VoIP — Voice over Internet Protocol — refers to the technology that enables voice communication online. It’s been around since the 1990s, but only in recent years, as phones have evolved to be more like computers, and computers have become more compatible with telephony, has VoIP become a viable option for many businesses. In fact VoIP today offers more functions than traditional telephone service at lower overall cost and without the need to commit to one vendor.
Modern VoIP systems, like those from our partner 3CX, offer “presence” — the appearance of being in one place, no matter where you are. The customizable “find me/follow me” feature can route a call from your desktop receiver to another line or your cell phone. This maximizes your availability to clients without giving out your personal cell number (which might be interpreted as a sign that you’re on duty 24/7) or carrying two mobile phones. When you really aren’t available, you can receive voicemail messages as email attachments.
At the admin level, settings for queueing, prioritizing or forwarding incoming calls are highly customizable. The system is also as transparent or opaque as you want to make it; one person, or everyone, can monitor system activity in real time, or review it later. 3CX’s systems also offer intraoffice instant messaging and can integrate seamlessly with a CRM.
VoIP software is not linked to specific hardware. This means you can shop around and buy the handsets and headsets that suit your company’s needs and budget. You can even skip the desktop receiver altogether. At Ashton, we receive and make calls through our PCs, using Bluetooth headsets, and the sound quality is as good or better than any cell phone. And in the event of a hardware malfunction or office catastrophe, you can just run the software on another server, eliminating the need to wait for replacement parts or units. If you're in the Cleveland area and considering moving to VoIP, or upgrading your existing VoIP system, give Ashton a call at 216 397-4080, or drop us a line.
Ashton Technology Solutions develops proactive business technology strategies to arm our clients for success.