By Mark Etinger
VoIP (voice over internet protocol) is quickly climbing to the top of the communications technology ladder, and rightfully so – VoIP services are fast, easy and convenient. They allow people to connect in so many ways, both professionally and personally. A grandmother in Hong Kong can read her grandchildren in Maine a bedtime story; a CEO on vacation in Spain could direct his employees in Sydney. More and more businesses are using it – and if yours isn't, here's why it should:
VoIP telephone systems are much cheaper than regular phone systems. This includes long distance phone services – because VoIP phone services use the Internet as their connection, they can charge the same rates for long distance calls as local calls. Think about it: it doesn't cost anything to video-chat with someone three towns away; nor does it cost anything to video-chat with someone three states away. The same applies to VoIP business services.
VoIP telephone service providers are also far more convenient, and you get a lot more options. With any company you can choose from a number of plans, many of which are customizable to fit your needs exactly – plus you can choose from a variety of VoIP methods:
IP (Internet Protocol) phones[/b], for example, look much like regular phones, but rather than land-based copper wires they're run off internet connections. An ATA (analog telephony adapter) also looks much like a regular phone but the handset is hooked up directly to the computer. A computer-to-computer connection is exactly what it sounds like – everything is done via a computer, and a headset is donned by the user.
Now that you're ready to sign up for a VoIP business phone system, here are a few tips to get the best deal possible:
Find a company that doesn't charge extra for features like 3-way calling, voicemail, call waiting and caller ID (caller identification). These should be part of even the most basic business phone system package – any company that thinks otherwise is a waste of time.
Also, find a company that will allow you to keep using the office's current equipment. Converting standard phone systems into VoIP isn't difficult; they just need an adapter.
Discuss a trade of goods or services. Do you work for a marketing company? See if you can exchange marketing services for a discounted VoIP business phone system.
Did you ever think saving your business money could be so easy? Research the VoIP telephone service providers in your area and see who can offer you the best deal. And remember, once you've switched, you should be paying much less than before – make sure you know (or at least sound like you know) what you're talking about so salespeople won't think you can be duped.
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