Myths about VoIP
23 Jan 2015
Businesses are always searching for ways to utilize better technology to reach their goals, with that being said, many have already begun utilizing Hosted VoIP services to do just that. Hosted VoIP gives businesses room to breathe with technology that is tailor made for today’s evolving work environment. Although, there are a few potential pitfalls that have prevented some businesses from adopting this technology, some of which may not even be totally true.
If you’re unfamiliar with what Hosted VoIP services are, here is a brief synopsis. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) transmits calls digitally, usually utilizing Internet connections rather than the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Using a Hosted VoIP means that the hardware, servers, and services are hosted and managed at an off-site location. By taking into account these advantages, businesses can benefit from enriched functionality at a much lower cost of ownership than traditional on-site alternatives. The utilization of this on-premise system brings up a few concerns, which can be easily dismissed.
Myth 1: If I switch to a Hosted VoIP, I’ll lose my existing number(s).
If you’re caught in the middle of a situation where you must change numbers, your business could suffer as well as your customers. Gaining and keeping customers is hard enough as is without throwing a curveball. As you research Hosted VoIP providers, you should look for those that making number porting a priority and that include it as part of their process. Many Hosted VoIP even have dedicated departments to porting existing client numbers to new Hosted accounts. To transfer that existing numbers and to crush this myth, clients sign a Letter of Agency that authorizes the VoIP company to request their number(s) from the existing telecommunications provider. Then, the existing provider is legally authorized to port the number(s) to your VoIP provider. This process ensures that you keep your numbers and keeps you on schedule during the implementation process.
Myth 2: My call quality will suffer.
In the beginning of VoIP, customers complained about echoes, background noise, and delays. This was because the voice data was compressed into “packets” that were transmitted to their destination, decompressed, and delivered. It was such a new technology, and with so many factors that had to come together, the call quality naturally suffered. Times have changed though, and providers have identified the underlying problems causing the poor quality. By understanding these problems, providers have established strategies for overcoming these problems. The strategies, which are usually labeled Quality of Service (QoS) protocols, evaluate the disruptive factors like latency and delay, and guarantee that certain resource levels are allocated to voice traffic.
Myth 3: Features will add to my cost.
For most phone services, premium services with extra benefits carry an additional charge on your bill. This requires businesses to determine which options they need and those that they can do without. Because Hosted VoIP is Cloud-based, many of the features available to users are delivered on a virtual basis and have no appreciable limits. Imagine being able to have all of the features your business needs to operate at its highest efficiency without an additional charge every month.
Myth 4: I won’t have mobility options.
It is becoming more and more common for businesses to allow some employees to work from home. With this style of work growing in popularity, businesses are constantly looking for a way to cater to the remote workforce to allow them to access their work phones through their mobile devices. Most Hosted VoIP providers offer a softphone application. A VoIP softphone can bridge the gap between an office handset and a mobile device. When downloaded, a softphone allows a device, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer, to mirror the functionality of a desktop handset and operate as an IP phone. It’s important to know what functions your employees have access to through the softphone app. They should have access to extension dialing, conference calls, and more, no matter where they are.
Myth 5: Hosted VoIP technology isn’t secure.
There are several headlines everyday that give everyone reason to worry about online security. With major corporations being hacked and other breaches on confidential content, Cloud security has become a serious concern for many organizations. Security worries about Hosted VoIP center around the fact that voice packets travel through various networks, including the Cloud, leaving that data vulnerable to interception, eavesdropping, and service theft. This information can be mined to acquire user names, passwords, calling and called numbers, and other information. Hosted VoIP providers can take certain steps to increase the security through several security steps. By monitoring issues, faults and attacks, secure providers can rest assured that if there is any sort of breach, the provider will be aware and working to correct the issue. Using end-to-end encryption provides another level of protection against possible threats. Hosted VoIP providers employ several different encryption methods, like Transport Layer Security for signaling between phones and the provider’s infrastructure, and Secure RTP (SRTP) for transmitting media. By providing various levels of access to users creates an added level of security to your information. A select group of administrators establishing varying group and user permissions creates security controls throughout your business. Sometimes the most basic and simplest security measures can be the best line of defense. Authenticate each user on the web management portal, create intricate passwords, and only grant access to users who should have access.
IS Technologies understands the cause for concern with a new technology such as a Hosted VoIP. Although the fear of possible threats and compromises are alarming, IS Technologies takes the necessary steps to ensure that your business is safely guarded and provided with the highest quality technology to suite your business’ needs moving forward into the future.