Archive for September, 2010


Large Scale Appeal For Little Cost

Through the use of hosted VoIP small businesses are transforming the way they communicate; both verbally and digitally. Without a competent telecommunications process in place it is unlikely that any business will be able to maintain the competitive edge or consumer satisfaction rates necessary to survive and succeed.

In the past smaller businesses in particular were faced with difficulty when trying to secure proactive and affordable communications that were able to keep pace with their larger competitors. That was until the introduction of quality hosted VoIP services. In utilizing the services of a reputable small business hosted VoIP solutions provider smaller enterprises are given the ability to effectively progress their communications potential while maintaining budget friendly operational expenses.

High quality hosted VoIP solutions providers will provide the small business market with the breadth of functionalities and communications tools that have been utilized by major Fortune 500 companies for generations, all the while alleviating the need for costly on premise infrastructure. Deploying a hosted VoIP solution enables businesses to retain their existing infrastructure, while the hosted solutions provider houses and maintains the PBX equipment at their physical office location and then provides access to the equipment via a broadband Internet network.

Hosted VoIP enables smaller businesses to control their communications expenses as it is available for a low monthly fixed rate and provides access to more than 28 ground breaking features. Note worthy hosted VoIP solutions providers maintain responsibility for the ongoing maintenance and technical support of both the necessary software and hardware upgrades allowing businesses to focus more on core business functions and less on IT related concerns.

Small businesses nationwide praise hosted VoIP for allowing them to realize the potential of unlimited calling capabilities and features otherwise unaffordable to them. Features like virtualized automated attendants and the ability to connect a wide range of mobile and remote workers from any location in the world.

Correct deployment and utilization of a hosted business VoIP phone system has been effectively proven to assist smaller enterprises in boosting their client satisfaction rates while raising their corporate image to equal and often surpass that of their most prominent competitors.


VoIP Is Wonderful

By now it is unlikely that there remains a small business in America that has not at least heard the term VoIP service. Smaller businesses in particular are able to effectively maintain a competitive advantage and keep pace with larger enterprises by utilizing the resiliency of the Internet to carry out both their data and voice communications functions. Not only is business class VoIP service efficiently priced, but it also provides call clarity and overall quality at par with traditional phone service.

Forget about POM Wonderful – the pomegranate juice drink that has taken the world by storm. VoIP is wonderful as well. Small businesses, the world over, praise VoIP technology for its cost saving principles and unlimited calling potential. As a low cost alternative to conventional telephone service, high quality business oriented VoIP is available for a low monthly flat rate. Often included at no added charge is business enhancing features such as call waiting, call display, enhanced voicemail, hold music, and call routing. Some of the most interesting features of VoIP are components like automated attendant, conference calling and Find Me – Follow Me.

When used in a business environment VoIP will perform at its best over a high speed broadband network. The higher quality of Internet service, the greater service and call quality that can be achieved. Since nearly every business has quick access to reliable Internet service it is likely that they will experience immediate benefits from VoIP. Unlike conventional phone service, VoIP consumers are able to access unlimited calling for a single fee, meaning that the rate often never increases whether the call is domestic or long distance.

In order for a smaller organization to begin experiencing VoIP excellence they must maintain a high speed Internet connection, a hosted VoIP service plan and phone equipment. The facilitation of VoIP usage is gaining popularity amongst businesses seeking portability, scalability and flexibility not attainable while still receiving service from the local phone provider.

There are many different flavors of VoIP and even more service providers; it is the responsibility of the small business owner to research providers capable of meeting their needs. The most common type of VoIP service amongst small business professionals is service geared directly to smaller businesses. This type of VoIP service is designed to replace the existing office phone system and can now include great features like mobile VoIP and VoIP on handheld devices. It is best to steer clear of service providers specializing in residential VoIP but offering business VoIP and only work with accredited and reputed small business VoIP solutions providers.


Few Of The Benefits of Virtual Collaboration

It is often mentioned how small businesses can greatly enhance inter-office collaboration simply by migrating to a small business VoIP solution. What, if any, are the benefits of enhanced office collaboration through the use of VoIP technology?

The ability to sustain financial resources. Unified communications and VoIP technology are superior methods of reducing costs, especially in an era where every business seeks to do more with less. Through virtual collaboration businesses are able to reduce printing costs, eliminate the need to mail documents via postal mail to additional office locations, and are most often able to work quicker and much more efficiently.

The ability to leverage the expertise of outside technical professionals. In a VoIP environment, particularly in hosted scenarios, there is no need to contract or train internal IT staff as the knowledgeable support professionals of the solution provider are equipped to handle most challenges.

Easier organization and document retention. Since the majority of incoming and outgoing documents are in a digitalized format, there is no need for physical storage facilities or filing cabinets. Each document can quickly be accessed or stored for later retrieval.

Maintain transparency. In making materials and information available online it is easier for colleagues to share information and contribute to projects. This method also helps to ensure that all of the necessary parties can remain up-to-date on necessary information in a real-time environment.

Take the office with you. Much like an IP phone used on the road, virtualized collaboration tools ensure that employees can work effortlessly and effectively from any location maintaining access to the Internet.

Help the environment. By going digital it is possible for businesses to free up greater office resources, reduce their carbon footprint and the amount of consumable materials used.

Easier management and configuration. An online format ensures that only the files, images, tasks and documents needed are used. These documents can easily be shared or sent to colleagues and clients around the world quickly and for no cost.


Points To Ponder During Your VoIP Vendor Selection

For smaller businesses embarking on the journey from analog telephone service to a more complete VoIP communications solution the rewards can be plentiful. That is unless they fail to select a small business VoIP solutions provider that is capable of providing high quality service at a competitive rate. How does a small business ensure that the vendor they choose is able to meet their specific needs and requirements? Follow the aforementioned guidelines as a starting point to ensure excellence in any small business VoIP vendor decision.

Is the vendor locally based? While this may not matter for home based VoIP services, businesses may want to ensure that they are selecting a VoIP solutions provider that is located in the same country as their home office. While the option to obtain service from out-of-country vendors is always available, in doing so the business may be sacrificing their overall VoIP quality.

Will the service be most utilized by employees on-the-go or working remotely? One of the main driving factors for VoIP migration is its ability to be accessed and used from any location that maintains Internet connectivity. If travelling employees do not intend to carry their adapter or IP phones with them it may be best to investigate small business VoIP solutions providers that offer no charge softphones enabling employees on the go to access the corporate VoIP network through their laptops or handheld devices. Do not assume, however, that a softphone will be included free with service as many solutions providers link a charge to this value added service.

What is the required outgoing call volume? Some vendors will provide unlimited domestic and International calling, while others offer per minute packages. A wise business professional will procure service from VoIP solutions providers that offer unlimited calling for a monthly flat rate. Yet for those businesses that do not do a lot of outside calling it may be cheaper to purchase a specific minute allotment.

QoS Quality of Service: This is the most important term in the small business VoIP market and business owners must familiarize themselves with its meaning thoroughly. It is paramount that the VoIP solutions provider chosen stands behind their QoS and is capable of providing crystal clear voice and sound quality. The solutions provider should also be able to provide knowledgeable guidance on business class Internet service and equipment.


The Progression of Business VoIP Technology

Logically speaking, through the utilization of VoIP technology both voice and data communications can be carried out over the public Internet by harnessing the Internet Protocol.

Voice over IP is not a new technology, while it has been available for nearly 3 decades it was not until the mid 1990′s when the service really began to grow in popularity. The reason for this spike in popularity was attributed to its ability to be used in conjunction with applications that provided free computer-to-computer communications or between analog phones and specially configured computers. While VoIP has grown tremendously in terms of functionality and quality, it was often the source of much ridicule over the years due to unpredictable call quality. These complaints were not enough to prevent the steady incline of VoIP use however. Users soon became accustomed to harnessing the technology as a method of achieving substantial savings on long distance and overseas calling. Today, the quality of VoIP often surpasses that of conventional analog telephone service making it the ideal solution for business communications worldwide.

There are many noteworthy advantages to utilizing VoIP technology in a business environment, the most worth mentioning being sustainable cost reduction. In an era where every small business is dependent upon their ability to do more with less, turning to a VoIP solution enables them to lower both capital and operating expenses simply through the convergence of both voice and data networks.

In addition to fiscal savings, VoIP’s use in business can also result in increased and generated revenue. Studies have indicated that many of the unique applications available for use with VoIP, such as video conference calling, unified communications and even web-enabled CRM platforms can significantly boost customer satisfaction rates which ultimately results in higher revenue. These same great applications and features have also been said to drastically improve employee productivity and collaboration. Since employees are given access to top-level communications tools from anywhere that Internet connectivity is possible their work environment becomes much less stressful and they are more apt to perform their daily duties more efficiently.


Things To Consider Before Switching to VoIP

Any new technology purchase is an investment and should be thought of as such. The same frame of thought should be applied to the decision to migrate to a VoIP based communications system. For small businesses considering investment in VoIP, the following areas of significance should be addressed:

Does the organization routinely make long distance or overseas calls? What is the current process for internal communication? What charges are associated with the current process and phone system on a monthly recurring basis?

What is the organizational communications budget? Is it feasible to invest slightly more in a small business VoIP solutions provider that offers Quality of Service (QoS) commitment?

What will the total monthly expense be for the new VoIP service: Remember to include things such as additional features (if not included in the flat rate) networking, training and on-going support.

What additional equipment will the company be required to purchase out of pocket? Will the company need to secure adapters? Routers? Phones? Cables etc.

Does the organization currently maintain a local or wide area network connection? If so, the initial costs of VoIP installation will be significantly lowered.

Will the businesses be provided a no obligation trial or demonstration of the VoIP service to ensure complete satisfaction?

Carefully investigating all of the areas of concern will ultimately result in much more satisfactory results in any investment towards a small business VoIP solution.


Over 300 VoIP Articles

We have shared 330 articles at www.nextiva.com/voip and we are happy to share that we have published over 300 VoIP (Voice over IP) articles. We feel that the number of articles within the Business VoIP Information and Learning Center will continue to grow. In less than one year – this portal has delivered over 300 VoIP articles and the feedback we have received from our visitors has contributed to the topics and information discussed here.
If you have any feedback or stories to share, please let us know. If you would like to write a guest post here, please send a message to info at nextiva dot com and we can discuss the opportunities available.
Again – we would like to thank you for visiting this portal and look forward to many more great articles.


Smartphones Just Got Smarter With VoIP

Recent technological advancements have sparked interest in mobile VoIP technology, both for private consumer and business use. Thanks to technical components such as WiFi and the 3G network smaller business and employees on the go are now able to effectively integrate VoIP into their business strategies.

Small business proprietors entertaining the idea of integrating mobile VoIP into their already existing VoIP network must carefully plan the most effective and cost friendly method of deployment. Successful integration will not only greatly enhance productivity and employee satisfaction but it will also drive revenue as employees on the go will never miss another sales call.

While many businesses turn to VoIP to reduce their ongoing expenses and essentially lower their communications bills, it may be surprising to some to learn that lowered expenses is not the primary driving factor for smaller businesses exploring mobile VoIP. The majority of small businesses turning to VoIP do so for the added convenience of having their employees connected and readily available.

Of the applications most commonly used for mobile VoIP services, Bria for iPhone deserves a special mention as it enables business users to effectively utilize their existing hosted VoIP service through a downloadable softphone application straight to their iPhone.

Doing so enables them to make or receive VoIP calls from their mobile handset while still registering their main business number as if they were taking or making calls from the office. Harnessing VoIP on a mobile spectrum means that calls made to or from the same network are done at no cost and therefore there is no reason for business owners to worry about rising roaming charges or per minute billing.


The Many Benefits of Nextiva’s Hosted Business VoIP

In a hosted business VoIP environment smaller enterprises are given the opportunity to enjoy the many advantageous benefits of a top-of-the-line telecommunications system without the need to make a substantial upfront investment. Not only does a VoIP telecommunications system award smaller organizations with unique tools designed to heighten their customer service capabilities, but it also rewards them with the added bonus of enhanced productivity through improved communications capabilities.

When compared to traditional phone services, like those provided by the local phone company, businesses electing to take advantage of a hosted VoIP solution are afforded access to all of the same great features (and more) without the need to procure or install costly and inconvenient on premise hardware. Small business VoIP solutions providers, like Nextiva, assume all maintenance responsibilities for the systems they offer and therefore alleviate a great deal of headaches from business administrators.

Hosted business VoIP service is available over a broadband Internet connection, provided the business consumer maintains adequate bandwidth and enough speed to support both incoming and outgoing data. Hosted service with Nextiva provides more than 28 ground breaking PBX features at an affordable fixed rate.

Some of those features include:

• A free automated attendant to greet and route callers in a professional and unified manner.
• The ability to route to a live operator.
• Find Me – Follow Me and hunt group applications to ensure that no call is ever missed.
• Web conferencing capabilities to unite employees from multiple office locations.
• Enhanced voicemail and voicemail / fax to email

To explore more of the great options available to Nextiva consumers contact Nextiva today.




 
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