By: Kurt Sack, VoIP Technician
Landline phone systems haven’t only become a thing of the past in our homes. More and more companies are modernizing their communications technology too. With the growing use of cell phones and the greater speed and reliability of the internet, businesses across the world are taking advantage of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
It has also become very apparent amidst the COVID-19 epidemic that companies with a VoIP solution in place had more flexibility in moving employees to work remotely and put call menus in place to streamline customer calls.
What is VoIP?
VoIP is a type of hardware and software that allows the use of a high-speed Internet connection to communicate voice, video, and data. It turns analog data (i.e. your voice) into packets of digital data, which can then be transmitted through internet cable lines.
As a business communications tool, VoIP can be a cost-effective way to encourage collaboration within an organization, as well as with customers and clients. Through a wide range of applications, VoIP also enhances the collaboration experience between employees and clients with tools that help manage projects, as well as facilitate mobile communication. Capabilities can include virtual call centers, auto attendants and more, allowing businesses to flex big communications power.
Virtual PBX on the cloud
Networks Plus is a leading provider of VoIP services for businesses. We use a cloud-based system called Virtual PBX, also known as a hosted VoIP or hosted private branch exchange (HPBX), that is accessible over a network in the cloud. By utilizing a hosted system, companies experience savings through the elimination of installation, operation, software, hardware, and maintenance costs.
More than one-third of businesses today – large and small – are using a VoIP phone system. In recent years, Networks Plus has received a growing number of requests for VoIP and we expect about half of all businesses will make the switch to some sort of VoIP or HPBX phone system over the next five years.
When switching to HPBX, the business leases or buys the phones and pays for their internet connection.
HPBX allows multiple call appearances on one line. Each individual phone–or seat–has the ability to host up to three calls at one time. The phone can be located anywhere there is an internet connection, which allows transferred calls and voicemail. Each phone has a seat charge.
Networks Plus Basic Seat
- For breakrooms and spaces where there is not always a user present
- No voicemail
- Can only take or place calls
Networks Plus Standard Level Seat
- Includes voicemail
- Includes Find Me/ Follow Me (call forwarding)
- Set your desk phone to ring a certain number of times before the call is automatically transferred to a mobile phone – beneficial when in and out of the office frequently
- Ability to have voicemails sent in an email as a .wav file, allowing you to get them wherever you are.
Networks Plus Premium Seat
- Mobile phone or desktop computer can become your phone by downloading our softphone app
- Turns your device into an IP based phone
- Allows for continued connection to the system – ability to transfer calls, park, etc.
Benefits of Networks Plus HPBX
- No fly-by-night 3rd party solution here. Networks Plus HPBX switch is owned and operated by our parent company, Blue Valley Technologies, who has been in the telecommunications business since 1956.
- Lower setup and maintenance costs than traditional phone lines
- Free long-distance calls
- Note: There is an additional charge for international calls
- Easier to install, configure, and maintain
- Highly scalable technology, with intuitive remote work capabilities
- Adapter available for fax lines
- Versatility of Features
- Customer communication is enhanced
- Increases collaboration between employees across multiple office locations
When VoIP services first rolled out, one of the greatest disadvantages was the requirement of a reliable internet connection. Today, most locations have a fast and stable internet, making VoIP a more popular option. About 90% of Networks Plus customers find our Virtual PBX to be a good solution. There are, however, some instances in which we would not recommend using a HPBX.
Those include businesses where:
- There is not reliable Internet service
- It’s not feasible to rewire
- There is a four-pair wire, which was category 3 or lower. VoIP requires an eight pair conductor wire.
- There are no internet jacks or internet wiring in the areas you want your phones
You also want to consider security when considering VoIP. Any time your business connects to the internet, there is risk involved, however secure encryption can protect your voice data. Networks Plus has a team of cyber security experts to ensure your data is safe.