Ok, I’m old. I admit it. I remember when microwave ovens first came out. They required 2 people to lift them because of all the lead shielding to protect us from being cooked alive on our couch in the next room. They would explode and tear your house down with any scrap of metal, and old ladies were drying their poodles with them. Within a few years every home had one and the myths began to die down. Some of those early concerns were based in fact, some were exaggerations or extreme examples of misuse, but the microwave was here to stay. Today it is a staple in every home, office, and restaurant.
VoIP is off to that same rocky start. Exploding poodles aside, garbled unintelligible voice quality, disconnects, ghost calls, and expensive hardware costs have been the bane of VoIP systems throughout the past 10 years. Not anymore. Just like it’s distant technological cousin, VoIP technology has shed the myths and greatly due to reputable hosted providers and better Internet speeds from ISP’s, delivered on the original promise of cheap powerful voice technology that integrates with office automation and IT systems. I have personally seen voice service costs drop by as much as 75%, while adding a feature rich phone system. How does it work? Here’s a look at the new age of VoIP in a hosted environment.
Calls come into the PSTN (phone company network that has been around for a hundred years) and are routed into a secure site datacenter with redundant power, Internet, and hardware. From there they are converted into Internet traffic, much the same way as a song is converted to .mp3 and streamed to your computer. The voice call then makes it through your in house network to the designated extension. All this is easily manageable through a web portal. No more sweaty phone tech hunkered down punching codes into a phone in a closet for billable hours to change an extension, or where numbers go. All in all this is a much more stable platform, as most companies don’t have redundant Internet yet, and redundant hardware can get really expensive.
With this model, all kinds of never before services are available. Here’s a for instance: What do you do today if the power goes out in your office? If someone hits the telephone pole out front with a truck, what happens to your customers? If you have planned carefully and anticipated this, you may be able to call the phone company and ask them to forward your numbers to an answering service which bills you per call to take messages. Hosted VoIP has a solution for that. Your mobile devices can become part of your internal phone network. So you set up for certain cell phones to receive the calls and voila! Your calls are being handled by your staff, who can answer questions and give service rather than just take messages. This is just one example of the technology available with a hosted VoIP system.
Are there still monsters under the bed in VoIP? Sure there are. You need to set yourself up with a reputable provider, price alone cannot drive this decision. At Simpletech, we have partnered with Crexendo after testing, working with, and seeing their product in action. We offer a value added service with the Crexendo products. Simpletech will work with you to determine your needs based upon cost, your workflow, and future needs. We also examine your Internet connection, routers, and usage to determine what changes are needed to build the solid platform required for reliable VoIP communications. If you think you might be ready to embrace the future of voice communications, call us at (866)724-8946 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll work with you to keep the poodles at bay!