Medium or large-scale companies to corporates now need to invest in digital phone services. From a regular landline phone to a digital Internet phone, everything that is done traditionally yesterday is today’s innovation: VoIP is the particular answer!.
By Cisco Eng. Shingie Lev Muringi
Here in Zimbabwe, all our ISPs and IAPs such as Liquid Telecom, TelOne, ZOL and Powertel are also offering VoIP solutions ranging from home use to corporate business packages. Whenever you see the 086 prefixed number on your call lists, then keep it in mind that the caller has been using Voice-over-IP.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or IP telephony is the routing of voice conversations over a public network (Internet) or private network (Intranet).
Internet is the most powerful tool in the computing world. Nevertheless, it is a necessity just like telephones or mobile phones. Every communication, every transaction, every information is online. And with the convergence of the Internet and the telephone, the possibilities are boundless especially in business.
Using VoIP, any computer or telephone connected to the Internet with a broadband connection can call another computer or phone at a fraction of usual cost, or absolutely free. Business VoIP works in four ways: PC-to-PC, PC-to-PHONE and vice-versa, and PHONE-to-PHONE. In addition, depending on your VoIP internet telephone service, you will be supplied with a broadband modem to connect to the Internet and if you are calling from your PC and an adapter and router if you are calling from your phone.
Businesses are starting to see that IP telephony is not all about cost savings, but also delivering efficient and strategic value to any business. For example, companies that deal with transactions abroad can deduct cost at long distance telephone bill and at certain situations bypass excessive taxes.
VoIP can integrate with other services available over the Internet including video conversations, message or data file exchange during a live conservation and audio conferencing. For VoIP service to be available you have to have an Internet connection and a connection provided by a VoIP digital phone service provider.
One example of industry that uses VoIP as its main foundation for transactions is the BPO/ KPO industries. Call center agents use Internet telephony in both outbound and inbound calling that allows them to enjoy VoIP features like Caller ID, Voicemail, and Call Forwarding.
VoIP features and product benefits are usually listed as “advanced” by traditional phone service companies and have additional costs if you acquire it. But if you subscribe to a VoIP provider, the immutable benefits are limitless.
When VoIP is mass marketed, some of the challenges that has risen includes the availability of bandwidth, buffering, delay/ network latency, packet loss, jitter, echo, security, pulse dialing to DTMF translation, and connection through firewalls.
For interested companies or individuals who are interested to have VoIP at their businesses, assess your business if you need a hosted VoIP or a purchased VoIP then agree to meet with a VoIP consultant of digital phone service providers you have looked up on local directory or online and ask key questions like its cost, reliability, productivity/ performance, flexibility, features, maintenance and after-sales services and infrastructure.
The battle for relevance continues…follow Shingie Levison Muringi our Technology Research Specialist and Sub Editor on Twitter @ShingieMuringi1, Email [email protected] or direct Cell: 0775 380 652 for all the latest trending technological issues in and outside Zimbabwe.