VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is a technology used in packet networks that transports voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP uses either PC environment or accelerating hardware to achieve its purpose. The basic principle of how VoIP works is conversion of signals from analogue to digital. First, the analog to digital converter (A/DC) converts the signals from analog to digital. The bits are then compressed into a good format for efficient transmission. The voice packets are then inserted into data packets using the technology of real-time protocol (RTP). In todays business environment, most of the work is done on computers that are on a network but IP phones are necessary for real-time communication.
The technology has brought with it advantages in the current business environment. The IP phones are easy to install, therefore, does not require very technical personnel that is an expense. Compared to the traditional system that required running wires all over the offices, IP phone is installed via Ethernet ports. VoIP software enables easy addition of new users and making configuration changes on the system. VoIP does not require any hardware or software installations. In the case the office is relocating, users can easily access web portal and reconfigure the system. The cloud-hosted VoIP systems have made it easy for travelling employees who divert calls to wherever they are.
VoIP supports all the traditional features of the call system including auto-attendant, call transfer, conferencing, call hold, find me and follow me meaning by upgrading to VoIP, you do not miss out on features you are used to. The traditional systems were costly to set up, reconfigure and maintain compared to VoIP. With hosted VoIP systems, businesses in which a lot of calls are made internationally save a lot without investing hugely. VoIP being internet-based greatly integrates with other business systems.
A softphone can be referred to as a software telephone. It is an application software installed on all computing devices to enable them make calls over the internet. The softphone can run on a computer and smart devices like phone. It is bandwidth efficient considering it does not require dedicated channel. Softphones are designed to function exactly like a desk phone but they are easy to install and a lower cost because no hardware is required. Softphones gives the user freedom to move around with it conveniently on your device. This is very beneficial for travelling employees since they can easily communicate with their supervisors, peers and clients. It is very easy to add new users without additional costs. Conferencing has also been made easier and cheaper compared to other conferencing facilities available like Webex. Being very cost-effective, the softphone is gradually becoming the most reliable means of communication and improvisation of the VoIP technology has significantly mitigated limitations of the technology.
The softphone has notable disadvantages. One may encounter disconnection issues especially when there are internet access related challenges or the application developing issues. Compared to the hard phone, the quality of voice of a softphone does not match. Some governments have not yet allowed use of the softphones therefore businesses in such nations are limited to using hard phones.
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