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    Do you live and die by the telephone? Is communications an important issue to you?

If so, this article will be of interest to you.

 

There is an exciting technology available today, called VoIP, (Voice over Internet Protocol).

It's a powerful new way to communicate. It's a way to make your communications easier,

more convenient, more productive and less expensive.

 

As with any technology that you are considering, I believe it should pass this test before you consider

it further.  Will it increase the level of service that I provide to my clients, while it reduces my costs and increases productivity?

 

VoIP happens to be one of those technologies. It is a revolutionary way of performing audio communications.  It's a way of trafficking phone calls over what has traditionally been the data network, ending the need to  Maintain two networks. One for data, and one for voice. For over 100 years voice communications has had its own network.

 

Today, with the advent of VoIP, this is changing. In your office, there is no longer a need to maintain two networks. Audio or voice calls are simply converted to data and share space on your data network with your word processing files. Calls outside of your office are now trafficked over the internet, just as your web pages are.

 

If the calls made outside of the office go to a person that also has VoIP, they are trafficked, end to end, over the internet. If a call made goes to a company or individual that doesn't yet have VoIP, the calls will go over the internet to the local telephone company's central office that's closest to the person you are calling. It doesn't matter if that's a call to the company next door, or a client in Hong Kong.

This offers a more efficient and therefore lower cost way to traffic calls.

 

In the past few years we've seen traditional telephony companies offer digital phone systems. These have been touted as more efficient, more cost effective, and more productive. This has been primarily due to increased functionality, leading to higher productivity. VoIP simply takes this to the next level. There is a single unifying network called the Internet.

 

All data is being trafficked over it. Voice of course is a mission critical application and requires special handling. Special care must be taken that the quality of service is held to the same high level that it has been in the past. To that end, the infrastructure of your data network must be examined carefully. Do you have the bandwidth that's required? If your files are loading slowly now it won't improve when you add more data to your

network.

 

So does VoIP make sense? The best way to answer this is with an analogy.  Do you remember your first word processor? What a boon that was!! Cutting and pasting boiler plate became easy. This was an instant productivity boost and a reduction in costs available to pass along to your clients, making you more competitive. You wouldn't want to go back to a typewriter, would you? The same is true with VoIP. Once you use it, you'll never want to go back to traditional analog telephony again.

 

So how does it increase the level of service that you provide to your clients? Any time you can improve communications you increase the level of service that you provide your clients. Voice over Internet protocol does this in many ways.

 

One way is this. In the traditional analog telephony world, a caller would call a specific "location". It was usually a telephone on someone's desk. With VoIP, the caller can call a person or application, no matter what their physical location is by always dialing the same number. If you decide to work at home today, you still get all your calls, and make all your calls, as if you were in the office. Of course, this is true if you are "on the road", as well. The system "knows" where you are. Another way is this. Remember, you're already on the data network now.

 

It's now easier than ever to integrate other applications. For instance, when a client calls in, their record "pops up" on your computer, (using Customer Relationship Management Software). You can refer to past notes, add new notes, etc. Oh......did I mention that the call timer starts automatically and the amount of time spent on a call is automatically recorded in the customer's record? This is true for outbound calls, as

well!

 

So........in the end, the question is not, "Is Voice over Internet Protocol for you?", It is simply,

"Will I move ahead with new technology, or fall behind?"

Is VoIP for You?