Hosted VoIP: Perfect For New And Growing Small Businesses

by Administrator 25. February 2013 16:47

As owner of a small business, you might be questioning whether making the leap from your traditional phone system to VoIP would be a smart move, and understandably so. Entrusting the voice of your business to the internet does take some deliberation, but most business owners have already made the switch, and VoIP is definitely here to stay. Voice Over Internet Protocol or VoIP is the new face of voice communication, and offers numerous advantages to small business enterprises that are looking for the perfect mix of reliability and affordability.

The top reason for small and medium business owners to consider VoIP for the business communication, is the significant reduction in cost that accompanies it. VoIP allows you to make extremely cheap calls to anyone across the globe (VoIP to VoIP) or voice calls at local rates despite the distance between the two callers (VoIP to other number). In whichever way you choose to use VoIP, you shall experience a reduction in your phone bill, which can range from 20% to as high as 80% depending on your usage.

However, that is not where the benefits of VoIP end. By choosing a hosted VoIP provider you can also save significantly on the infrastructure needed to setup voice calling for your business. This is an especially great advantage to new startups, that would otherwise have spent largely on investing in a conventional telephone network for the workplace. With hosted VoIP, the provider houses all the infrastructure, leading to a minimal upfront cost. Another major advantage of this is that it allows for easy upsizing or downsizing of the business in the future.

Along with reducing costs, hosted VoIP also boosts productivity in several ways. The major one of these is the increase in employee efficiency that accompanies the use of VoIP for calling. The additional features that accompany most VoIP systems, such as automated receiving and call transfer, call conferencing, call holding, voice mail-to-email transfer, call barring, etc. make the phone system a lot more interactive, allowing employees to make the most out of it. This increases in better customer satisfaction, which is the ultimate goal of any business.

In addition to this, VoIP also offers a great amount of flexibility, making it possible for business owners to make and receive calls from their office number on the go. This feature also improves connectivity with remote employees, which is an increasingly common trend among upcoming businesses nowadays.

We at Folkerson Communication, LTD provide affordable and efficient hosted VoIP services to small and medium sized businesses in Central Texas. For more details, call us at Austin: (512) 977-0055, Temple: (254) 742-0064, Killeen: (254) 698-0016 and Waco: (254) 662-2255.

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Beginner’s Guide To VoIP

by Administrator 11. February 2013 14:11

VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol has revolutionized telephonic communication in businesses and even households, becoming a must-have for SME owners. Switching to VoIP might seem like the next obvious step, it is important to ensure that you have a clear understanding of how VoIP works before you can make this switch. Put simply, VoIP is a phone service that allows you to make phone calls over the Internet, much as you would send an email from your computer. It works by converting voice signals into digital ones, and transmitting them over the Internet.

The major advantage that VoIP offers is the substantial cutting in the cost involved in making phone calls. When calling someone through a traditional landline phone, the voice signals are transmitted through wires- the longer the distance between the two callers, longer the length of transmission required and hence the greater the cost. On the other hand, when making calls through VoIP, signals are transmitted via an IP-based network, which means that the cost of calling remains the same despite the distance.
The three ways to use VoIP are-

  • Through an ATA (Analog Telephone Adaptor)- This is a device that can be connected to both your computer and phone and is used to convert the analog signal into a digital one. The only additional piece of equipment required is the adaptor.
  • Through an IP phone- If you would like to maintain a regular phone system this option might be the right one for you. An IP phone has the same appearance as a conventional phone, the only difference being that the phone jack is replaced with an Ethernet cable connector. Since this cable is directly connected to a router, you do not need a computer to make calls when using this system.
  • Computer to computer- The last way for VoIP calling is between two computers. For this method, you need to download the VoIP software on your computer. Since this software is usually free, the only cost involved is that of the internet.

By using a hosted VoIP  provider, you can save substantially on the equipment needed to setup VoIP calling for your business. Hosted providers provide the basic infrastructure you need for a minimal installation fee. This is particularly advantageous since any future troubleshooting, upgrading, or expansion shall be taken care of by the hosted provider.

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The Growing Trend Of VoIP Telephony

by Administrator 24. January 2013 18:08

VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol is the latest advancement in the world of telephonic communication and is rapidly becoming the phone system of choice among small and medium business enterprises. The reasons why VoIP is out-phasing traditional landline phones are multiple, the major one being reduction in costs. While most companies experience a reduction of at least 20% in their phone bills, for some, which involve a lot of long-distance calling, this reduction can be as high as 80%.

By choosing to opt for a hosted VoIP system, you can save yourself from the initial expense involved in switching to VoIP. This is because you do not need to invest in any equipment, apart from the basics like a computer with an Internet connection and speakers. This is also beneficial when you are actually using this system, since troubleshooting can be done by the hosted provider, using remote access. In addition to this, if you decide to downscale or upscale your phone system at any point, this can be easily done without any additional costs. Hosted VoIP systems also offer the benefit of automatic upgrades.

A major reason why most businesses are switching to VoIP is the flexibility and set of features that the system offers. VoIP has many attractive features for business owners, which include the ability to communicate with remote employees through office extensions. This makes it possible to achieve more effective monitoring of employees, while also making communication easier, resulting in an overall boost to efficiency. Moreover, by using VoIP, you can make and receive calls from your office number even when you are not physically present at your office. It is just as easy as sending and receiving e-mails.

Almost all VoIP phone systems designed for businesses come with a feature set, which includes functionalities like caller ID, call transfer, call conferencing, automated response, voice mail- email integration, etc. You can choose from  these features depending on the nature of your business, and can enjoy all the benefits of a professional telephone system, at a minimal cost. Best of all, with a VoIP calling system, you will have complete control over your office, as you can monitor everything, right from your incoming and outgoing calls, to the next month’s phone bill, all in a single click!

We at Folkerson Communication, LTD specialize in providing complete VoIP solutions to small and medium sized businesses in Central Texas. For more details, call us at Austin: (512) 977-0055, Temple: (254) 742-0064, Killeen: (254) 698-0016 and Waco: (254) 662-2255.

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How You Can Save Money With VoIP?

by Administrator 10. January 2013 17:15

VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is increasingly becoming a more popular choice of communication than the traditional phone line such as PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network).  Especially in the harsh economic times when everyone is trying cost cutting in all spheres of life, VoIP has proved to be a boon. Using VoIP technology you can make calls over the Internet by changing analog signals into digital signals. These can travel through the Internet. It costs less, or is almost free, and services provide a better functionality when compared to the other available methods. You will need either a VoIP phone or an ATA (Analog Terminal Adapter) device and an Internet connection of sufficient bandwidth to get started. Let us understand how you can save money on the calls you make using VoIP.

VoIP services providers offer plans to suit affordability and usage of every individual, at home and in business. Depending on your usage you can make a choice. People travelling frequently can use VoIP on their mobile phones to save money. At home, you can either set ATA between your phone line and Internet router or use a separate VoIP instrument for calls. Using a separate VoIP instrument is always better since it eliminates dependency of taking calls near PC. The services require a monthly rental. Some plans even offer unlimited calling facility within the US for the complete month at one-time competitive monthly rental. There are special plans for operating business that require constant international communication. Monthly rentals may range between $10- $25 dollars or even less depending on the plan you choose. Some consider these calls as almost free when comparing the usage against the monthly rentals.

One of the biggest advantage of using VoIP is that it allows you to make and take calls from anywhere in the world where there is access to the Internet. If you are someone who travels abroad more than rarely you must be aware of the high prices of international calls and roaming. VoIP technology helps keep costs of international telecommunication to the minimum. A VoIP phone provides mobility and lets you communicate without your laptop or PC while you are on the go.

While simple devices are needed for home use, you may want to deploy a fully functional business VoIP system for maximum saving and efficient services. A VoIP service provider takes complete care of providing necessary hardware and also installing it so that you can enjoy a hassle free service.  

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VoIP: Flexibility And Features

by Administrator 26. December 2012 17:37

VOIP Phone Systems have changed the way businesses used to communicate. As every business tries to provide the best possible service to its customers and vendors, VOIP systems has emerged as most desired technical input for business operations. This is due to the fact, that VOIP phone systems are highly flexible, scalable, cost effective and have a large number of features that are desired by modern business. Let’s have a look at various elements that make VOIP phone systems a hit among business organizations.

Great Flexibility
VOIP devices and phone systems offer greater flexibility to business owners. With VOIP phone systems, you can scale up or scale down your usage or number of seats you want to operate. Not only they are easy to maintain, the call-cost advantage is huge for VOIP systems in comparison to traditional business phone systems. All you need is an internet connection to make your office phone system work. With a lot of customized plans from VOIP service providers like Folkerson Communications, you can choose the best suited for your requirements.

Exciting Features & Security
From LCD display to voice clarity and headset jack to specialized ringtones, you can enjoy tons of exciting features available with VoIP phone systems. With VOIP systems, you will also get cool security features if you are really concerned about the way in which your data is transferred via VoIP. You can keep stringent security features and thus can enjoy complete peace of mind. 3 Way calling, group calls, call forwarding and call waiting are few other features that you can get.

Hosted VoIP
Hosted VoIP is a service which is beneficial specially for people who want to concentrate on the core competencies of their business. With hosted VoIP service, you can avoid the many hassles of procuring software, hardware and other infrastructure essentials that are required for operating VOIP lines. The host company manages everything right from installing hardware/software to maintaining your VOIP operations. You also get a dedicated technical support to tackle any issues if ever they occur.

Hosted VoIP service providers can prove to be extremely advantageous especially for new businesses who are trying to get established in the market rapidly. This great option gives the great flexibility to business owners to manage the business communications in the effective and efficient manner.

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VoIP Solutions For Medium Sized Businesses

by Administrator 5. November 2012 13:47

VoIP refers to Voice over Internet Protocol and it is used to make and receive phone calls locally and internationally by converting analog audio signals into digital data that can be transmitted via the internet. It is a great for medium sized businesses that want to save on their call costs as it lets them enjoy free calls over the internet. VoIP is a revolutionary technology that helps medium-sized companies reduce their operating expenses and increases their productivity and efficiency. It lets these companies focus on their work instead of being stuck in hassles related to maintenance of the phone systems.

Here are some immediate benefits that a medium-sized company gets to enjoy on switching over to VoIP phone systems:

  • Cost reduction: VoIP calls are amazingly cheaper than conventional phone calls, which means that the businesses’ phone bills are cut down drastically. Local calls are up to 70% cheaper and STD calls are charged at local rates. International calls are also much cheaper than those made on a standard mobile call. VoIP providers charge much less as compared to their competitors and what’s more, you do not have to bother about expensive maintenance of the phone infrastructure as in the case of traditional phone systems.
  • Better sound quality: VoIP services are far more superior to the traditional phones as they offer their customers the best sound quality for maximum efficiency at work. You no longer have to waste time trying to understand an unclear conversation with your clients. This improves your services and helps you to be more efficient by saving on time.
  • Highly flexible: These phone systems are highly flexible and can be taken along with you wherever you go. You can carry the system to your hotel room in case you travel often and do not want to stay disconnected from your customers. You can also make and receive calls through your laptop, which ensures you do not miss an urgent call from a client even when on the go.
  • Scalability: VoIP phone systems are highly scalable as they can be immediately molded to suit your growing business requirements. This is especially beneficial for medium-sized businesses as they can easily expand their business by adding offices and employees without affecting the business communication
  • Advanced functions: With VoIP phone systems, you can enjoy some of the best features free of cost such as conference calling, video functionality, call forwarding, and white board features.

We at Folkerson Communication, LTD specialize in providing complete VoIP solutions to small and medium sized businesses in Central Texas. For more details, call us at Austin: (512) 977-0055, Temple: (254) 742-0064, Killeen: (254) 698-0016 and Waco: (254) 662-2255.

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Business VoIP: The Efficient Office Phone System

by Administrator 26. October 2012 20:45

VoIP is the short form for Voice over Internet Protocol It uses a technology that converts analog voice into digital packets and then uses Internet Protocol to send them to the final destination. So basically it is a system of making calls through the Internet across your Local Area Network or Wide Area Network. VoIP phone systems are being increasingly used in business establishments and are preferred to traditional phone systems mainly because they are inexpensive. Also, they are very convenient, portable and come with a host of communication features available at no extra charge.

The following are some of the major benefits that a VoIP phone system has to offer to a business:

  • Advanced features: The VoIP phone system comes with a host of advanced features such as:
  1. Call park
  2. Call pick
  3. Call reporting
  4. Voicemail
  5. Conference calling
  6. Direct inward dialing, etc

All these features are provided at no extra cost and help in making a business extremely efficient by saving time and cost involved.

  • Work from anywhere: With a VoIP phone system, you are not restricted to work from your office. You can even work from home and be in touch with the happenings in the office, provided you have a reliable Internet connection. All you need to do is deploy IP phones wherever there is an Internet connection and this way you can even set up branch offices that are connected to your main system at a central location.
  • Save on costs: Using VoIP for your business calls will help you save money on the calls and also on the maintenance and support of the whole system. Even if you are diversifying your business and opening new branches elsewhere, you need not spend on laying separate cabling for your phone system.
  • Scalability: A VoIP system grows with your business requirements which means you do not have to replace the whole system in case of additional requirements. Instead of such complications, you get additional extensions easily, which relieves you of sudden expenditure and inconvenience.
  • Number mobility: With VoIP, you get to enjoy number mobility, which is highly beneficial for businessmen as they can use the same number anywhere in the world. It is a great convenience for business people who travel frequently as they get to use the same number wherever they go.

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Centralized Voicemail With VoIP Phone Systems

by Administrator 3. October 2012 20:24

Voicemail has gone on to become an integral part of voice communications, and as users consider switching from traditional PBX phone systems to VoIP, a question that is likely to arise in the mind is how this switch shall affect the functioning of voice mail? Just like with most other phone functions, VoIP also enhances the quality of voicemail by boosting its efficiency and quality. The basic advantage of the centralized voicemail in VoIP phone systems is the ease of interaction between both parties, as well as higher voicemail capacity. Moreover, it also eliminates the need for having voicemail boxes in each cubicle, due to its centralization.

The ease of use of such an interface makes it simple for agents to access voicemail without having to undergo any complex training. Such an enhancement in voicemail functionality leads to better customer satisfaction and ultimately better returns for the company. Some companies might make the mistake of thinking that voicemail management can’t be made better. However, the centralized voicemail feature of VoIP phone systems defies this, by making it possible to use the voicemail system in the central IP office for a remote office system.

The only requirements that you need for this setup are the necessary VoIP lines and the Small Community Network (SCN). Even though it is possible to access the feature in a networked IP office system, but it is highly recommended to get an SCN, due to the unpredictability of the former setup. Your hosted VoIP provider should be able to provide this basic infrastructure to you at a nominal cost. With this done, you shall only require a feature key and voicemail license key for the central system, with which you can then connect any number of remote systems, provided the extension and group numbering is unique for each system. Using the same extensions can pose difficulty during maintenance.

With a centralized voicemail system for VoIP installed, most of the voicemail features can be accessed at remote sites. These include call recording, automated answer, voice messaging, dial by name directory, etc. This simple setup can definitely be a great boost to communication in your office, and is specially suited for multi-location offices.

For affordable centralized VOIP systems in and around Central Texas, kindly visit us at Folkerson Communications Ltd. You can contact us at Austin: (512) 977-0055, Temple: (254) 742-0064, Killeen: (254) 698-0016 and Waco (254) 662-2255.

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Structured Cabling For New Construction

by Administrator 19. September 2012 20:43

Modern structured cabling is a cutting edge data and voice cabling solution which helps in organizing the various wiring components used in communication and data transmission. Most new constructions are choosing to adopt structured cabling of their networks due to the myriad benefits this system provides. It is advisable to install the structured wiring at the initial stages of construction to save on the costs incurred in retrofitting at a later stage. Once installed, this structured cabling can be used for all major electronic components at the workplace, including telephones, fax machines, internet access, computers and peripheral devices, etc.

By converging all cabled equipment into a single component, structured cabling eliminates the need to install separate cabling like Ethernet and ISDN for different purposes. In addition to this, it is also easier to modify structured cabling to keep up with changing technology, which makes it a dynamic solution for business owners. The infrastructure for structured cabling system is clean and simple, which makes it easy for users to make any needed modifications, as compared to when using a complex phone system. Whether you need to add a new component into the system, or remove one, there is no need to start the wiring all over again with a structured network.

Another benefit of modern structured cabling in offices is that if one component of the system stops working for any reason, this does not affect the remaining components, which is not the case in a conventional network. Each problem remains isolated, which makes it easy to solve it without affecting the functioning of the remaining system. By installing structured cabling into your office building during its construction, you are adding value to this property, should you need to sell it at any point in the future. It instantly makes it go from being just a building into a modern office space with advanced networking solutions.

It is not an overstatement to say that structured cabling is being viewed as the fourth essential utility during the construction process, along with telephone systems, and electricity. With an increasing number of builders being familiar with the process of installing structured cabling, it is high time that the awareness spreads to those getting offices constructed. The standards laid down by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) ensure that all products meet a set level of quality, making it easier for business owners to steer free of inferior cabling and components.

We at Folkerson Communications LTD provide you with state of the art structured cabling for new construction projects as well as existing structures all around Central Texas. For more information, contact us Austin: (512) 977-0055, Temple: (254) 742-0064, Killeen: (254) 698-0016 and Waco: (254) 662-2255

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Simplifying Your Networking Needs With Structured Cabling

by Administrator 12. September 2012 16:23

With a well-designed network structure in your organization, you have an intact core for the functioning of all other modalities. The key elements of an effective data and voice communication network are high speed of transmission, flexibility, security, and most importantly, reliability. Structured cabling brings together all these features, in a simple, user-friendly interface, making critical communication streamlined by enabling its smooth functioning. This takes away the common complaint of a network being down, which is typical to conventional cabling solutions. By eliminating this downtime, the organization can function with much greater efficiency and endpoint satisfaction.

By installing a single structured cabling solution, organizations can solve problems related to both telephone as well as data networking. This infrastructure is a one-time investment which caters to the present communication needs of the firm, as well as those foreseen in the future. It is aptly referred to as “structured”, since it uses a single interface to organize the entire cabling system, right from voice and data to video, which is becoming an integral part of the communication system in modern-day businesses. More complex management systems that can be a part of a particular industry can also be integrated into this structured cabling.

The biggest advantage of such a system from the user’s point of view is the saving on investment that is promised by structured cabling. In addition to this, organizations can also benefit greatly from the enhanced administrative and managerial capabilities that are made possible by these requirements being channelized to a single point. The ease of labeling and coloring in such a system makes it easy to identify different work outlets at the centralized network room, further contributing to the simplification of networking. Along with these major advantages, structured cabling also has a provision for change and flexibility, which is vital to every growing organization.

By choosing structured cabling as the networking solution for your organization, the major benefit that you shall have is in cost reduction, as the vendor will provide the needed hardware and applications. In addition to this, the same cabling systems can be adopted for voice, data, and video, further contributing to cost efficiency. Furthermore, you shall have minimum upgrade inconvenience if you wish to incorporate additional multimedia features into your organization’s networking at any point in the future. Finally, troubleshooting is greatly simplified with structured cabling, since it can be divided into different components, with only the faulty component needed to be fixed.

We at Folkerson Communications LTD provides you with reliable and cost effective structured cabling for big as well as small offices and organizations across Central Texas. For more information, contact us Austin: (512) 977-0055, Temple: (254) 742-0064, Killeen: (254) 698-0016 and Waco: (254) 662-2255.

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