VoIP: What is it?

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Wondering about the latest communication models out there for businesses? Two communications tools you may have heard of are Voice over Internet Protocol ( VoIP) and Unified Communications (UC). Sometimes the terms are used interchangeably, but that really isn’t correct. This blog will get you started on the fundamentals of what VoIP is all about.

VoIP is a pretty straightforward technology that you may have already integrated into your business systems. For well over a hundred years voice communication has been handled by the PSTN ( Public Switched Telephone Network). Voice was transported over copper wires, then newer materials, but the basics remained the same. Telephone signals (voice communication) were transported over public wires. With the rise of the Internet and availability of broadband connections, an alternative technology developed to transport voice communications. Now, your voice “signal” can be transferred into a digital signal and then sent out over the internet to its final destination.

VoIP systems also offer the same PBX services business users expect, such as call forwarding, call waiting, voicemail and caller ID. VoIP systems, since they run over the Internet and not a separate switched network, can start “talking” with some of our other communications tools. As a result, VoIP can offer instant messaging services, easier video calls, and voicemail-to-email translation. This last feature allows a voice caller to leave you a voicemail, which can then be transcribed into an email and sent to your inbox.

In short, VoIP is a technology upgrade that can send your voice across the Internet, not the PSTN, which can save you money. Its additional value is that by using the Internet, you can expand some of the features available, which can make business communications more convenient.

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