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Integrated VoIP - an Overview

Updated on September 9, 2010

Integrated Communications

The history of telecommunications has been one of disparate systems that are unable to talk with each other. Each system has its own hardware, protocols and data that's locked into it.

For example, traditional PBX systems have had their customizations, extensions data and contacts stored in an untouchable database that's not available to someone over say Email. In addition, voice messages are similarly locked in and can't be moved around. This makes switching difficult, and hinders innovation and interoperability.

However, with the advent of VoIP, we're slowly starting to see a convergence of data across many platforms, with greater flexibility and scalability. The transition is slow, but it's definitely happening - and soon a critical mass will be reached which will enable customers to have access to the great functionality that's currently available mostly for business users.

VoIP Phone Reviews
VoIP Phone Reviews

Penetration of VoIP and Adoption

Reports say that in Europe, VoIP accounts for 24% of fixed line phone connections. That's a huge number. Tellingly, it only accounts for 10% of the total voice revenue. This confirms what we all know - VoIP is cheap. Really, really cheap.

It's not difficult to imagine a time when all telephone calls will be free - as free as email is today. Calls between two VoIP networks are already free in many cases and even data such as voice mail is being integrated into email by using transcriptions (albeit imperfect ones) like the service provided by Google Voice.

For businesses, it means that the data isn't locked into its systems, is flexible, and can be easily moved around and switched to a better system when the time arrives. Contact numbers of customers are stored in databases which are easily accessible through computer based systems with neat graphical applications requiring minimal training to use.

We take these things for granted these days, but such a scale of operations would have been unimaginable not so long ago. And it's thanks to VoIP that such powerful technology is now at our fingertips. A phone system for a business needs to have these capabilities for full effectiveness.

Of course, the hardware is important too. There are many VoIP phones available and business phone VoIP reviews are invaluable to help customers figure out which ones are suitable for them. Depending on the features available, its VoIP integration will be partial or complete.


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