Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Explained
voIP is a term that’s being thrown around everywhere right now, and sometimes it’s easier to just nod your head in agreement than admit you have no idea what voIP is, isn’t it? That’s OK. On the surface, voIP seems a bit weird; partly because it sounds funny to say, and partly because some of the letters are lowercase, and some are uppercase, but things will all fall into place once you learn a little more.
So, let’s start with the basics. voIP stands for ‘voice over IP’, and it does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s voice data that’s carried over your IP from your computer to your friend’s computers. When we were younger, this voice data would be carried over telephone lines when we picked up the handset and dialled, and this is really no different, expect the data is carried over the internet, instead. Simple.
In terms of the lowercase/uppercase thing, the ‘IP’ part of voIP is capitalised because IP itself is capitalised. IP stands for internet protocol, and it just refers to the way in which data is moved between one computer and another. Although you may not have understood voIP before, you’ve probably heard of it. Big companies like Skype, Avaya, and Cisco all create voIP services for businesses around the world.
You Business Needs voIP
So what’s the big deal with voIP, and why are businesses being urged to use it? Well, how long have you got? There’s a ton of reasons why voIP subscriptions are growing, such as:
You’ll know yourself that if you’re searching for the best price for something on the internet, you might look at international websites, too, to get the best deal. Global ecommerce has been a major focus over the past few years, and our business contracts are no longer restricted to the British Isles. We’re finding that we’re conducting more and more business on an international basis, so reducing the cost of call abroad is essential. Reports show that business can save 90% on international calls using voIP.
How many times have you gotten yourself into a bad mood after reading someone’s email and thinking they’ve been a bit harsh, or a bit cold? We’ve all done it, but remember this: you can’t convey tone in the written word! Why else would emoticons have been invented? A real-time voice conversation can help reduce mixed messages, and gives you an opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings before ‘hanging up’. But of course we don’t want to use the phone for that; phones are soooo last year.
● Anytime, Any Place
An office desk? What’s that? More and more of us are working on a more flexible basis these days. No longer are we confined to our desks (hurrah!), and instead we may be able to work from home, from a different office, or even from Starbucks with a cookie crumble frap and a giant chocolate chip cookie We’re not always in the same place as our work phones, and that’s OK! You can log into your voIP phone from anywhere with an internet connection, so you can be ‘always on’ so you never miss a call.