The Asterisk Phone System Has The Potential To Revitalize Any Business

The Asterisk phone system has contributed a lot to the Internet revolution. This technology has the potential to make traditional land line phones a thing of the past, within business settings. The use of digital technology is able to deliver high quality calls to computers, mobile phones and land line phones. It can be configured for use with voice and video calls, conference calls can also be made. When attached to a computer, the system can also transmit computer files during a call. This phone system has been developed as open source software, which is freely available to all.

Voice over Internet protocol (VOIP), is a type of technology which transmits digitized voice over the Internet to it’s destination. When it arrives it is converted back into voice. How the digital sound is converted is dependent on the device receiving the call. There are numerous devices capable of sending and receiving this protocol.

These calls, because of the volume of digital information being sent, require a fast connection. When video calls are being made, even more digital information is being sent and work best on fast broadband lines. As telecoms companies continue to invest in fiber-optic technologies, these digital telecommunication options will become more viable.

Phone calls over the Internet, have the potential to save a lot of money. Calls from computer to computer are free, except for Internet usage charges. Calls to land lines can cost less than ordinary phone calls. With phones able to connect to the Internet through wireless routers, desktop phones and IP-PBX phone systems, these phones have the capability to revolutionize businesses and homes.

Open source call center software will enable any business to become even more competitive. The ability to receive and manage calls from customers, and potential customers is a crucial part of all businesses. Because of the open design of this software, it can be configured to suit the individual needs of any company. The technology of call management, allows for a customer’s details to be linked to the phone system, enabling quicker response times.

In small business settings, using the Internet Protocol-Private Business Exchange can meet the needs of growing businesses, and save vast sums of money on the balance sheet. Sales staff with an Internet mobile phone, can stay in touch with the office without an expensive call plan, saving a small business further money.

Computer based Internet calls are great for companies with overseas offices. Long distance and international calls, can sound crisp and clear. By using a headset and microphone at a computer or laptop, cost free video calls can be made at any time of the day or night. Whilst at the computer, it is easy to share photos, sound and other files with the person to whom you are talking.

As technology continues to advance, and Internet based telephony continues to grow, more options will become available to those ready to accept them. The Asterisk phone system will continue to be developed in line with the most advanced technologies, and companies will be able to adapt the system as needed With Internet speeds continuing to develop, the clarity of Internet calls will only improve, allowing even better communication.

Phone Systems – Do You Know How to Pick the Right System to Increase Productivity of Your Office?

A phone system is one of the most important and necessary purchases for your business. The right phone system can increase employee productivity and enhance the perception of your business for your customers, clients and stakeholders. Let us first review some common phone system terminology.

  • Ports are the number of connections that can be handled by your phone system and include both incoming lines and extensions.
  • Trunks or Lines are the number of outside telephone lines.
  • Cabinet, also known as central office (CO), key system unit (KSU), central unit or base, is the main box used for holding the phone system.
  • Extensions are used for both internal and external communication. They refer to the unique numbers used for identifying phones, modems and fax machines. Extensions are internal to the business and connect to the outside world via the cabinet.
  • Computer telephony integration (CTI) consists of a set of applications that enable integration of your phone system with a computer. CTI provides features like incoming call routing, one click dialing, video conferencing, telephone directory and caller identification in addition to allowing the computer to receive voice, data and fax calls.

Types of Phone systems

KSU-less systems are the cheapest and offer limited features. They are usually suitable for small businesses with less than ten employees. KSU-less system does not need a cabinet as the telephones have all the routing software installed in them. A KSU-system has certain limitations. These systems are not compatible with Key and PBX systems and may offer little utility if your business expands and upgrades to a better phone system. Additionally, these systems are not supported by vendors and you will have to take care of their servicing and installation.

Key Systems or Key Telephone Systems are suitable for medium-scale businesses with less than forty employees. A set of buttons corresponding to the number of available phone lines are provided with each phone. These phone systems can be easily upgraded but they offer little customization abilities in comparison to other systems.

Private Branch Exchange (PBX) offer a wide range of features, and can be easily upgraded and customized. Though most expensive, they enable cost reduction as you scale, making them most suitable for large businesses with over 100 employees.

Hybrid systems – These systems combine the cost-effectiveness of key systems with the range of features of PBX systems.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) uses the internet for call routing and forwarding. It provides a cost-effective and portable substitute for KS and KSU-less systems. The router can be taken from place to place and plugged into any internet connection. However, each time the geographic location of the router is changed, you must inform your VoIP service provider, so that emergency calls can be routed to the nearest call centre. The biggest disadvantage of VoIP systems is their complete dependence on the internet connection. A poor connection deteriorates call quality, whereas connection loss can cause the system to fail altogether. Remember to discuss security and encryption issues with your provider before purchasing a VoIP phone system.

How to pick a phone system?

First assess your current and future business needs to estimate the required system size, expected business expansion in two-three years, available budget, and the required phone features and accessories like voice mail, caller id, one-touch dial, forwarding and conferencing. Lines and extensions are the key factors that determine the system size. After you have clearly identified your needs find a phone system that meets all your requirements.

How much would a phone system cost?

Prices of key and hybrid systems usually range from $350-$1000 per user, that of PBX systems from $800-$1000 per user and KSU less systems from $130-$225 per phone. Prices depend on various factors like telephone cabinet, the actual phones, add-ons, training, service, programming, and future modifications.

Before purchasing a phone system, take into consideration the total cost of ownership. Customizable, expandable, reliable, and upgradable phone systems have a higher initial cost per user but prove economical in the long run.

How to pick a phone vendor?

Your telephone vendor usually takes care of supply, installation and programming of phone systems. Select a vendor who has completed a number of installations of your chosen system. Such a dealer will be more familiar with the problems that can occur and their solution. Seek demonstrations of different phone systems to determine the best one for your business. Most dealers will agree to train your employees in the use of the phone system.

Vendors also provide a combination of warranties with your phone system. A service level agreement determines the vendors’ response time to a phone system problem. Additionally, the vendor should provide you with regular hardware and software updates. Always check references before making your purchase, especially inquire about the vendors’ quality of service and experience.

VoIP Phone System Requirements For Small Businesses

VoIP, or voice over internet protocol, provides a rapidly growing alternate to traditional phone systems. VoIP calls are also called internet telephony as it does not necessarily need telephone lines to communicate with the other person(s) and can be channeled across the intranet and internet. However, the implementation of internet telephony is very different between the corporate and enterprise market and small business, home office and consumer applications. We have set out the application of VoIP Phone Systems in the corporate arena elsewhere, but in this instance will focus on small business and consumer internet telephony.

Primarily, there are three basic requirements for a VoIP phone system to work for you: a fast speed internet like DSL, a computer or other terminal, and an adapter. Though VoIP Phone Systems can also work on slow speed internet connections but they hinder smooth communication and annoy the users. So, it is recommended even to pause all other downloads while using VoIP. Hence a fast speed internet is the first need.

Second need is related to the hardware. A computer is typically required to use VoIP services. That means there are some specific clients who prefer not to use a computer for this purpose, in such a case the VoIP service provider may give them the necessary alternative equipment to connect with VoIP; Vonage is such a company that does not need computers to give VoIP services. However, the majority of the VoIP Phone Systems uses a computer as the terminal. The second hardware required to connect with VoIP network is a headphone to communicate with others. These headphones are available in the market or you can buy a VoIP head set for this purpose. These headsets are especially designed to VoIP functions and a VoIP services provider can give you one if you want to have one.

Software installment is the third and last need to connect with a VoIP network. Putting a glance at the top three VoIP service providers i.e. Google, Skype and Vonage; we come to know that only Skype requires its software installment to let VoIP users use its services. However, most of the VoIP service providers must their software installments for using their VoIP services. Most of these softwares are freely available for downloading.

VoIP Phone Systems are getting popularity for their affordable business communication solutions especially for small businesses and for this reason; they are called the future of business communication.

If you are paying lots of money on business communications, you can cut these bills down to a reasonable level by using VoIP services. Of course this has implications – call quality is typically very poor over the internet, and so this is seldom used in the corporate or enterprise markets.