Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

VoIP Solutions – Going Further

VoIP enabling your switchboard

Most businesses use Private Branch Exchanges (PBXs) to manage shared external lines and switch calls between users on internal lines. You can add VoIP capability to this with little or no disruption to your existing phone set-up by installing a sub-network that works within your main PBX.

By taking this route, businesses can preserve their existing investment, and take advantage of VoIP. You may find that the new equipment pays for itself within a year, through the costs you save on your phone bill.

Once installed, you can extend this network, for instance by using your VPN, to offer voice services to remotely based workers and sales teams. This will allow them to use the office extension and, at the same time, access the corporate database wherever they are online.

To do this you will need:

  • An IP-Private Branch Exchange server (IP-PBX server). It deals with call routing and connection requests, monitors data traffic and manages bandwidth allocation. You can buy a low-cost IP-PBX server for around £200, which connects to your existing PBX and provides VoIP functionality.

  • A gateway which provides the bridge between VoIP traffic and the standard telephone network. Expect to pay around £800.

  • Software that allows multimedia-capable PCs to operate as high performance telephones using the company network. A 10-user licence software package starts at around £1,250.

  • Or you could invest in IP telephones instead of the software – this is an option if you don’t want to use a mouse to access your dial pad or if your working environment makes it difficult to set up computers for everyone that needs phone access. An IP telephone means you don’t need PCs but can connect directly to your network, often they can also be used as standard phones if your own network fails – providing you have a landline as backup.

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