What is the New IP?

Guest Author: This week’s blog was brought to us by Michelle Patterson – Michelle Patterson is excited with the new technologies that are threatening to change the way we stay in touch and communicate, particular in business. She works with companies that are introducing these technologies to make understanding them easy for regular people.

Have you heard a new term taking ahold of the telecom industry — “the new IP?”  If you’re anything like me, you’ve wondered what that was.  Intellectual property?  Information processing?  Industrial property?

Turns out it’s none of these.  It’s the same old familiar Internet Protocol.  But it’s simply viewed in a different way.  It’s viewed in a new, more user-centric way, as opposed to the older more IT-focused model.

When the web was first coming out, and people were first starting to use mobile devices, then it made sense for the old IT-focused model to be continued to be used.  After all, it had worked since the days when computer filled entire rooms; why should things change now?

Yet now with most of the world on mobile devices — some estimates say nearly 7 billion cellular contracts signed by the beginning of 2015, and that’s not even counting devices tethered to landlines — now the time has come to focus on the user’s part of the equation rather than the corporate part.  Providers and networks alike are being forced to tackle this progress straight-on, welcoming the change with the flowering of virtualized networks with a strong focus on both service and software.

Neglecting to include these new expansions in their overall model for business can mean a grievous death for providers and networks.  Their more progressive competitors will surely leave them in the dust.  Therefore, making sure both yourself and your staff are educated so as to make informed and intelligent decisions is crucial.  The future of your operations hangs in the balance, along with your software, services and networks.

How to understand “The New IP”

The way to understand the new IP is to take a deep and detailed look at the changes that are underway already.  In the old IT-centric IP structure, the majority of the focus was on the network and infrastructure.  The architecture was rigid and decisions were centralized around IT.

In the new IP, focus has changed to the user.  This has pushed other things such as BYOD, COPE, cloud applications, applications functions, content, mobility, data centers and virtualized networks into center stage.  The new IP seeks to scale to resources and clients on-demand by aiming its power at the user, using a cloud-like design.  Contrast this with the older way of doing things, with a rigid, IT-based architecture.

We see that it is now software that forms the backbone of what we call the new IP, changing the old mentality that “hardware is the center of the computing universe.”

So what does this mean for the wholesale telecom industry?

Early adopters will rush in to take advantage of the new IP.  In the face of this, there is an overall secret to staying ahead.  Overall, you should virtualize many of your network processes, especially those that focus on open-source, open-interface services, network function virtualization, modernized operations and simplified software defined networks.

There is potential in the new IP to save a great deal for a communication providers’ profit, especially regarding operating expenses and capital expenses.  This is while at the same time creating additional proceeds through content-driven services.  You might as how this is possible; I was skeptical as well.  But when I studied some more, I realized the answer lay with the virtualization of the network landscape.  Since with virtualization, you can limit unnecessary hardware purchases, this helps to create an environment where savings are promoted through effectively using infrastructure and personnel resources.  The same can be said for using automated on-demand services.

What about the end-users?

The new IP is very good news for end users.  The changes are bringing greater flexibility and control when picking applications and services.  As people advance their fluency with the Internet, the new IP is altering the landscape to fit their needs.  This “better fit” allows a more customized experience that’s shaped by the users themselves — altering, adding and removing services in moments rather than months.  All Internet-related operations are more simplified, resulting in both happier users and happier IT staff; usability and services are both propelled to the forefront as a result.

Ways Small Business Can Benefit from VoIP

Guest Author: This week’s blog was provided to us by Matt Larson – a Canadian tech blogger. Matt writes primarily for the VoIP industry and is currently working from the road with VoIP Spear – a global VoIP monitoring service provider. For more about Matt, including links to his blogs, check out his Google+ profile.  

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Small business owners are always in a precarious situation. For one thing, you should give your business – especially if it’s a startup – all that you’ve got. This is the wallet-hurting “you get what you give” kind of relationship, where tenacity, dedication and hard work are required when you want to recoup your investments. On the other hand, you should always get your money’s worth. You can’t just bleed money – you’re in business to make money.

In this scenario, VoIP is your telecommunication salve. You get benefits that lodge your business up there, among forward-thinking movers and shakers. It’s kind to your wallet too.

Save Money

Of course, the foremost benefit of using VoIP is that you can save money. Calls you make from/to anywhere in the world will be cheaper. Account setup is easy and doesn’t cost much too. You can start off using softphones to save money. Or, use analog telephone adapters (ATA) with your old phones. ATAs cost less than SIP phones.

Do More Than Talk

VoIP comes with several functionalities that help your business work more efficiently and reach out to partners and clients more effectively. These functions ultimately fall under “telecommunications convergence.” Cross access and share information through your phone system. Login to your voicemail remotely. Work anywhere and still be reachable through VoIP. Come across as more professional and trustworthy through videoconferencing. These added functions enhance your user experience, and can ultimately create better employee and client relationships.

Enjoy Portability

Your mobility can make a big difference in your business’s profitability. Through technology, the world has opened up into one big diverse market. Your business can be located in a First World small town, and still, you can deal with partners in Asia and Europe. It pays to be accessible wherever you are. People can call you at your First World small town number even when you’re in India, England or France doing business – at the same low cost VoIP rate.

Improve Employee Cooperation

Better cooperation among employees is often a byproduct of the easier flow of information. VoIP, through telecommunications convergence, can do this for your business. Access and sharing of information become more efficient.

Protect Your Investment

For a small business to enjoy the full benefits of VoIP, you have to protect it, as you would your important investments. You can do so through two simple steps:

  1. Ensure that your VoIP is always accessible, at your end, through the set up of emergency power sources and call forwarding.
  2. Monitor your VoIP’s performance through services like VoIP Spear to ensure consistent uptime and quality of service.

Why IT Can’t Seem to Let Go of Traditional PBX Phone Systems

Letting go of traditional (PBX) phone systems is proving to be more difficult for some companies than expected. IP telephony adoption has been steady, but it’s occurring at a very slow rate. So why are IT departments dragging their feet? Below, I’ve broken down the three main reasons why IT professionals are seemingly reluctant to implement IP telephony.

  1. Trust and Reliability: Businesses have come to trust traditional phone systems because they have provided reliable and predictable service throughout the years. For many businesses, voice communication is critical to their overall success. Since traditional phone systems haven’t evolved over time, businesses feel that they don’t need to worry about any unexpected changes or problems. Implementing a new technology can be perceived as risky, which explains why IT professionals are not always eager to make the change. If the IP based phone system that they install does not operate the way they anticipate, it could reflect poorly on the IT staff member who recommended the switch.
  2. Knowledge: IT professionals may not be fully aware of the numerous benefits offered by IP phone systems. Legacy phone systems are only capable of transmitting voice, while IP based systems can carry voice, data, and video. This allows for companies to utilize features like video conferencing, which is quickly becoming a very popular communication tool because it allows for employees to communicate with other team members or customers face to face without ever leaving their office. Since IP phone systems use the internet to operate, the service can be easily scaled to meet the needs of the business. There is also minimal hardware costs associated with IP based phone systems because they use the Internet as the backbone of the network.
  3. Future Operations: Although traditional phone systems may be working well for business today, they won’t be effective for the ways that companies will need to communicate in the future. New technologies provide businesses with more communication methods, allowing for them to connect with employees and customers in a variety of ways. As more and more businesses migrate to IP based phone systems, traditional PBX support and vendors are declining. A recent study conducted by Infonetics Research found that the percentage of companies using IP phone systems will rise from 38% today to 58% by the year 2015. Researching IP based phone systems and starting the implementaiton process sooner, rather than later, will ensure that your business isn’t “left behind”.

Simply updating your existing traditional phone system is no longer enough, and businesses need to get serious about adopting an IP based phone system. As more and more companies make the switch, it will only get more difficult for IT employees to avoid the change. Although IT staff members may be concerned about implementing new technologies, it may be more damaging to wait. IT employees that are not on top of the latest technology trends could appear as though they’re falling behind, which would reflect poorly on their performance and expertise.

Blog Author: Vanessa Hartung

Sources: Infonetics Research Study: http://www.infonetics.com/pr/2013/SIP-Trunking-and-SBC-Enterprise-Survey-Highlights.asp

How VoIP Works at TeraGo: Part 2

In our video “How VoIP Works at TeraGo: Part 1”, we explained how TeraGo Networks provides Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services to our customers. Part two of our VoIP video series, posted below, describes the benefits of a VoIP connection in comparison to a traditional land line service. Martin Ramjit, Technical Sales Specialist at TeraGo Networks, explains the additional features and advantages of utilizing VoIP technology for business. Three main benefits highlighted in this video are cost savings, scalability, and optimization. To learn more about how these three features can assist you business, watch the video posted below.

To learn about other benefits offered by VoIP technology, download our whitepaper by clicking here.

How VoIP Works at TeraGo: Part 1

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is becoming an incredibly valuable tool for businesses. It has the capability to provide its users with an array of benefits, such as scalability, multiple features not available with traditional land line service, and overall cost savings. As more businesses migrate to VoIP technology, the staff at TeraGo Networks felt that it would be beneficial to provide an explanation of how VoIP operates in conjunction with an existing TeraGo internet connection. Below is part one of a two part informational video series describing the functions of VoIP – hosted by Martin Ramjit, Technical Sales Specialist at TeraGo Networks.

To learn more about TeraGo’s VoIP services, just click here, or follow our blog to receive an update when part 2 of our series is posted.

VoIP for Business: Common Misconceptions

Several companies are looking to use innovative technologies to advance their business, including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Instead of using a traditional phone service, businesses are implementing VoIP for their voice communication requirements. However, even though VoIP is a proven alternative to land line services, some businesses are apprehensive about making the switch based on a few common misconceptions.

Firstly, business owners believe that there is a complicated and long installation process associated with VoIP. Like any other new technology, businesses are hesitant to change their ways and employ innovative services because they fear that it will interfere with their business practices. In actual fact, a VoIP phone system is relatively simple to install, whether it is a basic, hosted, or integrated service.

The existing PBX hardware used to communicate with traditional phone services can also be used for VoIP. By attaching an Integrated Access Device, the older PBX hardware is able to function as a type of hybrid that allows for most VoIP calls. A business may also need to purchase new handsets, but the overall costs of installing VoIP is often three times less than a traditional PBX.

Secondly, many businesses assume that VoIP only offers minimal savings. In reality, VoIP services are relatively cheaper than traditional phone lines. Many VoIP providers offer free calls between users on their network as well as lower rates for calls made to any other landline, mobile, or overseas numbers. Since the calls are made through your internet connection, the rates are much lower than traditional phone calls. Also, several VoIP providers offer additional features without any additional costs, such as caller ID, 911, and directory listing.

The scalability of VoIP also contributes to overall lower costs, since businesses are able to only pay for what they need. As your business grows, adding more lines can be as simple as picking up the phone and contacting your provider. 

Lastly, some companies believe that the quality of VoIP is poor in comparison to traditional phone services. However, the only aspect that impacts the quality of a VoIP call is your internet connection. If you have a reliable internet connection, the voice quality can actually be better than a traditional landline since VoIP uses digital technology instead of analog.

These are three of the most common misconceptions about VoIP technology. To learn more about VoIP technology and the benefits that it is able to offer, download our white paper here.

Top 5 Reasons You Should Be Thinking about VoIP for Your Business

It is now evident that Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has multiple benefits to offer business users. In a previous article, Get More for Less, the operating methods and functionality of VoIP technology was outlined. Now let us discuss the specific advantages of using VoIP technology for businesses. We have compiled a list of the Top 5 ways that Voice over Internet Protocol benefits businesses.

  1. Lower Costs: By utilizing the internet to carry voice, you eliminate the need for a dedicated phone line. Accessing your voice communication services through your internet provider also allows for a greater range of scalability, which means that you only pay for what you use. Additionally, the cost of installation can be lowered by utilizing your existing PBX hardware. Attaching an Integrated Access Device enables the older PBX to function as a type of hybrid that allows for most VoIP calls.
  2. Scalability: Voice over Internet Protocol services can be easily upgraded as your businesses grows and requires additional phone lines. In some instances, increasing or decreasing the number of lines that your company is using is as simple as picking up the phone and calling your provider. There is no need for intrusive and costly installation procedures.
  3. Multiple Features: Features that are provided by traditional phone services are also available through VoIP. This includes caller ID, 911, directory listing, and long distance plans. Users are also able to access their phone system from their desktop computer when they are not near their handset. VoIP also allows for free on-network calling, so that you can call anyone on your network without incurring a charge.
  4. Unified Communications: VoIP enables the user to receive all their business communication, such as phone, voicemail, email, text messaging, fax, and more in a single inbox. VoIP also offers portability, which means that you can take your VoIP number anywhere. Users only need access to an internet connection to communicate. This means that relocating your business is easy since you only need to plug in your equipment and connect to the internet after you have moved to your desired location. Traditional phone companies may not be able to relocate all your lines to a new site, and there is the possibility that your phone service could be interrupted during the transition to your new location. These concerns can be eliminated by obtaining your business phone service through VoIP technology.
  5. Consolidated Bills: Accessing all your communication needs from one source means that there is only one bill to account for. Many voice and internet services are sold in bundles as well, making it easier to set up all your business communication needs at once.

Voice over Internet Protocol is the future of business communications and will soon become a necessity. Implementing a VoIP system is the first step to adopting unified communications, so your business can boost its efficiency and productivity. To learn more about how your business can benefit from VoIP, download our free white paper here.

Image provided by thaikrit.

Get More for Less

Innovative technologies are helping small and medium businesses become more productive at a relatively low cost. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology meets this criteria by providing a valuable service at a lower cost. VoIP is the use of IP-based networks to transmit voice signals instead of using a traditional telephone network. From the user’s point of view, VoIP works just like a conventional phone system. 

VoIP has only recently started to grow in popularity because the service is dependent on an Internet connection. Businesses that share an Internet network connection with residential customers are subjected to peak period slow downs, which means that call quality could vary throughout the day. Aaron McIntosh, Product Marketing Manager at TeraGo Networks Inc., has observed that “the rise of broadband internet, as well as internet networks that are designated for business use only, has made VoIP an attractive alternative to land line phone services.”

Since your internet connection can be used to carry both data and voice, the need for a dedicated phone line is eliminated. This also allows for users to bundle their services instead of managing multiple bills with different service providers. Businesses can also customize their telecommunication packages to meet their needs. This can include modified internet services, to ensure that companies are only paying for what they need, as well as a variety of features.

In order to utilize the benefits of VoIP, you will need a provider with connectivity to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) in order to make any type of phone call. Two methods used to connect a VoIP network to the PSTN are Session Initiated Protocol (SIP trunking) and the traditional Primary Rate Interface (PRI). There is no difference in call quality between the two, but there is a difference in cost. SIP trunking is less expensive than PRI because additional channels, or lines, can be purchased incrementally. On the other hand, PRI channels are only available for purchase in groups of 23. As a result, SIP trunking can be better tailored to the customer’s needs since they only purchase what they require.

VoIP services are growing in popularity as more and more businesses recognize its benefits. Many providers, such as TeraGo Networks, are presenting customers with all the same features that can be found on a traditional phone line service, such as caller ID, 911, long distance plans, directory listing, and more. Additionally, customers have the option of using either SIP trunking or PRI to connect to the PSTN. Regardless of which option you choose, the end result is transparency.

Businesses have the opportunity to take advantage of the cost and technological benefits that VoIP has to offer, while still being able to just pick up the phone and make a call to anyone. TeraGo Networks is providing customers with state-of-the-art broadband internet and voice services, allowing businesses across Canada to utilize VoIP technology while lowering their expenses. To learn more about this great service, please download our white paper by clicking here.

Image provided by photostock.

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