VoIP Terminology - The Basics

As the working world moves away from older forms of telephony and into the future where VoIP and internet-enabled phones rule the roost, it is important for managers, directors and any prospective buyer to know and understanding just exactly what it is they're getting. Of course, it is unlikely you will understand every little thing that makes VoIP phones what they are, but it is still good to know the basics and get used to the everyday terminology that you may have to use.

To start, what does VoIP actually stand for? Voice over Internet Protocol is the answer, and in a nutshell, it basically means a phone that makes and receives calls over the Internet, rather than through landlines or copper wires. This means there substantial improvements over traditional telephony. Take call quality for instance. Instead of the usual 64kbps voice quality we have all become used to with telephones, now you can get crystal-clear HD Audio due to the availability of more bandwidth.

VoIP does more than just increase your call quality however, with Call Analytics you can dig down into the specific details of as many calls as you need. If you work in a call centre for example, you can see listen back to your staff's calls and critique them in review. There is also the possibility of playing back your best calls for new recruits to give them an idea of how to perform and what is expected of them.

If you work a more conventional office environment, there are numerous features that you can benefit from too. Firstly there is the option of having a Softphone app on your smartphone. Also known as Follow Me or Find Me this is an app that allows you to make and receive calls on your mobile phone via your office number. This means that even if you're away from your desk, you won't miss a call as it will be forwarded/mirrored to your mobile. It also allows your staff to work from home if necessary and increase the general flexibility of your staff.

Phones such as the Avaya IP Office 500 and the Splicecom Maximiser are good examples of phone systems that house these features, yet remain very user-friendly. With a variety of handsets available for different sized businesses, across dozens of sectors. These phones are also able to handle video conferencing; now you can keep your various forms of communication under one roof and with a simple password access group calls at the touch of a button.

The ability to make calls abroad is also a very handy feature of IP phones. Staveley Communications are able to offer a set packaged number of minutes for calls to numbers abroad. This is good for those businesses who have clients around the world, but for those who also have employees based outside of the UK, giving you the opportunity to establish a base abroad and employ agents in any country you like.

Phones in the Avaya IP Office range are able to grow with your business. If you only need a few handsets or SIP Lines when you're starting up your business in your new office, but after a few years you might employ dozens of people, in which case VoIP phones are easily upgradable all the way up to facilitating communications options for up to 2000 employees. There is no need for downtime either. Upgrades can be done remotely by your supplier over the Internet, inconvenience is simply not an issue.

VoIP is a technology is that is forever changing. Just like the telephone itself which has gone under many different guises and various changes throughout its life, VoIP will continue to add and subtract features and items from its repertoire. Technical terms will come and go but hopefully you have learnt the importance of some of these words and how they can benefit you, your business and your employees. From simple improvements in quality, design and UI to the more complex and fruitful ideas of phone twinning and softphone apps, IP telephony is here to stay and comes in all shapes and sizes. Contact Staveley Communications today to register your interest on 0845 075 8880.