Introduction to VoIP, PBX, IP PBX and What it Means for Small BusinessPart One
By Laurie Cebula for CWP Tech Solutions, Frederick Maryland
VoIP: What is it? VoIP, voice over internet protocol is technology for communicating around the globe using internet protocol rather than using traditional analog systems. It is one of the fastest growing technological industries in the world, an advancement that is sure to revolutionize telephone communications, telephony systems, telecommunications, and the business world: small and large, in an incomparable way.
Using VoIP is – in basic deeds – as simple as sending email, or other data, over the internet to communicate, chat, IM, send graphics or connect in any form via the Internet protocol.
Moreover, VoIP has come to stand for new telephony technologies that use the Internet to carry telephone signals. In simplest terms, it means making phone calls over the Internet.
How Does VoIP Work?
When we said earlier VoIP is like sending an email, we mean exactly that. Digital transfers are treated equally whether you are transferring text, graphics, voice, or any other data or information. VoIP converts the voice signal from your telephone into a digital signal that can travel over the internet, using VoIP telephone calls are as simple as converting your voice signal into a digital signal, and then releasing that digital signal into the same vast bandwidth used to send email, data and other information.
When you pickup your phone, the dial tone converts to digital through an (ATA) Analog Terminal Adapter, it then transmits to the receiver’s address, and, finally converts to voice — and receiving party hears your message or your voice.
Key Concepts: Protocols, Network Protocols and Rules of Communication
What is a protocol? Protocols define a language and set of rules and procedures that enable devices and systems to communicate.
Networking protocols are critical to VoIP understanding. Network protocols ensure that all devices on a network or internet work agree about how certain actions must be performed in the total communication processes. In other words, Internet Protocols ensure all devices in a network speak the same language, and follow the same rules.
Let’s define this protocol as a key concept enabling a VoIP system in your small business. This concept and set of rules, tips and guides will make all the difference in your ability to make a smart, informed choice regarding how to service and support your VoIP needs. A networking protocol defines a set of rules, algorithms, messages and other mechanisms that enable software and hardware in networked devices to communicate effectively.
VoIP: What is the Big Deal?
VoIP, voice over internet protocol, is an emerging communications system designed to save your small business time and money – That’s the Big Deal! In order to understand how this new telephony system can save you money, it’s important to examine the differences in how each of the inter-related systems function; why they must do so, and how you can make it happen in your office to begin taking advantage of technology’s efficiency and therefore: money savings.
Small Business Can Save More for Less Investment
Small Business may save significant amounts of money using this innovative (and evolving) form of communication. Before we can show you how your business saves money on communication expenses, let’s briefly overview the principles of how VoIP functions and therefore, why it will save you money.
Simply put, VoIP Technology converts your voice (analog signal) into data (digital signal) and then neatly encloses it into “packets” which are sent to your intended party via a superhighway or huge bandwidth filled with a large amount of chaotic packets switching all in the same connection. When they reach your party, they are reassembled to make sense and that person will hear the voice data or receive the information sent from your original message of: “Check it out – I’m talking to you over the Internet. My company just installed a VoIP system – it rocks!”
PSTN, PBX and IP PBX: What’s it all mean?
A PSTN is what’s probably in place for your business prior to VoIP systems. Publicly Switched Telephone Networks (PSTN) works in tandem with a private branch exchange (PBX). A PBX is an electronic switchboard that receives, routes, holds, forwards and manipulates calls arriving over the Internet – rather than via the PSTN.
Jump forward now to an IP PBX system, which further simplifies the mechanics of sending voice over internet protocols. A PSTN PBX connects many incoming and internal phone lines through a set of mechanical or electronic switches. An IP PBX, on the other hand, is mechanically simpler with software residing on the server on premises or a small, independent server that connects your existing data network to the vast Internet network.
Overall, IP PBX provides more efficient switching and is more flexible that a PSTN PBX system. For additional information on this critical issue or element of VoIP, see CWP’s next article on PBX systems and whether your business needs require a Hosted PBX system – versus – a PBX-on-Premise, aka, CPE or customer premise equipment. Our next chapter offers guidelines to help you decide the best solution.
Take the Guesswork Out of the Decision-making
Allow a VoIP, Internet protocol veteran to explore your business needs, assess your current equipment, as well as, your forthcoming requirements and align your needs: software and hardware support / upgrades to make a smart, smooth transition into the future of VoIP systems.
Critical Terms, Definitions, and Tips
Don’t miss our list of VoIP terms and definitions – it’s an invaluable list of VoIP related terminology you should know – prior to researching your small business’ VoIP systems solutions and support. In addition, check out CPW Tech Solut ions for a professional perspective and additional information on available features and services VoIP technology offers your small business.
CWP Tech Solutions Inc
1446 W Patrick St Frederick Maryland 21702