VoIP vs SIP: Which Communication Solution is Right for Your Business?
VoIP Phone Software You Can Customize for Your Business VoIP Needs
Costs. Capabilities. Capacity. There's hardly any aspect of telecommunication that VoIP for business hasn't transformed. It's such an accessible technology, and it's never been easier to jump on the bandwagon - but if you're a bit hesitant to make the switch, we'll spell out the VoIP situation for you.
Let's Talk Software
We need to talk software before hardware. And don't worry - the software is free! There are two open-source giants in VoIP software - Freeswitch and Asterisk. Personally, we love Freeswitch. Both Freeswitch and Asterisk have been tested thoroughly. They've been put through their paces in real commercial environments. These amazing pieces of software won't let you down.
If you're a nervous newbie, choose Asterisk. There's a lot of easy-to-understand help with this choice. If you're a little more tech savvy, Freeswitch might be the way to go.
A Server To Suit
Next thing on the checklist is a VoIP server. Pretty much any hardware you can buy in stores or online will do. If you have a really small office, a Raspberry Pi will do nicely.
Like all computers, you'll need an operating system. Both Asterisk and Freeswitch will work on Windows, OSX or Linux. This is your system, though, so choose the system you're happiest with. Once the server is working fine and the OS is doing what it should, install your software. You're now ready to go.
Less Tech = More Talk
Now, you've got a couple of options. Which one you take depends on how confident you are with technical matters.
If you're not confident and just want to get started, download a "front end" for your software of choice. Go for FusionPBX if you choose Freeswitch or FreePBX for Asterisk. If you’re a techie and like playing with config files, Asterisk and Freeswitch are both command line based software. Make sure to only go down this road if you're really confident, though.
Connect Your Employees
VOIP allows various offices to work together with minimal costs. A VOIP connection provides employees with the flexibility to call from office to office with minimal costs. A VoIP PBX system will make communication and call transfers easier because the system handles the bulk of the technology transfers. When remote offices and telecommuters are working together under a single system, every company will become more efficient.
Get a Handle on Headsets
VoIP is so well developed now that it has its own standards. The advantage for you is that having standards makes adding to your system easy.
The big standard in VoIP is called SIP. When you buy a new headset, make sure it's SIP-compliant. That means that you'll be able to just plug and play. Check out stores like voipsupply.com. They have such a wide range of headsets in different styles and shapes. There's bound to be something there to suit your taste.
Plug in Paradise
Both Asterisk and Freeswitch come with all the normal telecom features out the box – voicemail, extensions, call recording, and more. All of these needs and more are catered for. But what if you want more?
That's where plug-ins come in. These are little bits of software you add to your VoIP server software to add extra functionality.
Speaking about plug-ins can make you sound like less of a cool person, but they open up so many possibilities. They also can (believe it or not) translate your speech on the fly into another language. The only limit to what you can add is the imagination of the software developers.