Solutions for VoIP
Once you've decided that you want to go the VoIP way, you have to make a number of important decisions which will determine your long term strategy. Unlike your normal PSTN phones, there's no "obvious" way to go about it since VoIP is a flexible technology and hasn't yet received the standardization which is more common for other services like say web hosting. In this article, we explain the two basic ways in which you can set up a VoIP solution - building your own VoIP network or opting for a hosted PBX solution.
In a way it depends on what type of company you are and what your philosophy is. For example, if your firm is a large one and has extremely sensitive data which you simply cannot afford to expose, you're probably better off building your own VoIP system. This is specially true if you also have your own unique needs which keep changing. On the other hand, if you're a small to medium sized firm, and have standard requirements, or you don't have much technical expertise, a hosted solution is probably what you're looking for.
Hosted VoIP or Build your own?
Building your own VoIP System isn't easy. It requires significant investment into hardware, software. You have to get your own manpower and technical expertise, find space to host all the equipment, and take care of maintenance and upgrades not just for the direct costs, but for things like network management as well. It's not for the fainthearted. However, it does offer some benefits. For one, the data which passes through your server is entirely under your control. Meaning that all "in company" communications are perfectly secure. Also, you can change and modify the system to suit your special needs.
Most businesses however simply can't afford all the direct and indirect expenses of building their own VoIP system and opt for business VoIP services from a third party instead. These companies have their own VoIP equipment which they maintain and upgrade as and when necessary. They're called ITSPs or "Internet Telephony Service Providers" and they serve lots of clients at the same time. They provide various functionalities including VoIP business mobile services which allows all your employees to use the company's VoIP systems even when on the move.
It's just like having your website on a third party web server instead of on your own. It's great for most businesses and saves them the headaches involved in building and maintaining their own systems. Contact your ITSP to find out how you can start using VoIP now!