An Introduction to VoIP

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voipVoIP is an acronym for Voice over IP or broken down even further, Voice over Internet Protocol, yet calls don’t have to run over the internet at all.

Essentially, VoIP is a way to transmit voice telephone calls over a data network using the protocol, or set of rules and standards, that the internet was based on – the internet protocol.   VoIP takes your voice as spoken into a telephone handset or headset and converts that voice into a format that can be transmitted at high speeds over a data network previously reserved for data such as internet searches and FTP.

While the internet is certainly the largest and most popular data network in the world, VoIP can also be transmitted over private data networks owned and managed by a single carrier such as AT&T or Verizon, or even or a private LAN or WAN maintained by an individual company with multiple locations.

So why is VoIP becoming so popular among enterprises and receiving so much press in trade magazines, internet articles and telecom industry trade shows?  The answers lie in the subject of this blog where I will attempt to summarize the value proposition in just 3 reasons.

Reason 1 – Cost

Comparing the cost of operating with VoIP telephony for phone calls vs. traditional circuit switched telephony offers several cost advantages. VoIP calls consume a certain amount of bandwidth on a data network only for the time that the call is connected.

Reason 2 – Flexibility/Scalability

Flexibility and scalability are big advantages for enterprises and small businesses over traditional voice communications.  Since VoIP calls can share the data network bandwidth, then overall bandwidth can be easily changed due to cyclical changes in call volumes and can be flexed up and down often without additions to new connections.

Reason 3 – Integration

Finally VoIP telephony opens the door for much integration, not only with telecom providers but also vendors, suppliers and other applications in your environment. VoIP can facilitate computer/telephony integrations, presence information (so others know who is available or on a current call before trying that party), and integrates at-home agents seamlessly with agents or business users working from headquarters.

inContact offers many  choices for telephony and has skilled engineers that will consult with customers and prospects on which options best suit the needs of the organization.