VOIP: The Right Call
Finally, VOIP is ready for small and midsize businesses that have a firm grasp of their needs.After years of hype and unfulfilled promises, IP telephonyalso known as VOIP (voice over IP)has finally evolved as a true option for small and medium-size businesses. The technology of sending voice packets over data pipes has been refined and has matured, offering a number of benefits over traditional phone networks. Not only do todays VOIP systems match the voice quality of regular phone systemsbased on the TDM (time division multiplexing) systemtheyre adding features that businesses never would have imagined. For example, with VOIP, callers can reach you no matter where you are by dialing your office number. And with a Web browser, you can retrieve your voice mail.
The main benefit, of course, is cost savings. Though initial equipment costs can be considerable, with most implementations of VoIP the distinctions between local and long-distance calls go away almost completely. And when signing up with a hosted service, such as an IP Centrex provider, you can keep up-front costs to a minimum.