VoIP: Three Productivity Advantages

So, what do you get with VoIP (Voice over IP) technology that you can’t get from a PBX (Private Branch Exchange)? Quite a bit, but we will just focus on the productivity aspect of VoIP – ways to turn your office phones into better and more flexible tools to make the lives of your employees and clients easier and more efficient. Basically, these VoIP productivity advantages fall into 3 categories.

1. Mobility – Losing the Hardwired Location

Wherever the worker is, that is where their “phone” is. The idea of a handset physically wired into the wall goes away. This is the most straightforward of the advantages of VoIP. This means workers are no longer tied to the physical location of their office phone and can take their phone/number across the office to another room – or to their home office.

The Elephant in the Room: Mobile Devices

You might ask: well, can’t they just use their cell phone and forward their office line to that device? Of course, but that kind of sidesteps the issue. A cell phone is a bit of a standalone device, whereas the PBX and VoIP are platforms that provide more than bi-directional voice communications.

The PBX has voicemail, audio conferencing, and other call sorting features that are lost when the employees shift to a mobile device. Also relying on employees’ own mobile devices raises a lot of BYOD policy issues. With an employee-owned device, there are data security issues, updates to be made, and a variety of other policies that need to be addressed.

2. More Tools, Simpler Than Traditional PBX

VoIP allows you to do a lot more with call forwarding and transfers, and it can be done from a simple application on your laptop or smartphone. It doesn’t have to be done from the handset at your desk: anyone can do it. What are some of the simpler things that can be done?

  • A user can forward their calls to a mobile phone. And they can also set rules for forwarding. For instance, calls can be forwarded to voicemail after a certain time. Specific numbers can be forwarded to a mobile phone or to voicemail.
  • More intriguingly, telephone messages can be transcribed to email or text message. The user can check voice messages via email. Voice communication is no longer restricted to a physical desk or phone location.

3. Transition to Complete Unified Communications

Once you’ve adopted the basic VoIP communications model, then you have access to a wide range of tools that permit users to transition from one mode of communication to another while remaining on one platform.  As mentioned, voicemails can be translated into text or emails into voice messages.  More importantly, audio and video conferencing and visual sharing can be incorporated into the communications model, so you no longer use separate platforms for the different communications media. What can VoIP offer under the heading of unified communications? Here is a list of the main possible features.

  • Video conferencing
  • Screen sharing
  • Call control
  • SMS
  • Email
  • Voicemail
  • Internet telephony (VoIP)
  • Instant messaging
  • Screen sharing
  • Speech recognition

As a final observation, it needs to be noted that VoIP and Unified Communications are generic terms. Different vendors may offer different combinations of available services. But the point is, the rapidly evolving WFH and hoteling model is going to require adopting an entirely new communication model.

VoIP isn’t only about proving more and better options over PBX, it’s also about making your IT infrastructure more resilient and flexible. From starting a Work From Home Initiative to being ready if disaster strikes, VoIP can save the day. If you would like to learn more about VoIP, especially Managed VoIP, contact Triton Technologies today.

Taming The VoIP Beast

Or “VoIP Issues and How to Solve Them by Calling Us”.

Triton Technologies years ago was created to help the business user and the business owner: over the years we have acquired products, companies and so forth in order to grow. One of them is the skill and ability for dealing with VoIP issues.

Years ago, we acquired a failing telephone provider out of New York state and transferred all the licensing to ourselves. It took about a year to clean up the issues, but we did it and the clients we happy as punch.

Troubleshooting VOIP Issues

We’re known in the Northeast of the United States for solving VoIP issues. They aren’t that hard if you know what you are looking for, but sometimes they can be the most obvious.

VoIP is a different beast than most systems. It requires precision, accuracy, scheduling and configurations through specialized equipment such as a layer 2 or layer 3 switch, firewalls, ISPs configurations and so forth. We’ve been doing it for so long we have it down to a science.

The Woes of Self-Installation

A month ago a new client called us up and explained they were having a VoIP call quality issue, which was evident through the conversation we were having. We setup a time, came down and within minutes realized their mistake.

They had set it up themselves. That’s not the main problem, but part of the problem. VoIP needs settings, all sorts of settings to make it perfect. They had no firewall, the switch was not engaged for QoS and the modem was in a NAT mode which the ISP did not support tagged packet passthrough. For a better diagram, no better than a network printer.

So after consulting with their corporate overlords, they disbelieved what we told them and we went on our way.

Weeks Later: The Crisis and Solution

2 weeks later, the manager of the location called us back. They agreed to order everything and install it as soon as possible. Why? They lost an order which would have equaled the cost of the equipment a 1000 times over. “Replace it, replace it now, just fix it!”, he said.

The equipment was ordered overnight and installed in the afternoon. Within minutes it made a significant difference. They could instantly tell and feel the call quality difference and we put it through its paces. I asked EVERYONE to call someone, ANYONE: call a vendor, a client, your spouse, your mom, ANYONE. 24 users called at once and NOT A SINGLE warble, jitter, or call drop was heard. The system previously could only take 2 calls before it started dropping.

It’s been a solid week and we followed up with them yesterday, NOT A SINGLE issue.

The manager was pleased and advised their corporate managers for us to recommend for further dealing with VoIP issues in other locations.

The VoIP beast can be tamed, you just need to know how to train it to jump through hoops. Learn more about VoIP here and contact us.