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August 2010

Is Now The Time To Switch To Business VoIP?

By August 24, 2010 No Comments

Whether your small business is just starting out or has been growing strong for many years, the chances are good that deploying a business VoIP phone system will bring forth many advantageous benefits and considerable cost savings. In order to achieve success in VoIP migration, however, the business must be prepared for an initial investment and some strategic planning. While VoIP is excellent in almost any small business scenario, below we have outlined a few of the most prominent indicators that it is time for your business to make the VoIP switch.

Is Your Business Ready For A VoIP Phone System?

1. The business’s needs were not being met by the local telephone company and VoIP is able to provide the solution: Outside of saving a considerable amount of money, VoIP provides smaller enterprises in particular with many attractive benefits and features, as well as superior communications potential. VoIP enables businesses to leverage unified communications while taking advantage of the same great features utilized by fortune 500 companies for a fraction of the cost of traditional phone service.
2. Rising communications costs are becoming too unaffordable for the business: Cost savings and access to affordable communications have always been the driving factors for VoIP migration. A great number of businesses report savings of more than 80% off of their regular monthly communications expense.
3. After an expansion, the existing phone system is no longer able to support the entire company: Unlike traditional PBXs, a VoIP PBX is much more adequately equipped to handle complex telecommunications. Therefore, employees will be rewarded with enhanced productivity and greater mobility, as well as heightened collaboration between offices. Businesses routinely providing their employees with iPhones or other 3G devices will receive greater benefit from a VoIP system.
4. Customer satisfaction and relationships could use strengthening: VoIP enables business to leverage features such as local number portability, toll-free number and automated attendants – all features designed to enhance customer satisfaction while lowering response times.
5. The current phone system needs to be replaced: VoIP enables businesses to invest in technology that will always be current and doesn’t risk becoming obsolete in the coming years.
6. Your new business has the funds to implement a VoIP system: Starting with a VoIP system, instead of migrating from conventional telephony, actually has great cost savings potential. Businesses not only save money, but they also reduce hassles that can come as result of having to redesign networks and other devices.
7. The business already invested into superior networks and bandwidth etc..: If the business already has access to affordable high speed Internet, a strong data network and high bandwidth on wireless device then it would be a mistake for the business not to deploy VoIP. These valuable resources are wasted on regular telephony and would be best suited for a VoIP environment.
8. The business needs to gain a competitive advantage over other businesses in the industry: It is likely that business competitors already have or are planning to deploy VoIP. Doing so allows smaller businesses to compete with larger enterprises while greatly enhancing their corporate image.


VoIP Number Portability

By August 24, 2010 No Comments

One of the primary concerns businesses in particular ask themselves before deciding whether or not to migrate to a VoIP communications solution is if they can keep their existing phone number. This is often referred to as number portability. While it is completely possible in most scenarios to keep existing numbers, it is important to verify if the current number is actually portable.

In most cases, porting a number from a conventional telephone provider to a VoIP service provider is possible and a great benefit to existing businesses. For those seeking to switch between two VoIP providers, however, various problems may arise.

For example; Businesses seeking to port their original number from the local telephone provider to a VoIP service will likely experience no difficulties until they attempt to leave the original VoIP provider and port their number to a new VoIP service. This is due in part to the stipulations that many telephone service providers place on number portability. More often than not they will allow number porting to one VoIP provider, but will not permit it after that initial transfer.

According to most state regulations, however, the consumer is the legal owner of the number and they may decide to port the number wherever they wish.

If the business where to relocate outside of the service area of the VoIP provider they may be required to change their phone number as the number is less likely to be portable. Many VoIP companies like Nextiva offer local number and area codes across the globe.

The best practice approach to number portability for those businesses wishing to retain their existing number is to ask their VoIP provider prior to making a complete migration. Do not be afraid to ask if it is possible to port a number from a conventional telephone service and then to an alternate VoIP provider should you decide to switch in the future.


A Hosted PBX Solution for Any Business

By August 24, 2010 No Comments

Smaller businesses often receive the most gains from a hosted VoIP PBX, particularly when the service is provided by a reliable VoIP solutions provider experienced in the small business market. Unlike an on premise conventional PBX, a VoIP PBX enables small businesses to greatly boost their customer service ability while maintaining affordable communications between multiple locations.
The revolutionary capabilities of a VoIP PBX operate directly through the corporate IP network and therefore are extremely easy to install and use. Given the virtualized nature of VoIP systems, electing to operate via a hosted VoIP PBX is highly cost efficient even for the smallest businesses; especially since there is no need for additional on premise infrastructure. Traditionally a PBX would require the business to dedicate a significant portion of their location to house bulky and hard to maintain equipment, in the case of a hosted VoIP PBX this equipment is both housed and maintained at the physical location of the provider and then virtually delved out to each business.
The intelligence of a hosted VoIP PBX provides it with the capability of transferring a high multitude of calls regardless of the location. Many businesses hold the Find Me – Follow Me feature offered on most VoIP PBXs in high regard, as this unique feature ensures that no call is left unanswered by routinely routing callers to whatever line happens to be freely accepting calls.
VoIP PBXs are designed to greatly enhance the small business communications experience, one of the greatest business enhancers is known as the automated attendant. This virtual receptionist is available round the clock to greet and direct all incoming callers in a professional and courteous fashion. With the use of a hosted VoIP PBX the need to employ additional staff to handle calls is eliminated and the potential for cost savings greatly increased.


Receive Greater Benefits From VoIP With Teleconferencing Equipment

By August 24, 2010 No Comments

Through the continued use of conferencing applications smaller businesses are able to greatly enhance the reach and scope of their communication. An enhanced communicational scope means a greater business reach, regardless of the global location of their intended recipients.
Through technological advancement in telecommunications products, businesses are able to take advantage of a number of conferencing tools including both video and audio conferencing solutions. While audio conferencing is much more widely accepted and considered by most to have greater benefits in terms of affordability, video conferencing is rapidly gaining popularity in the small business world.
VoIP teleconferencing equipment affords users to tend to business and client meetings in a virtualized environment, hence eliminating the need for costly and often hard to plan business trips since each attendee can be stationed at their business office and attend the meeting over the VoIP-Internet network.
More beneficially, it provides users with the ability to engage in a multitude of interactions and simulates a real-life conference experience. VoIP teleconference equipment is available in a variety of options depending on the unique needs of the business and can often be integrated with a number of computerized applications to further enhance the overall experience.
Using business VoIP to facilitate a teleconference allows users to realize the benefits of a teleconferencing scenario while taking advantage of the many great benefits of VoIP technology. VoIP conferencing equipment is similar in appearance to traditional appearance and provides many of the same features such as volume control and redial.
Following the widespread acceptance of VoIP for business use, VoIP based conferencing equipment has gained significant ground in terms of popularity and functionality – resulting in considerable cost savings across the board. Having realized the economical benefits of Internet based communications compared to conventional telephony, small businesses now willingly accept VoIP usage in a conferencing environment. Moreover, they appreciate the ability to launch a conference or call from any location, even outside of the office environment.
Nextiva sells a number of security enhanced and affordable teleconferencing products, designed to meet the needs of any small business.


Riding the VoIP Gateway

By August 24, 2010 No Comments

For a business, regardless of its size or caliber, a significant portion of their success rate is determined by the dynamics of their telecommunications system. Given the rapidly altering state of technology and the diversity and stability of newer telecommunications infrastructure it has become more feasible for smaller businesses to abandon their traditional methods of communications in exchange for a more flexible solution.

Newer and more progressive business VoIP systems have been demonstrated to maintain greater efficiency and usability when used in a business-oriented environment. This functionality has aided greatly in the increased popularity and on-going success of this advanced technology.

Business VoIP phone systems have brought many wonderful advances to the small to midsized business market, and while similar in function and appearance to their conventional counterparts, take advantage of the expandability of the Internet to allow multiple users to make or receive communications both digitally and verbally.

Much like the analog phone service of the past, a VoIP enabled telecommunications system grants users access to business necessary features such as call waiting, redial, speed dial, mute and call forwarding but it also enhances these standard features and provides a great number of newer and more advanced tools and features.

While both VoIP and analog phone are similar in appearance, one cannot expect to plug a VoIP phone into a standard phone jack and expect it to perform correctly. VoIP phones are specifically engineered to make calls over the Internet. Analog phones, on the other hand, will function correctly over a VoIP gateway with the use of a specialized VoIP adapter.

A VoIP gateway facilitates the ability to transform analog signals into packets of digital data and therefore it is highly possible for a VoIP calls to be received and transported over a conventional telephone network without interruptions in service.

VoIP as a technology is so intricate that it maintains the ability to correctly determine which gateway must be utilized to receive optimum service. There are several distinct advantages associated with a VoIP phone system, namely in terms of cost of usage and financial savings. Since VoIP calls are made via the Internet and most businesses already maintain a cost efficient broadband Internet connection, it becomes a feasible option to harness that availability to enable the business access to a more complete and comprehensive telecommunications system.

In terms of convenience and expandability a conventional phone system cannot complete with the full-service flexibility of VoIP. At minimum, all a business requires to begin experiencing the benefits of VoIP is a broadband Internet connection, a VoIP phone and a reliable VoIP service provider. There are many businesses enhancing features available with most VoIP plans, designed to ensure that the business receives the greatest benefit and return on investment. These features include Find Me / Follow Me, Automated Attendant, Enhanced Voicemail and call routing.
An additional benefit of a VoIP system is the users ability to take their number with them should they decide to relocate. This is often referred to as ‘Number Portability’ and can save a smaller business a great deal of money on advertising and relocation expenses alone.

Since VoIP operates predominately over the Internet, it becomes easier for employees on the go to access their corporate phone systems simply by plugging their specialized VoIP phone into any active Internet connection – a feature that has been proven to not only increase productivity and collaboration but has also aided greatly in an employee’s ability to meet the needs of their client base.


VoIP: An Essential Element Of Small Business Success

By August 12, 2010 No Comments

Successful small business proprietors have a compulsion to continually source out new methods of reducing operational expenses while driving maximum revenues through the use of technology. Much more can be done to boost productivity outside of the conventional method of intelligent human resource screening. Through the integration and deployment of VoIP into day-to-day business activities will greatly assist smaller enterprises in particular in achieving a combination of these goals.

In the small business world the use of VoIP technology has positively replaced conventional telephony and become a widely accepted and popular norm. In order to function correctly business VoIP phone systems are reliant upon access to broadband Internet; a technology that many organizations have embraced for many years. VoIP’s main objective is to convert conventional analog signals into a more efficient digital codec so that voice communications may be transmitted through the public data network (the Internet). Once the digitized codec has reached its intended destination it is reverted back to its original form so that the displayed message is comprehensible to the human ear.

As a communications medium conventional public telephone service is slowly being phased out of the business world to make room for a more efficient and affordable platform. At present, analog telephone service may no longer be capable of supporting the advanced demands of the small business world. A businesses ability to communicate effectively plays a vital role in their success and allows them to maintain a competitive advantage over other key players in the industry. Since more and more businesses are turning to computerized applications to handle their customer data bases and the likes it is a logical solution to advance to a communications platform that can easily be integrated into a digital environment. VoIP has proven extremely successful when used in conjunction with unified communications.

Unlike telephony services of the past, VoIP facilitates the transmission of non-real-time digital information through the packet-switching. Enlisting the services of a small business VoIP solutions provider allows smaller organizations access to revolutionary communications and business boosting features that were at one time reserved only for major Fortune 500 companies. It also provides a great deal of flexibility and the freedom to customize the entire service as needed – often for little or no cost.

Once a business has experienced the cost savings principles and ease of use of a small business oriented VoIP telecommunications solution it is unlikely that they will ever revert to a packet-switch telephone network again.


So You’re Looking for a VoIP Provider

By August 12, 2010 No Comments

Small business owners in need of high quality VoIP service will want to resist the urge to sign on with the first VoIP solutions provider to cross their paths. The primary driving factor for most in making the decision to migrate to a business VoIP phone system is the ability to greatly reduce their ongoing operating expenses and essentially save a large sum of money; most enterprises report savings exceeding nearly 80%.

If cost savings is what drives your business to explore the options of small business VoIP it is vital to research the availability of VoIP solutions providers offering upscale and award winning service at a rate comparable with the market. In addition to affordable rates, other areas of consideration should focus around the services that are essential to the communications survival of your organization. The small business solutions provider chosen should be adept in providing proficient technical support on an as needed basis. Exceptional technical support capabilities may become essential to the survival of your business especially if problems arise. It is comforting to know that when questions or concerns surface there is a knowledgeable professional available when you need it.

The reputation of any given VoIP provider should definitely be taken into consideration when looking for an on-going communications provider. You will want to ensure that the small business VoIP provider chosen is a trusted leader in the industry; Nextiva is a proven leader in the small business VoIP market and has been for many years. Small business owners needing to cut their ongoing expenses will find great solace in switching to a VoIP driven communications platform.

Outside of the reputation and trustworthiness of the chosen VoIP provider, you will also wish to explore their capabilities in great detail. You are entrusting your companies entire telecommunications process to an exterior organization and for that reason it is essential to ensure that they are able to support such a large scaled responsibility. If the provider is new to the industry or only skilled in residential VoIP perhaps they are not the most adept organization to entrust your business.

Procuring reliable communications services means contracting knowledgeable and confident professionals to support your business and allow you to experience the rewards of substantial cost savings. The provider chosen should maintain access to an efficient and advanced communication system and maintain the skills necessary to assist your business in establishing the most appropriate communications set up to allow your business to grow and succeed as proficiently as possible.