Do internet telephones sound too good to be true? Well that was exactly what I was thinking, so I decided to delve into the world of Internet telephony (also known as VOIP or IP-TELEPHONY) to hear what all the noise was about. In researching this particular subject I wasn't quite sure where to begin so I decided to take a tactical approach toward learning about this constantly growing technology and how it can benefit businesses. The primary focus of my questioning was to determine whether or not there truly is a benefit for businesses to crossover from their existing phone call center SYSTEMS to this newly emerging technology.
WHAT IS INTERNET TELEPHONY?
Voice Over Internet Protocol is a process of sending voice telephone SIGNALS over the Internet or other data network. The terms is used interchangeably with the phrase "Internet telephony".
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR BUSINESSES?
I decided I'd better ask the "experts" so I placed a call to Dave Immethun, Director of Product Marketing for Packet8. Packet8 provides affordable and easy-to-use broadband telephone and videophone service. According to Immethum, “With Internet telephony, upfront capital INVESTMENT is significantly reduced. Businesses no longer have to pay the huge upfront costs that are associated with the standard phone systems and very often these huge outlays do not include dial tone or phone number. With Internet telephony, businesses have a significantly reduced startup costs and a very small monthly fee per extension that includes the telephone number and dial tone. Another benefit is the central FUNCTIONALITY that Internet telephony provides such as auto attendant and full conference bridging."
The benefits of Internet telephony seem to break down as follows:
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CONCERNS?
During a recent telecommunications tradeshow visit, I posed this question to many of the vendors, partners, speakers and participants. While some of the concerns varied there appeared to be three primary concerns:
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF INTERNET TELEPHONY?
Those I spoke with believe the APPLICATIONS that reside within internet telephone devices will be the most important and more exciting bundled services for businesses. According to Tom Mayer of Hospitality Services Consulting, an organization located in Tampa, Florida that specializes in internet telephony in the hotel industry,” The hotel industry is already embracing this technology simply for the savings. Hotels save 30-70% by using Internet telephony.”
QUESTIONS TO ASK
So what are some of the questions that businesses need to be asking when selecting an Internet telephony provider? In my discussions with the experts in internet telephony I found out that the most prevalent questions focused on specific business GOALS. It seems that the major issues can be solved and /or prevented through better planning. Here are some of the questions you should ask your Internet telephony provider before signing up:
Bronson Tang is the founder of EtomicMail, a technology firm dedicated to helping businesses, save time and money while increasing their productivity. He is also the author of the e-book, "The Tao of Business”. You may contact him at .
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