Archive for June, 2010

VoIP and National Security

The Internet Voice Campaign by the VON Coalition sought out to uncover some of the most advantageous benefits of VoIP as they relate to national security and how the use of such technologies could be used to address both government and civilian safety concerns. Some of their findings were extremely impressive.

VoIP technology is now being praised as a disaster recovery option should regular telephony functions be rendered inoperable due to the event of a disaster. Since broadband Internet is rapidly becoming the foundation for unified communications, it is plausible to view VoIP as a potential safety net in emergency situations.

Some of the key findings of the report include:

1. Following 9/11, the United States Commerce Department migrated to a VoIP solution enabling warnings to be transmitted between specific departments – an advanced warning system allowing offices to be alerted of emergency situations.

2. The Department of Defense utilized more than 8,000 VoIP phones in both Iraq and Afghanistan. This allowed the Defense Information Systems Agency to house sensitive communications over a private network and control voice and data traffic while working to combat terrorism. The Department of Defense is debating a full migration to VoIP technology.

3. The US military has been utilizing satellite based VoIP for security purposes in Iraq since the fall of Saddam’s empire. This practice provided a complete and comprehensive command network with the call encryption necessary to secure communications fully.

4. The Environmental Protection Agency operates over a VoIP platform as a method of bolstering their disaster recovery center. They require a method of remaining connected with remote office locations and resuming communications instantly in the event of failure.

5. Various state governments utilize VoIP technology to broadcast the profiles of missing or abducted children to phones across the state; a practice that has rapidly increased response times.

6. Most US Naval aircraft carriers are equipped with VoIP and the Naval Network Operations Center is entirely supported by VoIP technology.

7. Each of Arizona’s state agencies complies with a law requiring a migration from conventional telephony to VoIP. This migration will enhance 911 service, cost efficiency and provide far better security than traditional phone service.

These are just a few examples of how VoIP is working to enhance the way the nation communicates. It is anticipated that VoIP demand will increase greatly as more government agencies elect to operate over a unified communications platform – a change that will enable them to save time and money while greatly enhancing the security of a nation.

Business VoIP: Minimal Investment, Maximum Result

A fully functioning telecommunications system is a key element of business success. Previously only larger enterprise or those with a large capital expenditure were able to maintain such complex systems. Today, thanks to the emergence of hosted business VoIP even smaller organizations are able to procure and experience the benefits of corporate telephony. This provides a competitive edge to smaller firms looking to establish a solid corporate image in a big business world.

A hosted VoIP solution will prove to be a valuable investment to the average small business proprietor; the advanced call management functions will assist greatly in the bottom line of the business and ultimately result in higher sustainability and an increased profit margin.

The most widely available VoIP solutions provide the same great advantages of higher end conventional PBXs such as automated attendants, Find Me – Follow Me, call distribution, fax to email, call forwarding and even voicemail to email notification.

The automated attendant is quickly becoming the most sought after business enhancing tools. It acts as a virtual receptionist available to professionally greet and route callers twenty-four hours a day. Correctly configured automated attendants will provide incoming callers with a variety of options such as dial-by name and extension. Callers can be instantly routed to their intended recipient and will ensure that no caller ever hears a busy tone as it is able to handle multiple calls simultaneously.

Each of the features and functions offered on a hosted VoIP platform allow business management to effectively manage the business from multiple locations through an active Internet connection. It also enables small business owners to focus their attention on more pertinent areas of the business without having to worry if business calls are being missed.

One of the most favorable attributes of a VoIP system is the limited resources it consumes. Unlike a conventional PBX, VoIP requires little more than a converged network and an active broadband Internet connection. Given that the entire system can be maintained and upgrade remotely from the location of the chosen VoIP provider there is no need for small businesses to invest in set up or dedicate a large portion of the office space to house bulky and expensive infrastructure.

Who Should Switch To Business VoIP?

Smaller enterprises are often met with the realization that they must adopt new methodologies to combat rising telephone PBX service rates in order to maintain profitable and competitive in today’s market. Especially those businesses planning to expand their market reach to include new office locations across the country.

Businesses in similar situations or those looking to reduce overhead expenses may be aptly suited to migrate to a VoIP solution specially engineered to meet the ongoing needs of smaller organizations. VoIP affords smaller enterprises the use of enterprise PBX features and tools for a fraction of the cost of a conventional system.

VoIP is merely an acronym for Voice over Internet Protocol, the term used to describe the process of transmitting encrypted voice data over the public Internet network. As a technology, VoIP maintains the ability to support not only voice traffic, but it is also able to transmit video, text and graphic imagery. The ability to support such a large medium of communications has aided greatly in the success of VoIP in a small business environment. VoIP telecommunications provides greater flexibility and many more features than business executives would expect to receive over a traditional platform.

Given that the basic operational need for VoIP technology is a broadband Internet connection there is little need for specialized hardware and the need for copper wires is entirely eliminated. Since voice calls are transported, in real-time, over the public Internet and not over the public telephone network usage costs are drastically lowered.

While nearly half of the nations businesses are already deploying VoIP in one form or another it is estimated that 73 % of businesses will migrate to VoIP by 2013. Examine the following scenarios to determine if your small business is ready to move towards VoIP telecommunications success.

1. Rising telephone bills: Traditional telephone service plans can be extremely cost restrictive. This may be realized more by businesses required to make frequent or long duration long distance or international calls. By utilizing VoIP, a fixed monthly rate enables businesses to take advantage of unlimited domestic and international calling eliminating the extra surcharges often given by the phone company. Most businesses deploying VoIP report a fiscal savings of nearly 80% off their regular monthly telephony charges.

2. Promised benefits that will never be realized: It is a common ploy amongst local telephone providers to make claims of savings should businesses switch to their current service plan. There truth of this, however, is that these benefits are seldom ever realized. With VoIP there is an immediate return on investment which does include substantial upfront savings.

3. Expensive infrastructure and costly maintenance: While still operating over a conventional PBX, in order for a business to experience the greatest benefits they would first have to procure the latest and most advanced hardware – infrastructure that was likely to be very expensive. Since VoIP is predominately software based, businesses require minimal equipment in order to realize the benefits. Equipment that most businesses already have such as computer and Internet connections. At most, businesses will need to invest in VoIP phones, but these are often upgradable at no extra charge by the hosting provider.

A VoIP solution is likely to add value to most any small organization, regardless of the scope or industry, and the above scenarios are only a few of the examples when migrating to VoIP is sure to bring success. Contact Nextiva today to discuss your unique business needs.

Reasons To Get Hosted Business VoIP

Small businesses the world over are reducing their telephony expenses while greatly improving productivity simply by migrating to a hosted business VoIP solution. Listed below are some of the key factors associated with hosted VoIP success.

A.) Regardless of the industry or scope of the enterprise, migrating to a small business VoIP solution will allow businesses to realize a much more affordable telecommunications platform. Most reputable VoIP suppliers provide a 30 money back guarantee allowing organizations to test the waters before committing fully. One of the most advantageous benefits of VoIP telephony is the availability of unlimited domestic and long distance calling for a single low monthly rate.

B.) A hosted VoIP solution allows smaller enterprises to break from on premise PBX equipment, and the management and maintenance duties associated with housing such complex infrastructure. Operating over a hosted platform provides businesses with the use of a fully functioning telecommunications platform on a virtual basis which allows the business to save time, money and effort since the hosting provider will maintain the switching equipment and most other necessary pieces of hardware – the only equipment the business would be responsible for is VoIP enabled phones or headsets.

C.) Since the hosting company is responsible for most of the maintenance and managerial functions, smaller enterprises are able to reduce the amount of staff they require as well as eliminate a large portion of their IT expenses. It is also possible for businesses to provide around the clock telephone service, without having to employee multiple secretaries. The very best VoIP providers offer free automated attendants with their VoIP solutions. Automated attendants greet callers in a professional and unified manner, ensuring that each call is correctly routed to its intended location.

D.) System upgrades are simplified when operating over a hosted VoIP platform. The majority of VoIP solutions providers who offer hosted service will routinely administer VoIP phone updates so that the business is not required to. This service is optimal as it allows the business to utilize the latest and greatest features on a consistent basis.

E.) Another major benefit of a hosted VoIP solution comes in the form of scalability. Hosted VoIP providers will effortless add or remove extensions on demand, making it possible for the business to expand with ease.

F.) Smaller enterprises employing teleworkers will receive significant benefit from a hosted VoIP solution as it enables all workers access to the corporate telecommunications system over the Internet. So long as the teleworker is stationed near an active broadband Internet connection and has their VoIP phone handy they can log into the businesses communications system and carry out business as normal.

G.) Companies relying on call metrics and management will also find value in hosted VoIP as most hosted solutions providers are able to offer call recording and reporting with their services. Recording business calls allows management to closely monitor offsite employees and maintain records for compliance standards.

H.) Businesses expect VoIP service to save them money on their telephony expenses, but many are surprised to learn that it can also save them money on their ongoing utility costs. Since hosted VoIP allows smaller enterprises to promote a telework environment there becomes opportunity to reduce utility consumption in the physical office.

I.) One of the driving factors for VoIP migration is its use in unified communications. Through the use of unified communications smaller businesses are afforded access to telecommunications over various mediums. It allows for click-to-call technology as well as Internet fax and voicemail to email notification, as well as many more business enhancing features.

Business VoIP Provides An All Encompassing Communications Solution

IP telephony and VoIP are gaining significant respect in the business market as all encompassing forms of corporate communications. IP telephony, as a revolutionary form of telecommunications, has brought the perception of affordable business communications to a global sphere. The enhanced functionality of VoIP is possible in part to the wide spread availability of the Internet and its ability to provide a solidified base for data transmission. Smaller enterprises previously deploying conventional telephony systems over the public telephone network are now entertaining the use of advanced technological system such as VoIP as a means to carry out their communications practices.
Hosted VoIP has the ability to afford a large quantity of advanced tools and features to smaller businesses, on an affordable platform. Making it possible for smaller enterprises to harness the same high quality telecommunications functions as their major Fortune 500 competitors for a fraction of the cost of a traditional PBX.
The dramatic reduction in call charges, ease of management and administrative use, and the ability to integrate business enhancing applications in a virtualized, real-time environment have assisted greatly in the overall success of VoIP in business use. In addition, businesses deploying VoIP report that their managerial and employee efficiencies have improved greatly. The correct small business VoIP solution will simplify the communications process, providing businesses with access to unlimited calling across the globe. It is estimated that of the businesses currently utilizing a VoIP solution, more than half of them report average monthly savings of 80% off of their previous telephony expenses.
The convergence of both voice and data communications into one complete and effective system makes VoIP a powerful business tool. Allowing employees to execute voice, data, email and video communications on a single platform will greatly improve collaboration and lower the amount of consumable materials purchased.
VoIP has been tested in most environments and has been proven to be most successful in small businesses routinely doing business across the map. As well as in environments where telework is prevalent, or where the business maintains more than one office location. There are many other scenarios where business VoIP can bring forth tremendous gains. Contact a Nextiva representative to discuss the potential benefits of a VoIP solution.

Gain a Competitive Edge with Business VoIP

In the business world there is only so much time given to make a lasting impression. Clients, both current and potential, judge the qualifications of the entire corporation based solely upon the impression they received from their very first phone communication. Enlisting the assistance of ground breaking tools such as automated attendants and dialing systems will show greater value for the consumer’s time and help the business to appear professional and as an industry leader. The competitive edge gained from a VoIP system enables small businesses to hit the ground running, resulting in greater profitability.

VoIP operates on the assumption that revolutionary technology should not be restricted only for use in larger and more financially capable enterprises. Even smaller businesses, with fixed budgets require access to advanced communications features, and VoIP provides them with just that. A small business VoIP service allows businesses to maximize their efficiency while saving costs.

Outside of the enhancement of professional imagery, VoIP also allows small businesses to make greater use of their time; especially if they also take advantage of applications such as auto-dialers. Most applications can easily be integrated with VoIP systems enabling for enhanced productivity and an improved bottom line – resulting in extreme profitability.

Both VoIP and IP telephony have advanced considerably over the last decade, they now provide a cost effective substitute to the over-priced services offered by the local telephone company. VoIP’s ability to save small business time, money and effort provide a significant advantage in the modern business market; especially in terms of competitive edge and imagery.

Business VoIP Without The Wires

Small businesses the world over are eagerly adopting VoIP solutions to help them save time, money and effort in their day-to-day communications processes. Not only does business VoIP provide a cost effective solution to the perils of conventional telephony, it also allows small businesses to realize the benefits of fully functioning corporate phone systems.

Small businesses wishing to exchange their conventional long distance plans for unlimited calling potential would be wise to migrate to a VoIP solution. Those wishing to further enhance their VoIP experience can do so by deploying a wireless solution.

The 6 most basic requirements to a wireless VoIP system include:

1. An update computer system.
Most modern computers are compatible with VoIP software. When selecting VoIP service providers make notice of the operating system they favor. Small businesses using Mac based systems should know that it is often a Windows world, so they should not assume that the provider will be capable of meeting their needs.

2. A high speed Internet connection.
Broadband Internet is a necessary requirement in order for VoIP to function correctly. While it is possible to find VoIP providers that will willingly work with dial-up, they are more likely geared towards residential users.

3. The right class of VoIP service.
Residential VoIP will not perform optimally in a business environment. Nor does it provide access to fax and email integration.

4. Shop around.
There are many areas to consider when choosing the most appropriate VoIP provider – do they provide unlimited calling, international support, business VoIP features etc. Other factors include 911 availability, hidden charges, activation fees, customer support etc.

5. Can you select your own area code/
Most VoIP providers will enable businesses to select their own area code and phone number. This means that businesses geographically dispersed can have a local presence anywhere in the world. This feature is ONLY available over a VoIP system and not over traditional telephone service.

6. An adapter goes a long way.
Businesses wishing to execute VoIP over a wireless platform will experience greater gains through the use of a VoIP adapter. Most VoIP providers will offer adapters to their consumers. VoIP adapters allow almost any phone to be turned into a VoIP phone and providers better clarity when used wirelessly.

The Power of Business VoIP

Small businesses everywhere have been greatly enhancing productivity and lowering fixed costs simply by migrating to a VoIP communications system. VoIP is especially beneficial to establishments with multiple locations and plays a critical role in enhancing marketability.

Unlimited Calling Potential
In the past, rising long distance rates have plagued small business professionals. In fact, many businesses have been forced to restrict their consumer reach simply because they cannot afford to communicate on such a large geographical scale. To effectively mitigate and absolve the challenges of long distance and international calling charges, small businesses can migrate to a VoIP solution. Through the use of a broadband Internet connection, an IP phone and a hosted solutions provider, small businesses are able to effectively make unlimited voice calls, internationally, for a single low monthly rate.

Expand the Company Image
Smaller enterprises gain access to the same great communications tools and features as major Fortune 500 companies when deploying VoIP. Customers are easily impressed by the professional automated attendant and then instantly routed to the correct department or person. Other great features of a VoIP system include, voicemail, fax, Find Me – Follow Me, Call Forwarding, Dial by Extensions and distribution lists.

Quality Service, Award Winning Provider
The Nextiva Communications Platform is built on proven, highly scalable technologies. This affordable business communication solution has it all: ease of use, manageability, scalability, reliability and unparalleled enterprise-class functionality.

Business VoIP: Is it Right for You?

VoIP telephony, when used in a business environment, can provide many great advantages. The complexity of those advantages, however, depends greatly on the existing corporate network. Overall quality is sure to suffer if VoIP is executed over a network that is too secure and maintains more traffic than it is capable of supporting. Businesses are urged to make sure that their networks gives voice traffic priority over data traffic.
A fully functioning VoIP system costs far less to maintain than a traditional PBX and is much more user friendly in terms of administrative changes and relocations. Unlike a traditional PBX-based communications system, there is often no charge incurred to move or add additional extensions while operating over a VoIP network. Since VoIP calling is preformed over the public Internet the need to access the public telephone network is often eliminated, resulting in lowered long distance and system access fees. VoIP used in a small business environment allows businesses to integrate email, voicemail, scheduling and faxing along with many other productivity boosting elements of Unified Communications.
It is important to remember, however, that VoIP is not a fix-all solution to the pitfalls of conventional telephony. Every technology has its drawbacks and VoIP is no different. Specialized IP phones tend to be more costly than conventional analog handsets, and have far more stringent network requirements. For those able to look past the initial expenses, though, they will likely experience significant gains in the long run.
A complete migration to a VoIP system may not be appropriate for businesses with less than 10 employees, however, businesses in the following situations may be able to realize the ultimate value of VoIP based calling.

• Companies with multiple sites and Wide Area Networks connecting each site.
• Companies routinely employing remote workers.
• Companies spending large amounts of the technology budget on long distance.
• Companies with a high turnover.
• Companies looking to expand or relocate in the near future.

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Contact an Amazing Service
Sales Expert
(800) 799-0600
Learn how Nextiva Analytics gives you unprecedented insight into your business.

Nextiva's XBert

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Sales Expert
(800) 799-0600
Learn how Nextiva Analytics gives you unprecedented insight into your business.