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High phone bills

Many people today are suffering from high phone bills due to international calls made. Even some businesses are faced with this problem when making calls between their branches across the nation and maybe even internationally. A good way to reduce the phone bill is by using your high speed internet connection and IT network for phone calls. This technology is known today as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). This technology can also benefit workers since IT network can be used to combine voice and data, giving productivity to the staff and improved customer service.

So as the price of high speed or broadband internet connection drops down, it’s very worth using this IT technology for telecommunications. So what is this Voice over Internet Protocol? Technically speaking, it is a protocol designed to operate using the internet or packet-switched networks for transmitting voice. In simple terms, it allows a person to make phone calls using the internet or a local area network, which gives a very effective and low cost solution to make phone calls. It can even deliver telephone services to remote areas as long as there is a wireless internet connection in those areas.

So what are the possible benefits for an organization investing in using this technology? First benefit is cheaper calls. Using the computer network for phone calls and data transmission, a company would definitely cut-down operating costs. In addition to this, a company could implement a call center style technology giving a good advantage over other companies. A call center style implementation in a company would improve its customer service. And also, making an international calls using VoIP technology is cheaper than using the traditional telephone system.

Any person in the company could even make free calls within the company network. Another benefit of VoIP is uncomplicated infrastructure. A company can increase its call capacity without deploying added cables. Another good benefit of this is scalability. Usually, a common Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system has a limited number of sockets for telephones to connect to. Using VoIP, a larger number of ‘virtual users’ can connect to every network socket, thus providing flexibility and scalability. Another benefit for an organization is lower operating costs.

VoIP system is not based on hardware but rather on software. This makes it a lot easier to maintain and manage. Better productivity is another benefit of VoIP. Since VoIP handles every voice call like any other data, the users can attach files or documents to voice messages and could also partake in videoconferencing or virtual meetings. VoIP is also wireless compatible. Wireless mobile devices like smartphones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) can use the VoIP system through the company’s wireless Local Area Network (LAN).

Last possible benefit of using VoIP system is reliable call management for the users. Voice-related services like caller-ID, call diversion, and broadcast messaging are easier to manage and can be regularly updated by users or employees in the company. After knowing the benefits of implementing VoIP system in a company, let’s now look on the potential risks of this technology. First is security. Security of every phone conversation is very important to a company since possible private issues or topics within the company might be at risk.

In VoIP systems, voice is transmitted as data and therefore is highly vulnerable to attack or hack compared to conventional telephone system. There are several ways a company’s security might be at risk with this technology. One is exposure to computer viruses and/or malicious attacks. Another could be unauthorized use of your network, probably by hackers, to make calls for free. Last but the most important is eavesdropping or spying by other companies that could give them an advantage over your company. Next potential risk is quality of service.

In VoIP systems, voice is transmitted as data packets through your network. And when your network is congested or there is too much data being transmitted through the network at the same time, the possibility of voice delay, stuttering effect and loss of syllables or sometimes even words is quite high. And this is not acceptable to the users. Another probable risk with VoIP is reliability. Of course a robust network is a must for a company. A lose of telephone service and also access to important data could be very disastrous.

But all of these potential risks could be resolved by good implementation of VoIP system. Before implementing VoIP system within a company, a few things must be analyzed. First is to know if the computers the employees would be using are VoIP capable or ready? Next is to identify the data and voice traffic through the network at peak times, and check whether the network has sufficient bandwidth. Next is to determine the management tools needed for this system. The cost benefit for the organization must also be analyzed.

The additional cost of installing new or additional equipment must be carefully considered. The probable company savings for the company must also be assessed. Finally, you can explore other options by using VoIP system in your company like probably bypassing the public telephone system when making external calls. After all of these things in mind, a company might probably consider using VoIP system inside their organization.

Reference:

Voice over Internet Protocol. Retrieved December 16, 2007 from http://www. is4profit. com/business-advice/it-telecoms/voip. html

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