IP Telephony might sound a bit odd, but it's really a pretty simple concept - and one that could help streamline your business communications forever. Let us explain...
IP Telephony orInternet Protocol Telephony (IPT) allows you to place your regular business calls over the internet using business broadband, instead of using a conventional phone line. You speak using a special headset or handset, instead of the usual phone.
What Is IPT?
This kind of technology is spreading rapidly and the main reason for that is the cost, of lack thereof. All calls made via IPT networks are free; youonly pay for your internet connection. Even external calls to other IPT users on other networks are free, while calls to regular phone networks come at a reduced rate.
IPT also allows your employees to be more flexible when it comes to cheap business calls. They can make and take business calls wherever they are, as long as they have access to an internet connection (via a softphone or plugged in handset) so they can have a full 'virtual office' set-up. They can also get their calls transferred via their usual office number wherever they are, allowing them to keep working whether they are at home, at a work function, or even if they are abroad.
The flexibility of IPT could also come into play if the worst happens and there is a serious problem with your company's main base. Sadly, you never know when a disaster could strike, but with IPT in place you can have your business telephone line working in minutes from an alternate location. All it needs is the right business broadband set-up.
How Do I Set IPT Up?
All you need is to make sure you have a reliable broadband connection and some IPT-enabled telephone handsets. However you will also need to find a IPT provider to set up the system for you. This will usually involve a one-off fee for installing the relevant hardware and a monthly charge for your IPT number.
What about Hosted IPT?
Hosted IPT can easily be compared to cloud computing, but for your phone system. The upshot of this is that rather than hosting your phone system on a server in your office, you instead rent server space from your IPT provider, who hosts it for you at their own location.
This stops you having to purchase expensive hardware, so you have less of an outlay when you set up your system. It will also be maintained by your supplier, cutting down on the cost of maintenance. This will also make it more reliable as you will have support built-in to your costs should anything go wrong.
Although traditional telephone lines (known as PSTN or Public Switched Telephone Networks) aren't going anywhere anytime soon due to their reliability, the fact that IPT is so cheap and so adaptable means that it should be considered by every business - new or old - who wants the best office communications solution.