VoIP Phone System Overview

Are you tangled in uncertainty about a VoIP phone system?

Imagine freeing yourself of that closet full of telephony equipment called your PBX.

You'd have no more complex wiring to deal with. You'd end the lack of visibility into your most crucial piece of communications equipment. Heck, you could even kick the phone guy to the curb.

Think these thoughts are too good to be true? Think again my friend.

You can free yourself from the pain of your current PBX. You can put an end to the unknowns of working with a black box. You can even stop the dollars from exiting your wallet.

All you need is a VoIP phone system.

Now before you go racing out to buy a VoIP phone system, let's not forget the reason you are here - to learn more about a VoIP phone system . After all you want to understand how a VoIP phone system can lower your maintenance costs, give you control over your communications and save your business money, right?

Thought so - let's take a look.

What exactly is a VoIP phone system?

You use your phone system (also known as a PBX) every day, so you already know that phone systems are responsible for handling your call control and managing your connection to your telephone service provider. What you might not be familiar with is VoIP.

VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP is a way to make calls across your Local Area Network (LAN) and or Wide Area Network (WAN). The technology behind VoIP converts your analog voice into digital packets which are then sent across a network using the Internet Protocol (IP) to their end destination. VoIP is most commonly associated with making calls across the Internet.

As you've probably guessed, a VoIP phone system gets connected to your LAN. It uses your LAN as the backbone of the system – connecting your VoIP phones and your VoIP service provider to the VoIP PBX. That makes a VoIP phone system a phone system that uses IP technology to handle your call control and manage your connection to the Wide Area Network over which your VoIP service comes.

Even though a VoIP phone system uses VoIP and is connected to your LAN most systems can connect directly to the Publicly Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). This gives you the ability to use both VoIP and the PSTN for your calling.

If your head is spinning right now, don't worry. Reading about the differences between your existing PBX and a VoIP phone system should help.

How is a VoIP phone system different from your existing PBX?

A VoIP phone system is quite the change from your existing PBX.

  • Your existing PBX uses TDM technology. A VoIP phone system uses IP technology.
  • Your existing PBX uses its own closed network. A VoIP phone system uses your existing LAN.
  • Your existing PBX uses the PSTN for dial tone. A VoIP phone system uses a VoIP service provider and or the PSTN for dial tone.

Despite using a different technology, network and primary voice service, what makes a VoIP phone system truly different is its ability to easily integrate with your other business systems. This integration of systems allows you to increase productivity, efficiency and sales. When's the last time you said that about your existing PBX?

There we go getting a little ahead of ourselves again (sorry). It's true that there are numerous benefits you will receive when you purchase a VoIP phone system. But before we get to those, how about we check out what a VoIP phone system offers?

The basic features of a VoIP phone system

VoIP phone systems give you a ton of advanced features and functionality. Here are the most common features that you're likely interested in:

  • Auto Attendant
  • Direct Inward Dialing (DID)
  • Caller ID, Call Transfers, Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, Three-way calling
  • Call Park, Call Pick-up
  • Call Monitoring and Call Recording
  • Call Queues and Call Routing
  • Voicemail (and voicemail to email)
  • Conference Calling
  • Remote or Virtual Extensions
  • Analytics and monitoring tools
  • Call reporting
  • Ability to utilize VoIP and PSTN calling methods
  • Web based management
  • Application integration

Again, these are just the basic features of a VoIP phone system. You're going to find that the features and functions vary slightly between different systems. You'll also find that there are a number of reasons why you should own a VoIP phone system.

Now – you're going to love this part – let's continue on and learn a lot more about what's in it for you when you buy a VoIP phone system.

Why should you buy a VoIP phone system?

It sure would be nice if a VoIP phone system was like a shirt. All it would take to convince you to buy one today would be to have you try it on and tell you how great it looks on you.

Obviously you can't try on a VoIP phone system. Even if you could, I doubt it'd do anything for your looks. But that doesn't mean there aren't some rather sexy benefits to you owning a VoIP phone system.

You could literally read for hours about all of the various benefits to owning a VoIP phone system, but your time is expensive, so here are the major benefits most like you realize by owning a VoIP phone system:

  • Cost savings – Not only will you save money by using VoIP for your calls, you will also see a reduction in the maintenance and support costs since you will no longer need to maintain a separate network for your PBX or pay for the “phone guy.”
  • Remote Deployments – Whether you are looking to have someone work from home, want to set-up a distributed call center or simply set-up branch offices on the same system you are using (without having to buy another phone system), with an IP PBX you can deploy IP Phones anywhere there is an Internet connection and control them from your central location.
  • Productivity and Efficiency Increases – Since a VoIP phone system has the ability to integrate with other business systems, such as your CRM or ERP platforms, you will realize productivity and efficiency increases as a result of voice enabling these (and other platforms).
  • Visibility Across Your Entire System – Regardless of where you are, getting real-time access to analytics, queue statuses, call recordings and other phone system statistics is as easy as logging into your system from a web browser. With visibility across your entire system, you can make educate decisions about your operations on the fly.
  • Scalability – In the past, once you got past a certain headcount, you had to replace your entire PBX, in favor of a newer, more expensive version. Thanks to the way in which a VoIP phone system is built, adding additional extensions is as easy as a few click of your mouse…and the purchase of a new VoIP Phone.

You've come a long way and quite frankly it's impressive. Unfortunately, your pursuit of a VoIP phone system doesn't end here. There is obviously a lot that you need to do before you can buy a VoIP phone system .

It would be foolish to let you go without first offering you a short cut that will save you time, aggravation and money. Before you leave this page, pick up your phone and dial 800.398.8647.

That number goes to one of the VoIP phone system experts at VoIP Supply, the recognized leader in VoIP since 2002. VoIP Supply has helped over 125,000 others like you get more from VoIP.

The VoIP expert on the other end of the phone can help further educate you on a VoIP phone system (or anything else VoIP related). If you're shy, you can also check out more of the educational articles on this site. But why try to figure it all out yourself when all of the answers are just a phone call away?

Read the next installment of our VoIP Systems Resource Series , Basic VoIP System Deployment

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