to enhance both internal and external efficiency on a cost-effective platform. VoIP is designed to increase the success of the small business proprietor, and is rapidly becoming the most sought after telecommunications system in the world.


VoIP Is A Popular Service, And Growing

Smaller enterprises often overlook the importance of keeping pace with technological advancements and view corporate telecommunications systems as a necessity meant solely for larger corporations or those maintaining Fortune 500 status. The truth however is those businesses, regardless of their size or structure, failing to stay up-to-date with technology and advancements in communications seldom remain efficient enough to survive in the competitive business market.

A common mistake amongst smaller organizations is the belief that they only require the most basic communications tools, viewing things like automated attendants and hunt groups as luxuries reserved for enterprises maintaining the capital to afford the overpriced system access and usage fees charged by the local telephone company. The misconception that telecommunications far surpassed the reach of the small business practitioner can be attributed to the fact-based findings that smaller businesses operating over the public telephone network can expect to pay four times more per employee for access to communications than their larger competitors.

By merging both their voice and data networks smaller enterprises are given the opportunity to utilize their existing broadband Internet connection as a medium to carry out both internal and external communications. Business VoIP allows smaller organizations with an affordable communications platform; giving them the ability to mitigate the rising costs of public telephone network access. In fact, a properly segmented VoIP solution has been proven to save businesses nearly 80% on their traditional communications expenses while allowing them to realize the ultimate benefit of more than 25 business essential tools and features.

Some of the most valued aspects of a VoIP solution designed for smaller businesses include:

• Automated Attendant
• Easy to use administrative and management tools
• Find Me / Follow Me
• Call routing
• Call forwarding
• Toll free number options
• Local area code
• Online account management
• Voicemail as email attachments
• Number portability
• Easily added virtual extensions

Unlike the installation of a conventional on premise PBX communications system, the installation of a business VoIP system can be performed over a virtual platform by the VoIP solutions provider. At minimum, the only necessities of the business include a business-based broadband Internet connection, an ATA adapter or specially designed IP phones and a router.

By executing their communications processes over the public Internet, not only are small businesses freeing up valuable resources but they are also unknowingly enhancing their productivity and efficiency rates. Since VoIP takes full advantage of the Internet, in order to carry out its most complex functions, even employees outside of the physical office vicinity are able to access and use the entire corporate telephony system provided they are in a location that maintains Internet connectivity. By this concept employees based out of Iowa but traveling many states away should be able to plug an IP phone into any active Internet connection and have full access to the company VoIP phone system.

There are many benefits outside of cost savings associated with allotting employees on the go virtual access to enterprise telecommunications functions; namely in terms of productivity, collaboration and heightened customer service capabilities. Often employees working from hotel rooms or other remote locations experience difficulty in maintaining client relationships do to their inability to effectively maintain communications. There are several key reasons for communications inefficiencies as it relates to employees on the road. Regardless of the reasoning for communications difficulties, operating on a VoIP based system effectively enables travelling business professionals to maintain direct contact with geographically dispersed clients without causing either party to incur long distance or roaming charges.

IP telephony and business VoIP are quickly gaining ground as the most abundant and cost-effective telecommunications platforms in the small business market. In fact it is estimated that nearly 75% of all North American businesses will have deployed a VoIP solution by the year 2013.


Hosted VoIP Turns Businesses Green

Smaller enterprises are under pressure to reduce their carbon footprint while taking a proactive approach to green maturity. Deploying a business VoIP phone system for both internal and external telecommunications have a significant impact on an organizations ability to be viewed as eco-friendly.

Both IP telephony and VoIP allow businesses to hone their communications processes, while lowering the amount of consumable materials exhausted. VoIP permits the use of all telecommunications functions to be seamlessly integrated into one comprehensive platform. Resulting in salvaged resources with the provision of a single source to be utilized for collaboration both inside the organization and out.

Some key considerations focusing around the eco-friendly principles of VoIP technology include:

* The ability to reduce the use of consumable materials such as ink and paper for fax communications.

* The ability to significantly reduce carbon emissions by enabling employees with an effective teleworking environment.

* The ability to eliminate outdated infrastructure by deploying a more technologically sound hardware solution.

* The ability to converge both voice and data networks, enabling for enhanced productivity and multiple task completion from multiple office and departmental locations.

* An ecologically sound method of delivering voice communications around the globe.

The ability to eliminate countless amounts of expensive and ecologically unstable coated wires, which have been reported to leave toxic substances in the ground.

The deployment of a business oriented VoIP solution allows smaller organizations to realize unlimited telecommunications potential while bolstering their ecological efficiencies. Through the implementation of environmentally solid processes smaller organizations maintain the ability to greatly enhance their bottom line and force industry competitors to follow suit.

Futhermore, smaller organizations deploying a hosted VoIP solution can further bolster their processes by reducing infrastructural requirements such as heating and cooling of PBX and other facilities based equipment.


VoIP Service From Nextiva

Small business owners are faced with challenges not often experienced by larger enterprises. Financial and budgetary restrictions and limited resources do not need to prevent them from obtaining a fully functioning corporate telephony system. VoIP systems designed for smaller businesses not only assist smaller business owners in meeting their communications needs, it also provides them with the tools and features necessary to bolster their communications process on a cost-efficient platform.

It is often overlooked that smaller organizations pay up to four times more per employee for conventional telephony services than their larger counterparts. Nextiva recognizes the emerging small business market and offers complete and comprehensive business VoIP services specially designed to meet the unique demands of the small enterprise owner.

There are many advantageous benefits associated with deploying a small business VoIP solution to facilitate corporate communications needs. Outside of the cost-effectiveness of VoIP, service from Nextiva is reliable, flexible and highly scalable. Some of the most noteworthy benefits of VoIP include:

• Reliability
• Cost-effectiveness
• Scalability
• Easy management and administration
• Easily maintainable by in-house IT
• Access to dozens of business-friendly features and tools at no extra charge

There are hundreds of VoIP providers in the market, all claiming to be the best in the industry. Smaller enterprises should contact a VoIP provider familiar with the challenges of the small business owner. Nextiva has been providing quality and affordable service for many years and they stand behind their service with the promise of a 30 day guarantee.


Small Business VoIP: Perfect For Small Offices

Smaller enterprises should shy away from fully functioning corporate telephony systems based on their enterprise size. It is important for smaller organizations to maintain a competitive advantage over the hundreds of other businesses on the market today and one of the most prominent ways for a business to ensure their communications success is through the use of a VoIP based calling system. There are several advantages associated with deploying VoIP and IP telephony.

1. Efficiency and Flexibility
Flexible and functional solutions, on a cost-effective platform, are a key element in communications success. Not only does VoIP work to enhance inter-office efficiency it also greatly bolsters customer satisfaction rates. A VoIP based calling system allows smaller organizations to keep pace with technology, while providing them with the same great features utilized by major Fortune 500 companies as a low cost. Some of the most common and essential elements of a business VoIP solution include:

• Enhance voicemail
• Automated attendant
• Call forwarding
• Call routing
• Call screening
Online fax
• Hold music
• Find Me / Follow Me

2. Superior Collaboration
VoIP when used in a business environment can greatly enhance employee collaboration, in fact through the use of a VoIP platform employees maintain the ability to:

• Make or receive voice and data communications directly from their computer
• Link office computers internally or externally
• Communicate with other employees around the globe in a real-time environment
• Participate in international web based conferences
• Monitor, track and record metrics and calls

3. Flexible and high quality communications
Through the advanced flexibility of IP telephony, VoIP allows businesses to maintain contact with their employees and consumers from any location that maintains access to an active Internet connection. Since voice communications are carried over a data network, rather than circuit based telephone networks call clarity is always ensured. VoIP provides employers with a scalable solution that grows and expands to meet the demands of their business. Operating over a hosted platform decreases the need for equipment maintenance since the hosted provider will ensure the overall functionality of the most necessary technology.


Small Business VoIP

For small businesses having a phone system customized to meet their unique needs and challenges is an essential element of success. Keeping pace with technology, however, has presented a hurdle for most modern small enterprise owners. That is why more businesses are electing to abandon the confines of traditional telephony in exchange for a more technologically stable Internet based communications system. VoIP and IP telephony provided smaller enterprises with a stronger technical backing and far greater benefits than a traditional packet switch telephony model.
The advantages of VoIP telephony provide smaller enterprises with the gains of enhanced customer service and a much greater level of productivity. Even though migrating to a business VoIP phone system can initially be more costly than maintaining an existing PSTN network, the long term and on-going benefits far outweigh the initial investment.
VoIP and IP telephony technologies lead the areas of the most sought after communication requirements for smaller enterprises and are rapidly becoming the most popular forms of corporate communications. Unlike a conventional telephone service that is dependent upon circuit switch technology, VoIP telephony treats voice communications as packets of data that is then encrypted and transported over the public Internet domain.
There are several key requirements that a small business must obtain in order to take advantage of VoIP technology. Primarily there must be a central device to manage calls and data; this may either be dedicated infrastructure or a software element operating via a specialized server.
Businesses must also implement a secured data or converged network and, naturally, IP based telephone hardware.
The most noteworthy gain of deploying a business based VoIP solution for businesses with multiple locations is the ability to share a single system using either LAN or WAN capability. This allows each business to realize advanced collaboration through free calling to office locations within the same network.
While VoIP can be set up independently, it is a strong recommendation that small enterprise owners consult with experienced and qualified technicians to ensure a seamless transition.


Nextiva Helps Your Business Reach Its Goals

The small business market is driven to lower operational costs while greatly increasing revenue potential through operational efficiency improvements. Employee hiring and retention, along with other methods of productivity, should be considered and exercised in an advantageous manner in order to create unified value. Migrating towards business VoIP telephony is the most substantial step in allowing smaller enterprises to realize their strategic goals.

IP telephony, or VoIP as it is known amongst most consumers, has the ability to analog data packets into digital data that is then transported over a broadband Internet connection. Once the digital data packets reach their intended destination they are then converted back into analog packets. Technologies in IP telecommunications are becoming so advanced that VoIP is now being viewed as the ideal communications platform for business use.

Once seen as an irreplaceable tool for business communications, the packet switch telephone network is no longer able to keep pace with the growing demands of the small enterprise. One of the biggest drawbacks to operating over a conventional telephony platform is the lack of customization and affordability. It is unlikely that one will encounter a business that does not utilize the Internet in their daily operations, for this purpose it makes sense that organizations would want a telecommunications system that can be fully integrated with web based applications. While the public telephone network can be utilized in a number of different mediums, it will never maintain the ability to fully compatible with Internet programs and CRM applications.

Unlike its outdated predecessor, VoIP provides businesses with the ability to carry out all of their communications necessities in a real-time environment regardless of the platform used. Harnessing the flexibility of a business VoIP solution allows smaller enterprises to maintain a competitive advantage over the key players in the industry while affording them the use of many tools and features beneficial to overall success. Studies have indicated that business VoIP far outranks conventional PBX systems in terms of affordability, flexibility and scalability. It also has the unique power to greatly enhance productivity, efficiency and client satisfaction rates.

It is rumored that nearly 73% of the worlds businesses will migrate to a business VoIP based calling system by the end of 2013, communications manufactures are now using these statistics in their strategic development making now the ideal time for all enterprises to begin the process towards and IP telephony migration.


Small Business VoIP Migration

Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, can be clearly defined as the transmission of verbal communications over the public Internet network or a virtual private network. Business VoIP communications systems utilize session control protocols that encrypt both voice and data packets for delivery over an IP network.
The main benefit of VoIP when used in the small business market is the ability to lower operational costs while providing extreme flexibility. With IP telephony it is possible for businesses to greatly reduce their infrastructure expenses simply by delivering all forms of communications over their existing data network. Since VoIP communications are billed in terms of data usage instead of time connected to the public telephone network, small businesses are able to effectively take advantage of conference calling, enhanced voicemail, automated attendants and other tools that would normally incur added expenses (if still retaining services from the local telephone company) at no extra charge. IP telephony and VoIP also maintain the ability to facilitate managerial task and duties and provide services that conventional telephony is unable to offer.
Few of the benefits that attract small business to VoIP include:

• Decreased operational charges
• Enhanced flexibility
• The ability to merge both voice and data networks
• Application integration
• Call encryption

Deploying VoIP allows businesses to merge their existing networks, and utilize a single broadband Internet connection to transmit multiple forms of communication. It is also possible for businesses to access their corporate communications system through any Internet connection and secure confidential calls through enhanced encryption and authentication.
Small businesses migrating from a conventional telephony system to a VoIP platform will realize immediate cost savings and the enhanced productivity that comes from being able to merge all communications (voice, email, faxes, and conferences) onto one complete and comprehensive platform.
The basic requirements of migrating to a VoIP platform include a broadband Internet connection, a computer, adaptor and an IP phone.




 
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