There are several advantages that come with using a hosted VoIP service or switching to an IP network like VoIP Shapely. One advantage that is often overlooked is the added functionality that switching to IP has on a business phone system. The biggest advantage of course is the ability to route voice calls over the internet. Once a call comes in, it’s up to the hosted PBX to make that call work properly.
VoIP phones work well in an IP network environment as long as the traffic is properly monitored. In order for a VoIP call to work, it must be able to pass between clients/visitors and the outside world. In a hosted phone system, a virtual PBX exists to do the job. What this essentially means, is that your company VoIP phone company is running an enormous PBX operation via a data center, and whenever you pay them for their services they slice of the operation. It’s up to these companies to keep the network robust, so any calls that don’t have to go through the central office need to happen on the phones in each specific location.
Some of the features you’ll find in a hosted system are branch offices, extensions, auto attendant, voicemail, virtual receptionist, etc. The hosted software also allows for extension configuration. This is ideal for businesses that need several different extension numbers. In addition, there are a number of features that can be activated while the network is setup. Features such as Jitterbug, Call Forwarding, call transferring, and call screening can all be activated at a later time once the network is set up.
Another feature you may find is a hosted VoIP soft phone application.
This is a special type of program that acts as a translator and facilitator between the internal computer system and your business’ public IP network. The IP address of the public network is what will connect your VoIP phones to the rest of the world, allowing you to place and receive calls around the globe for free! This is a very attractive feature to businesses that need low-cost IP based phone solutions.
Many of the hosted VoIP soft phone systems are actually plug and play systems. These are easy to install and configure but don’t really provide any additional functionality. That’s where a third party provider can make a big difference. Some of these providers actually incorporate some of the more advanced features into their system, such as multi-line billing and advanced call distribution. Other advanced features include call conferencing, call forwarding, and call transferring. However, not all providers offer these features, so it is important to shop around to find the right phone system for your needs.
There are many considerations to keep in mind when choosing a hosted VoIP phone service.
First and foremost are the cost of the phone service. Make sure that you compare the costs of multiple plans from different companies. It is also important to consider what types of plans are available, such as business phone plans or toll free phone numbers.
In addition, you have to determine how well the phone systems integrate with your existing software and operating system. That means determining how quickly the phone will switch over to the new IP service and finding out how compatible it is with your current hardware. Finding out the technical details of your prospective phone system provider is essential, since it can prevent you from mistakenly buying something that doesn’t work as well as you had hoped.
- Finally, it is vital that your VoIP phone service is available at a reasonable cost.
- Check how often the network is down and compare prices between different companies before deciding on the one best suited to your business’ needs.
- You may need to call around and find out which companies offer the best rates and discounts to new customers who sign up for long-term contracts.