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.

Consider Asterisk Phone Systems For Your Business Communications Needs

All business operations want to save money. One of the biggest office expenses can be the various aspects of telecommunication, from PBX setups to call center operations. Utilizing open source telephony, Asterisk phone systems have been under development since 1999, and can provide a wide range of services and applications. This free software can transform an ordinary computer into a communications server.

What exactly does the Asterisk system do that other systems can not? This software system is often referred to as a “development platform, ” and it can be used to run everything from small business PBX systems to huge media servers. Open source technology, besides being free, is customizable and versatile. The Asterisk system uses Linux, the freely available source code that has challenged other major systems.

Asterisk, while originally designed for Linux, now also incorporates Mac OS X, NetBSD, OpenBSD, FreeBSD and Solaris. It can also provide a Microsoft Windows port called Asterisk Win32. When installed, the Asterisk software can transform an ordinary computer into a device that can function as a conference server, PBX or VoIP gateway. Asterisk PBX systems include many of the same features found in proprietary systems, including voice response for phone menus, conference calling, voice mail, and call distribution.

The original operating code was written by Mark Spencer of Digium Inc., in addition to contributions from open-source engineers worldwide. Asterisk is not a phone company in the sense that it manufactures telephone sets or physical components. Rather, it will provide the basic software building blocks for many communications systems, and can be constantly changed as conditions require.

Many call centers around the world have adopted the Asterisk system primarily because it is flexible and adaptable to existing features such as bulk dialing, remote IP agent capabilities, and advanced routing. It requires no additional hardware for use with voice over IP. It does require hardware devices and cards for certain kinds of interfaces, including standard telephony cards, and this support comes from the parent company, Digium, Inc.

Featured in telephony and PBX are VoIP and PTSN drivers for interface cards, and routing and handling inbound calls as well as outbound. There is control of media management functions such as tone generation, record and play, and call detail for billing purposes. The system can convert from one protocol or media format to another, and is capable of database integration as well as Web services integration. It is capable of single or multiple party bridging and recording and monitor functions.

Asterisk can also provide a telephony setup program called AsteriskNOW. Downloading it allows customization, and the creation of solutions by building the inner workings of a system. Much of the complexity of Asterisk and Linux is handled by the administrative GUI. This allows your system engineer to completely incorporate into an existing system such products as VoIp or Skype Gateway, IP PBX, a Call Center ACD, Conference Bridge, and much more.

The free open-source technology of Asterisk phone systems has been adopted by call centers and businesses of all sizes worldwide. If you are looking for a different solution to your PBX or call center issues, the Asterisk system can combine the time-proven features and functionality of traditional PBX with the advanced Voice over IP system for a solution that is both cost-effective and up-to-the minute.