Initially, one of the major concerns in the deployment of an Internet phone service was the reliability and predictability of the call’s quality. VoIP was found to work perfectly on Local Area Networks (LAN) when all the phones, software or physical, shared the same wire and had little or no competition for bandwidth. However when making long distance calls across a Wide Area Network (WAN) things became far more unpredictable. Just like data applications running Client/Server models that required timely responses, VoIP was finding that IP’s inherent strength, its inbuilt robustness and error detection and correction techniques, made it ironically unsuitable for voice. IP would have to adapt, and adapt it did through many protocols such as UDP, RTP, SIP. Additionally header compression, QoS, traffic management and queuing techniques evolved to allow voice packets to be given priority and to be transported reliably across the internet. However, quality and predictability have improved dramatically in all major countries allowing VoIP to flourish.
Telx Telecom, an internet phone service provider based in South Florida recently announced a new and improved hosted IP PBX service for small medium businesses. For the small or medium sized businesses, along with technology start-ups, this is an intriguing offering. VoIP can deliver business with fully functional phone systems for a fraction of the cost in both Operational expenses (Opex) and Capital expenditure (Capex) compared to a traditional fixed line PBX.
Business Internet phone service is inexpensive, fast, and extremely flexible, in addition to being a great solution for reaching overseas employees, clients, or holding digital conferences. Telx Telecom offers these in plans that can fit almost any business—from unlimited calling plans to “metered” domestic and long distance calling. Other features include inbound caller ID and location, as well as “operator” services that function like 411 information lines.
VoIP has indeed become the call center platform of choice for many international operations and non-profit organisations (NGO) around the world. The beauty of VoIP is that it’s very often built upon open source architecture, with its code based on Asterisk, a real super star in the eyes of the open source community. As a result, other big players in the open source arena have developed integration modules and API’s specifically for Asterisk based VoIP solutions that enable data integration unheard of previously with PSTN PBX. An example of this is SugarCRM and OpenERP integration, and Sugar Call Identifier look up, which turns previously basic VoIP systems into fully-fledged Call Centre class systems. An agent can see on the screen, before even answering the call, the callers ID and if known, the caller’s name and title.
This allows the agent to answer the call using the caller’s personal details, but what is more, that same caller ID recognition can trigger the opening of an Outlook address book or a CRM call history page, an ERP orders or financial statement, all automatically and without the agent leaving the initial screen. Moreover, because this is all now IP based the agent can interact with the caller by email, or start a chat session, look up FAQ’s or a Know Faults DB. Sure PSTN PBX’s can do the same but for a hefty price in system integration fees. It is the cost effective and ease of integration with other data applications and DB’s that makes VoIP so powerful. The merging of functionality between voice and data, using a common protocol, has made features and applications much easier to adapt and integrate into a common platform, making VoIP IP PBX now more feature rich than the PSTN PBX.
Telx Telecom, a VoIP service provider based in South Florida specializes in IP VoIP PBX systems, IP hosted systems and related technology. VoIP has been a key industry technique for ‘person to person’ communication for the last decade with mixed results. However steadily with the cost effective increase in available bandwidth, better understanding of traffic management and quality of service (QOS), VoIP is finding its way into more and more critical applications. Telx Telecom’s VoIP hosted PBX platform is a service that should intrigue SMB and Start-up companies as it enables fully featured call centre class communications, and high performance QoS at an affordable price.