Sunday, April 5, 2015

On the Cloud: VoIP and VoIP Monitoring

This year, organizations are turning to the cloud to take advantage of business VoIP. Where VoIP levels the playing field – reducing communications overhead and enabling greater access to business opportunities regardless of where you are – cloud VoIP makes the benefits of VoIP more affordable. Today, practically any organization that knows the positive difference with VoIP can switch to it with minimal investment.

Zero Hardware Requirements
The biggest initial investment that you'd have to make when you switch to on-premises VoIP is your hardware, which includes your IP-PBX or gateway device, as well as cable upgrades and SIP phones. This can amount to a lot, especially when you'd have to project to the capacities you'd require at least five years in the future.

With cloud VoIP, you skip through this. You can start simple and communicate through softphones, installed in desktops and BYODs (Bring Your Own Devices). The likely hardware investment that you might need to make is your office cabling. For VoIP communications to be as clear and powerful as possible, you need to use at least Cat5e cables. If you've used traditional phone lines for the longest time, your cables are likely Cat3s. While you can make do with this initially, it is best to upgrade to ideal cables for VoIP. This allows you to maximize your use of the technology, and not have to make do with bad audio and video connections.

Expert Communications Management
For many organizations, communications systems – be it traditional telephony or VoIP – require dedicated manpower, an expert or two in your payroll who can install, maintain and manage your system. You are reliant on your human resources department to get the best person for the job, at the price you can afford.

With cloud VoIP, this is no longer an issue. Getting expert technical support for your communications systems now relies on your VoIP service provider. You don't need to retain and spend for additional technical manpower. You do not need to rely on the level of expertise that you can afford. This now lies on your service provider.

And since they are focused on VoIP as a business, you can rest assured that they have the best people on the job.

Scalable VoIP
Perhaps one of the determining qualities of cloud VoIP that makes it an easy decision to switch is its scalability.

With on-premises VoIP, you would need to plan ahead and put together a communications system that can handle your projected requirements, at least five years into the future. This is well and good if you have the budget for it. But, for many small- and medium-scale, it is what has kept them from making the switch.

Cloud VoIP paves the way for small- to medium-scale business to make the switch and equip themselves as needed. They can add (or deduct) users and features, as required and without having to make an investment beyond their requirements.

Aside from making VoIP more accessible to organizations that can definitely leverage it to forward the company, it also frees up funds and allows you to invest elsewhere – other than your telecommunications system.

Grow with the Flow
With cloud VoIP, you don't have to plan your business investment around telecommunications. And definitely, you shouldn't be placing all your eggs in one telecommunications investment basket. There are other aspects of business that can use an infusion of funds, such as marketing and sales.

Through cloud VoIP, you can focus on these other aspects. Since you only need to plan for your monthly (or yearly) VoIP fees, you have more leeway to focus on growing your business.

Monitor your VoIP
Of course, to guarantee that you get all this, make sure you monitor your VoIP service. You can't fully take advantage of the benefits of VoIP when your service falls below acceptable standards. After all, you need to stay constantly reachable to your clients and partners through consistently clear audio and video communications.

For above part VoIP monitoring, choose VoIP Spear. The company provides 24/7/365

call monitoring and testing services from several global locations. Chart your VoIP's MOS, latency, jitter and other key performance indicators. Get reports and alerts. Stay on top of your VoIP.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

VoIP 2015: What to Look Forward To

The past few years have been great for VoIP. The technology made headway to become telecommunications' leader. There's more room for growth, and it looks like 2015 is another big year for VoIP.

Cloud VoIP
Cloud-hosted VoIP is going to be bigger this 2015. Cloud computing has become reliable and more affordable, of late. This is good for VoIP, particularly small- and medium-scale businesses that want to benefit from the cost advantages of the technology but do not have enough funds for on-premises IP-PBX and other requisite hardware, plus dedicated manpower to manage these.

And it's not just about the price. Cloud-hosted VoIP comes with other advantages.

The transition to VoIP can be implemented swiftly, at a scale fitting the size of the organization. A company can switch to VoIP within a month. Management and maintenance are responsibilities of the service provider, saving you from needing to hire a dedicated staff for it.

Another important advantage here is its scalability and easy integration. You can add or subtract users, as needed. Support applications can be integrated, again, as needed.

Integration On The Cloud
Like what's said earlier, integration is simple and fast when it comes to VoIP, especially cloud-hosted VoIP.

Communications convergence, where a singular device can facilitate the flow of voice and data, can mean more efficiency in information handling and processing, and coordination among stakeholders. Examples of what can be integrated into VoIP include CRM and productivity software.

Mobile VoIP
The popularity of smartphones has also paved the way for the boom in mobile VoIP. Expect more of this in 2015, particularly because of businesses that want their members to be more accessible.

Mobile VoIP can increase accessibility when installed in BYOD or corporate-owned devices. As Wi-Fi and data services become more reliable and wide-ranging, it becomes harder to be “out of reach.” Mobile devices become tools for increasing productivity and connection between partners ad co-workers.

VoIP Security
VoIP will also be increasingly under threat of attack and intrusion. As it gains traction with more and more users, malicious elements will want to take advantage of the technology's vulnerabilities for financial gain, control and information.

Threats can be as common as stolen account information and malware infiltration. Or, it can be targeted and vicious, such as call interception and denial of service (DoS) attacks.

Securing your VoIP becomes a requisite. This is not just something that your service provider needs to do. Users and system manager should also implement safety measures. It could be as basic as protecting computers that connect to voice services with anti-virus software, and physically securing servers and network connections. VoIP encryption can also be implemented from the user's side through the use of zfone, an encryption software that works alongside VoIP clients.

VoIP Monitoring
As dependence on VoIP increases, it becomes more and more necessary to have safeguards in place.

First in line here is VoIP monitoring from 3rd service providers, such as VoIP Spear. Service monitoring lets you stay on top of your VoIP's performance. You are alerted about performance dips and suspicious activities, and can potentially address issues ASAP.

Next, think about security when it comes to everything that you do online, be it voice or data-centric. Secure your system by installing an anti-virus software and regularly screening for malware infiltration. Get zfone and implement on top of your VoIP client.

Of course, it also pays to be selective when it comes to choosing your VoIP service provider. Don't just look at the cost. Ask questions about security measures, as well as backup plans.