Effective communication is one of the keys to success for every business and modern business communication systems are designed with this in mind. The internet has opened a world of new modern business communication options such as VoIP Phone Systems and Cloud PBX telephony and a growing number of businesses are making the switch from analogue to cloud communication. In this post, we will take a closer look at how businesses can benefit from cloud communication systems and the different options that are available.
What Exactly are Business Communication Systems?
The term business communication systems cover a wide range of services and technologies that businesses use to facilitate internal and external communication. This includes analogue technologies like landlines, ADSL, and ISDN as well as modern business communication systems such as VoIP telephony, instant messaging platforms, and video conferencing tools.
The Importance of Upgrading Telecommunications Systems Regularly
Analogue telephone lines have been the mainstay of business communications for a long time, but analogue technology has now become outdated and expensive to install and maintain. In addition, when compared with VoIP telephony, analogue systems lack the functionality that modern businesses need. As VoIP systems become more affordable, more companies are deciding to make the switch to digital business communication systems.
The result is that analogue systems are slowly being phased out and replaced with cloud communications systems. As such, any business that wishes to keep up with its competitors will have to investigate modernising its communications infrastructure and switching to new communications technology such as VoIP and unified communications.
VoIP Explained in a Nutshell
VoIP Phone System
VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is a technology that makes it possible to place telephone calls via the internet. VoIP technology converts audio into data packets that can be sent and received in a similar way to any other data. In contrast, analogue systems rely on sending audio from point A to B in the form of electrical impulses. There are several advantages to using VoIP as opposed analogue systems, including:
Lower Call Rates: VoIP calls are up to 70% cheaper than analogue calls.
Shared Infrastructure: VoIP telephony makes use of your existing internet connection which eliminates the need for separate data and telephone communications networks, resulting in lower costs.
Highly Flexible: VoIP telephony can adapt to the unique requirements of most businesses which is essential in today’s fast-changing business landscape.
Secure: VoIP telephony is very secure and reliable.
What Does a VoIP System Cost?
The exact costs related to switching to VoIP telephony are dependent on the size and nature of your business. In almost all cases both the upfront and monthly costs related to switching to VoIP telephony are lower than comparative analogue systems.
VoIP costs can be divided into two groups, namely start-up costs and running or monthly costs.
Equipment / Start-Up Costs
VoIP systems are available in two main varieties and the upfront costs differ based on the chosen model:
On-Site VoIP Telephony: This system requires an on-site server to manage calls which increases the upfront costs. In addition to this, it can be more labour intensive to deploy an on-site VoIP solution, and on-site phone systems do require regular monitoring and maintenance. Although the initial costs in this scenario are higher, you are in full control of your telephony infrastructure.
Cloud-Based VoIP Telephony: It is also possible to purchase VoIP telephony as a service. This option significantly reduces the upfront capital expenditure since no server is required to use the system. Cloud-based systems also tend to be more flexible and are quicker to deploy. In addition, maintenance of the server and VoIP infrastructure is the responsibility of the service provider which further reduces costs.
Both hosted and cloud-based VoIP systems don’t require end-user infrastructure such as handsets or headsets to work as there are softphones and mobiles apps available and the cost for this differs based on the number of devices needed. It is important to note that computers and VoIP phones can use the same network connection which significantly reduces the installation costs and future maintenance costs.
VoIP: A Flexible Solution for Modern Businesses
The business landscape can change very quickly, and it is important for businesses to adapt to changes as they happen. For example, the recent surge in remote working meant that businesses had to find creative ways to provide employees with the infrastructure to do their work outside of the office. VoIP systems enable employees to work remotely from anywhere with softphones and mobile apps,
One of the biggest advantages of using VoIP telephony is number or extension portability. This allows staff to change desks, offices, or even locations without needing to change their telephone extensions.
Unified Communications in Business
Although the telephone and voice calls remain one of the most important forms of business communication, it is no longer the undisputed king of business communication systems. Instead, unified communications have become the preferred communication method for many modern enterprises.
What are Unified Communications?
Unified communications refer to all the different communications systems that companies use daily. Unified communications include:
Unified communications facilitate more effective communication by creating harmony between the different modes of communication in a business. Furthermore, unified communication makes it possible for clients to communicate with your business in the way that best suits them which goes a long way to building long-lasting relationships with your clients. Unified communications can also help businesses to save costs by incorporating less expensive communication methods into the business.
Choosing the Best Business Communication System for Your Business
No two businesses are alike, and no two businesses have the exact same communication needs. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you analyse your communication needs to find the best solutions for your business. Consider the following when choosing your next business communication system:
Cost Savings: Saving costs and maximising profits are important in any business. By switching to VoIP telephony, you can enjoy significant savings on both equipment expenditure and monthly telephone services.
Adaptability: Make sure that you look for a futureproof business communication system that will be able to adapt and grow with your company.
Ease of use: A good business communication system should be simple and effective. Overly complicated systems can quickly end up being underused.
Integration: Unified communications is the future of business communication systems so make sure that the VoIP system you invest in can work alongside the rest of your ICT infrastructure.
Finding the right communications system for your business may sound like a challenge but it does not have to be. In many cases, it might be wise to partner with a well-established communication service provider that can offer guidance and assist you in choosing the right system for your needs.
Business communication has come a long way since the introduction of the first telephone and modern business communications systems have made it easier than ever before for businesses to connect with customers and staff on a global level. Communication is a key part of the operations of every business and as such it is important for every business that wants to stay at the top of its game to continually invest in the best possible unified communications technology.
CALL US NOW
At Conversation Piece, we specialise in VoIP and unified communications technology and we combine this with a clear understanding of the communication needs of Irish businesses. We are proud to be the leading VoIP provider in Ireland. Call us today for expert advice on streamlining your business phone systems and communications. We will make sure that you remain at the forefront of technology.
An article in The Irish Times, dated January 22nd, 2020 stated that Irish companies are struggling to comply fully with GDPR. Some 62% of organisations stated that regulation placed an excessive administrative burden on them.
Failure to comply with regulatory requirements is liable to a maximum fine of €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover whichever is greater for infringements
GDPR applies to any business that collects stores and processes the personal data of individuals this includes call recordings. Notable companies have also endured GDPR data protection breaches fines during the last 2 years, including household names in the UK and EU.
Photo via Irish Times
Retell and Conversation Piece have worked together to develop a compliant Call Recording Solution for cloud communications which offer the following safeguards.
Fully GDPR and MiFID compliant
Security – calls are recorded using AES 256 Encryption.
Disaster recovery – recordings are also stored off the platform.
Legal requirements – recordings can be stored for 5 years or longer if required.
Staff training- calls can be downloaded and replayed as required.
This practical application is available now, on the Conversation Piece platform, it ensures that companies are operating at 100% GDPR and MiFID compliance every business can benefit: Health, Legal, Financial Services, Insurance Industry and any organisation that have access to or holds confidential information as part of its business.
“Our relationship with Retell has now enabled us to offer cutting edge technology to our ever-expanding communication portfolio and we look forward to helping more companies reach compliance during 2021.”
James Dunne (Conversation Piece Managing Director)
The result is a fully operational and secure cloud communication platform that is 100% GDPR and MiFID compliant allowing clients who have regulations to consider having one less business challenge.
Users of the cloud communication platform are assured recording are compliant, encrypted and stored securely for as long as required. Access to these recordings if required is easily available.
“We have worked with Conversation Piece for many years delivering call recording and analytics services to their clients for premise-based solutions. We are delighted to continue this relationship into the cloud and with new and innovative solutions to follow in 2021”.
Mike Traynor (Retell Business Manager Ireland)
For further information on cloud or premise based compliant call recording for small, medium, or large organisations speak to Conversation Piece. We are Ireland leading provider of Office Phone Systems & VoIP Solutions
Why Is VoIP good for start-ups? Surprisingly, many entrepreneurs are still not familiar with VoIP technology so it is a good idea to define what exactly a VoIP Phone System entails. The acronym stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. VoIP is essentially software that converts the sound of your voice into data packets that can be sent across the internet to the receiver where the software decodes the data and converts it back into sound so that the receiver can hear your words.
The concept is very similar to the way in which analogue telephone systems function, except signals are sent in the form of data packets instead of electrical impulses. Interestingly, the original concept of VoIP services originated when software developers were looking for a way to communicate easier. Little did they know that this technology would become one of the most important productivity tools for modern businesses.
The development of VoIP technology
VoIP was originally developed with one simple goal: make communication easier and more affordable for people. While the existing analogue telephony network was well established and reliable, it was expensive to use. Long-distance telephone calls were especially costly and VoIP providers were been put forward as a viable alternative to facilitate cheaper international communications.
However, at this point, VoIP was still very different from traditional telephone systems because it worked as software and required external peripherals to be used. After so many years of using the familiar analogue telephone systems, many were still asking why use VoIP for business?The answer lies in the development of the VoIP software.
Development of VoIP Software
In the ensuing years, VoIP phone systems have developed to become more like traditional analogue systems. Leading manufacturers have introduced telephones that look and function like analogue phones but use VoIP instead of a copper cable to facilitate communication.
In addition to these systems, there are also several VoIP applications that can be installed on smartphones to make it possible to reach people on their “landlines” even when they are out of their office, which is an important resource for businesses to facilitate remote workers.
Replacing Analogue Telephones
Today’s VoIP technology has developed to replace traditional analogue systems and is definitely more cost-efficient. Cloud PBX phone systems have made it possible to completely replace switchboard infrastructure with a VoIP system that offers full functionality. An added advantage is their flexibility and ease of installation.
Since traditional analogue phone systems require their own dedicated connections to operate, the costs are often much higher. Using a VoIP telecommunications solutions, like those offered by Unify Phone Systems, allows both computers and telephones to use one single connection point, resulting in large reductions in infrastructure expense.
Why is VoIP good for start-ups?
VoIP offers several advantages for both small and large start-ups. The biggest advantage is the reduced operational costs associated with VoIP systems and this benefit is usually seen most clearly in the lower cost of international calls.
The initial installation cost for VoIP systems is also lower than those associated with a comparable analogue system, as is the maintenance costs. VoIP systems also offer greater flexibility for start-ups as they can be used with a variety of peripherals that range from a computer and headset to smartphones. Another important consideration is the ease with which VoIP systems can be expanded to accommodate the need for growing companies.
How is VoIP good for remote working?
VoIP systems enable businesses to easily connect employees to a cloud PBX system. This means that telephone extensions can be placed wherever there is an available internet connection without the need to install any additional equipment.
In the age of remote working, this makes it possible for employers to allow employees to work remotely with minimal effort and without incurring vast costs. Cloud PBX technology is especially useful for companies that rely heavily on telecommunications.
Is VoIP technology reliable?
It is essential to businesses that VoIP phone systems are reliable. The most important factor regarding your VoIP system being reliable is the quality of your internet connection. In order for businesses to experience a seamless VoIP experience, it is important to ensure that a reliable ISP is used and that the internet connection is fast and stable at all times.
Another question that pops up frequently is whether VoIP connections are safe and secure. VoIP is very safe but as is the case for all technology, it is important to take the necessary steps to secure your internet connection.
Do VoIP systems require maintenance?
Yes, VoIP systems do require maintenance. The level required is very low and since VoIP systems run via the internet, maintenance often means a simple software update needs to be installed. Maintenance can be done remotely from a centralised server, which is another factor in the reduced costs of a VoIP system.
When all the benefits and advantages of using a modern VoIP and cloud PBX system are taken into account, VoIP is definitely an excellent tool for start-ups of all sizes. The flexibility and cost savings offered by VoIP solutions are the main drivers behind the VoIP revolution and more companies are choosing to go digital daily.
At Conversation Piece, we supply the highest quality VoIP technology available in the Irish Market. We work with Irish businesses to streamline their internal and external communication processes. Our unique experience and expertise ensures your business will be at the forefront of technology. Call today for advice from our VoIP experts.
Why use VoIP for business? Businesses can enjoy the convenience of VoIP and drastically lower costs by making the switch.Speaking over the telephone remains one of the best ways to create rapport with valued customers and clients. Moreover, despite the growing popularity of Chatbots, speaking with a real person is simply far more personal and valuable.
Using VoIP For Remote Working
The pandemic has drastically impacted how we carry out daily business operations as most employees have been forced to work from home.VoIP is the ideal solution to keep your workforce connected, wherever they are located. VoIP enables businesses to assign soft phones or mobile apps to employees at home and provide them with the full range of features as though they were in the office.
With the ability to attach documents, files, conduct virtual meetings and conferences, IVR systems, and general multi-tasking capabilities with unified communications, all businesses stand to benefit from VoIP. Switching business communications to VoIP increases efficiency and saves time which can be better allocated to other parts of the organisation, thereby potentially increasing overall output and performance as a result.
Cut Costs & Save Money
Long-distance calling charges, international fees, and high price-per-minute rates of landline technology simply don’t have to be an issuefor modern businesses. Competitively priced VoIP packages that operate over your internet connection essentially eliminate all these expensive features and allow users to communicate for farlower prices.
Reduced costis a huge advantage of IP phone systems.Cost isa major factor for businesses, especially large enterprises handling high call volumes and dealing with international clientele. By choosing VoIP as your communication system, you can say goodbye to hefty phone bills.Generally, you can expect to save up to 70-80 per cent when switching from conventional telephone systems to VoIP software.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of internet telephony is its functionality and the flexibility to customise packages that are appropriate for your business conditions, rather than a one-size-fits-all solution.Specific features of VoIP include:
Voicemail to E-Mail
Remote and Home Workers
Audio and Video Conferencing
Safe and secure VoIP calls for business
Our VoIP packages at Conversation Piece offer features that make business communications much easier and add flexibility. The advantages of Voice over Internet Protocol, when it comes to features, simply cannot be matched by traditional landlines.
All you need is an internet connection to accessVoIP telephony. Amongst the benefits of VoIP, portability stands out as being extremely portable thanks to the widespread availability of high-speed internet in Ireland and abroad.Your workforce can handle call volumeswhether they’re in the office or working from home (even if home is abroad).
Portability is an importantfactor for businesseswith an increasingly large workforce going remote. No need to reassign telephone numbers to home addresses with VoIP; simply assign an existing business number in a matter of minutes.
Easy to Install & Maintain
The advantage of internet telephony and VoIP is that your business premises and each individual telephone is no longer reliant on the old infrastructure of copper wires, but instead on an existing internet connection. This means that it’s relatively easy to have a secure, hosted PBX system and/or SIP trunk installed.
Furthermore, it’s just as simple to troubleshoot and maintain VoIP communications networks since the work can often be carried out remotely. If you’re wondering ‘why use VoIP for business’, the ease of installation and maintenance is a huge advantage for businesses.
This also translates to ease of setup for remote workers, since they’re no longer reliant on having new numbers assigned at home addresses, which can be a frustrating endeavour as well as confusing for clients. Easily transfer existing telephone numbers to remote workers and they will be able to respond to clients no matter their location.
Companies that Use VoIP
Since 2005, more VoIP lines have been installed worldwide than traditional landlines. By 2025 (and probably sooner), it is predicted that internet-based communications technology would largely supersede the old-fashioned ‘copper wires’ of conventional phone lines.So far, this has already come to pass.
As more and more companies adopt VoIP for business telephony and all-in-one communications, it is expected that it will eventually completely replace conventional lines and become the norm in Ireland and elsewhere.Since VoIP is scalable, it is suitable for every type of business, all the way from start-upsup to large corporations.
Why Use VoIP for Business?
Easy scalability is another reason to use VoIP for your business. The scalability of VoIP solutions meansyour business operations grow, adding new phone lines and updating existing systems is easy and simple. Since VoIP can handle multiple calls simultaneously, there’s no need to adjust infrastructure and IT asset requirements aside from perhaps purchasing a few new handsets.
Conversation Piece offers comprehensive VoIP telephony packages at competitive prices.
Quality VoIP Solutions from Conversation Piece
For superior B2B communications for small, mediumand large enterprises, get in touch with Conversation Piece, your leading VoIP provider in Ireland.
Explore our VoIP packages and cloud-based PBX systems and experience quality communications at competitive prices.
Our team of VoIP experts can provide your business with a free quote and walk you through our products to determine which package is best for your business needs.
Are you looking at upgrading your Phone System and considering moving to IP Phone Solutions for small business? Does your current phone system have any features apart from call handling and other basic features like Hold, Transfer etc.?
You may not have asked yourself this question, when looking at replacing your phone system but there is a lot more to consider with the availability of IP and VoIP Phone System Solutions even if you’re just looking to update your desk phones. Costs and reliability are probably first and foremost in your mind and we will discuss the advantages and features below of moving to an IP Phone Solution for Small Business as well the cost savings on calls and line rental.
These phone systems will enable unified communications (UC) features, such as conferencing, voicemail to email, softphones and mobile apps which enable you to work remotely from anywhere once you have your mobile phone or Laptop and many more features that will benefit your business.
Why get IP Phone Solutions for small business?
Business IP Phone systems offer HD voice calls, audio conferencing, scale up as your business grows, voicemail to email, auto-attendant, call analytics and other features and functionality your business needs to keep up with larger enterprise competitors.
IP Phone System Solutions enable you to deploy SIP Trunks or VoIP which allows you place your calls over an internet connection. This connection can be shared with your IT or we can supply a dedicated connection for your IP Phone System. This allows you cancel down your expensive ISDN or PSTN line rental while also reducing your call rate within Ireland and internationally saving you up to 70% on your phone bill.
How your business can benefit from a IP Phone Solution VoIP
Business IP systems are becoming the No 1 solution for smaller businesses. Choosing the best VoIP Provider for small business can go a long way towards making your company competitive. Conversation Piece uses the latest Cloud Technology from the enterprise sector at a price that SMEs can afford and use.
The advantages of an IP Phone Solution
There are a lot of advantages to moving to an IP based phone system and the top features and reasons to move today are listed today.
STANDARD PBX VS. CLOUD PBX
Expensive hardware setup & maintenance cost
Expensive call cost and line rental charges (especially international calls)
Inflexible (harder to accommodate extra lines and handsets for a growing business)
Most modern customer services solutions cannot be applied
Low initial setup and equipment cost
Much lower call costs as calls are made using VoIP and there is no need for expensive line rentals.
Very flexible (it is super easy to add or remove extra lines and phones)
Plenty of extra features that can be easily added (e.g. Voicemail to E-mail)
Cost benefits of IP Phone Solutions For Small Business
IP systems come at a lot lower cost than traditional Phone system set up. IP based systems eliminate the need to pay up-front for all the hardware including the box on the wall, cards etc and annual maintenance fees. With an IP based phone system you pay per user and for your calls.
With IP phone solutions for small business, you do not need to be tied down to your mainline any longer. Your published telephone number can terminate calls in just about any location you choose on a softphone or mobile app. This means that you can work remotely without your clients knowing that their call has been routed digitally in a different way from usual. Your head office might be forced to close for some reason and, with VoIP, you can instantaneously send calls to a satellite office or to a team of home workers. Not only does this make working in Ireland more flexible but it also means that you can incorporate workers in locations around the world and start to offer services to your customers in every time zone.
If your business is expanding by leaps and bounds because of an increase in both customers and staff, upgrading is easy. If an employee reduces or increases, no complicated changes are required. There are no limitations to the number of calls that can be handled by a IP Phone System. We simply update your software for you. If you wish to augment your phone systems with additional services and features, we can easily add these enhancements for you, with no interruptions.
IP Phone System are feature rich and will include Auto-attendant/IVR, Music on Hold, Voicemail to email, Mobile and Soft Phones for your remote workers and many more.
Be sure to give our team a call with any questions. We have a very experienced team and have been serving businesses across Ireland for 40 years with our telephony services. We are proud to be Ireland’s leading VoIP Phone System provider.
A VoIP Conference Phone is an important part of business communications, especially at this time as more staff members and customers are working remotely or from home.
As companies offer services to customers who are located nationally and internationally, hire remote employees and open new locations, a VoIP Conference Phone allows teams to stay connected on a regular basis through voice and video. Good communication with customers and employees is crucial to any businesses success. We have put together below the best VoIP conference phones and Video for single home users up to large boardrooms and conferences with multiple parties using your favourite collaboration apps like Unify Circuit, Avaya Teams, Google Team, Skype for business and much more.
VoIP Conference Phone: Single User for Home/Remote Worker
More and more people are working remotely or from home and need to be in contact with other team members or customers and need quality audio from whatever location they are calling from. Our first recommendation is below:
The Konftel Ego is a personal speakerphone. It’s compact and portable and fits easily in your work bag, wherever you’re going. Despite its size, the Konftel Ego delivers crystal-clear sound thanks to our unique OmniSound® audio technology.
Compatible with Laptop, mobile or Skype for Business
Small and portable
Meeting size: up to 6 people
OmniSound® with HD audio
The Konftel Ego is a personal speakerphone. It’s compact and portable and fits easily in your work bag, wherever you’re going. Despite its size, the Konftel Ego delivers crystal-clear sound thanks to our unique OmniSound® audio technology.
The speakerphone works seamlessly with Panasonic, Unify, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, Zoom, Avaya IX Workplace and many other collaborative tools. It connects easily to a computer via USB or to a tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth®. After the meeting, you can then fill the room with your favourite music.
Konftel C20Ego is the perfect video collaboration solution for any member of staff working from home or remotely.
You can combine the Konftel Cam20 4K conference camera and your Konftel Ego speakerphone to create a video conference unit that can be set up anywhere with HD Audio and 4K video quality. The Konftel Hub brings everything together into one convenient kit so a single USB cable is all you need to connect the camera, the Ego unit and your collaboration app on your laptop.
Konftel C20Ego is ready for apps and services we use to communicate and collaborate via laptops and PCs – such as Microsoft Teams, Skype, Cisco Webex, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Avaya IX Workplace and Unify Circuit. Don’t compromise on audio quality when your teamwork goes “live” in an online meeting.
VoIP Conference Phone: Team Meetings and Collaboration for Large Teams
Meeting size: up to 20 people
Wired or wireless DECT
Base station: IP or analogue
Battery enables 60 hours of call time
Hybrid: combine meeting app and phone calls
Expand Unit with additional microphones
The wireless VoIP Conference PhoneKonftel 300 series allows your team to hold meetings wherever is convenient, you can choose from wired or wireless connection. The wireless DECT technology is both reliable and secure. Choose a base station to suit your company’s telephony environment, SIP or analogue connection.
Top Audio Quality VoIP Conference Phones
Give your conference calls the full HD voice and sound quality that will be a huge upgrade from your standard desk phone loud speaker. Calls flow naturally and will be perfect for staff meetings or closing deals with customers. Add expansion microphones and you can have conference calls with up to 20 people in your office or hotel boardroom.
The Konftel 300Wx supports wireless HD calls and comes with our patented OmniSound® audio technology. Connect the unit to IP telephony via the Konftel IP DECT 10 for a combination of freedom and first-rate audio quality. Omnisound
A USB port ENABLES the Konftel 300 series conference phones ready for apps and services we use to communicate and collaborate via laptops and PCs – such as Microsoft Teams, Skype, Cisco Webex, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Avaya IX Workplace and Unify Circuit. Don’t compromise on audio quality when your teamwork goes “live” in an online meeting.
Konftel C50300 Hybrid brings a range of premium video collaboration solutions that are suitable for medium and large meeting rooms, combining the Konftel Cam50 PTZ conference camera and your Konftel 300 series conference unit. The Konftel Hub brings the whole kit together and a single USB cable is all you need to connect the camera, the conference phone and the room’s screen to the collaboration app on your laptop. The hybrid concept also allows you addparticipants from a regular phone calls.
Be sure to give our team a call with any questions. We have very experienced team and have been serving businesses across Ireland for 40 years with our telephony services. We are proud to be Ireland’s leading VoIP Phone System provider.
The Conversation Piece SIP Trunk service is a natural outgrowth of our VoIP system. Known for excellence in telecommunication packages throughout Ireland, we, at Conversation Piece, are able to offer you state-of-the-art packages in IP phone systems, VoIP services, and Hosted PBX systems— just to name a few of our services. With our 40+ years of experience in voice and data communications, we have grown with the industry, only adding to our experience while the field advances exponentially.
No installation is too small or too large for us. Our years of experience and skills upgrading permits us to appreciate your corporate needs, whether your business is a large enterprise or a small, but growing concern. Our satisfied clients include the Noel Group, B&J Rochford, and Irish Mainport Holdings. Our extensive fleet of vehicles takes us all over Ireland, as our services are not limited to Cork and Dublin. “Flexible” is our middle name, and that applies to our services, as well as our commitment to satisfying our customers, wherever they are in Ireland.
How does SIP Trunking work?
A Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunk uses the Internet to make phone calls that access the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). SIP creates the start and end points of a call, and manages the data by packet-switching between the two points. The Session Initiation Protocol is based on an architecture that begins with your business phone system, is carried partially by your internal telecommunications infrastructure, and partially by your Trunk service provider. It then ends with the phone system you are calling. Depending on the type of telephony you are using, there may also be various gateways within the architectural design. Don’t worry. You will not need to pass an exam on numerous SIP and VoIP acronyms! Our staff will explain all the options pertaining to your particular phone setup, and describe how each option can assist the growth of your company. SIP Trunking is a product, and as such, it comes with a variety of features. Not all SIPs look the same.
The cost-saving benefits of SIP Trunks
One of the main benefits of Session Initiation Protocol Trunking for your business is the savings in the cost of your business telecommunications. Although, depending on the cost of your infrastructure, you may sustain an initial outlay, the long-term cost benefits are numerous.
Other Benefits of a SIP infrastructure from Conversation Piece:
You can throw away your costly conventional telephony system that doesn’t cope very well with the rise in call traffic weaving its way through today’s business world. When you replace your Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and its 24-channel capacity per line Primary Rate Interfaces (PRIs), with an IP trunk, you’ll open up many more lines at lower costs, and with superior sound quality. As well, there’s no need to update cumbersome hardware. Software-driven telecommunications updates automatically.
SIP brings you more than Voice. It uses VoIP, but because it primes the start and end points of a connection, and controls the data along the connection, SIP brings you more. Together with voice, other forms of data, such as file transfer, Instant Messaging, and video, are also manageable on a SIP Trunk.
Your SIP phone number is transportable. Take it with you to your travel meetings all over the world. Avoid the costs of international phone calls. You can call other SIP numbers or standard PSTN telephone numbers. Let Conversation Piece help you save on long-distance phone calls. This is particularly beneficial for large undertakings whose business transactions depend heavily on long-distance conversations.
SIP provides you with feature-rich options that you are familiar with from your PSTN networks. Choose items such as call forwarding, call waiting, and call barring. Additional features, such as Email to Voice are now also available to you with your IP phone solution.You can get it all from Conversation Piece! We offer Smart hybrid solutions, directly available due to our close relationship with Panasonic Phone Systems Ireland. These systems are designed for SMBs (small and medium businesses), are easily expandable for large enterprises, and support both legacy PRI and IP phone set-ups.
The difference between Hosted PBX and SIP Trunking
The main visible difference between SIP and Hosted PBX is that SIP can transmit voice, data, email, files, and video in packet-switching technology. Hosted PBX is limited to voice data. Both replace PSTN wiring infrastructures with the Internet; however, SIP uses your internal, existing phone system, and an Internet Provider serves the Cloud for Hosted PBX. Conversation Piece is the top Cloud phone system provider in Ireland, and we are happy to discuss the differences and similarities between SIP and Hosted PBX Cloud options with you.
Calculating how many SIP Trunks your company needs
You can use an online calculator to determine the number and bandwidth of your Trunks, but do make sure that you factor in the nature of your business. Your Grade of Service (GoS) that calculates how many times a caller reached your company successfully, needs to be high if, for example, your business is totally administered and defined by a telephone system. In general, bear in mind that the more employees you hire, the less trunks you will need per number of people. This is because the higher the number of employees, the lower the chance that a larger percentage of them will need the phone concurrently.
SIP Trunk Pricing
Pricing varies with choices you make, and the features you add to your system. We understand our clients’ requirements by talking to you, and by making sure we study your existing systems. Together we can design a plan that works for your business. Pricing also varies with the type of subscription you select. Flat fee options are available, as well as per-minute pricing. You can choose between limited trunking that provides you with telephone networks, or unlimited Trunking that encompasses a broader Unified Communications system. SIP allows the transmission of video, so if you take advantage of this capability, for example, Session Initiation Protocol Trunking can turn out to be very cost-efficient for you.
How did SIP Trunking develop?
In days gone by you could only dial in to your local telephone exchange. To reach someone in a different city or country, or even someone not that far away, but in a different telephone exchange, you had to make a trunk call via a human operator. He plugged you in from the central exchange, using an available trunk line, if there was one available! Compare this to a SIP Trunk, whose lines are not physical, but which do connect you from a central “operator”, your Internet Service Provider, supplying voice on digital Trunk lines. One digital Trunk holds multiple virtual phone lines. At this point, any other similarities between these two types of Trunks fall by the wayside.
During the 1970’s and 1980’s, computer networks made their entrances, and much of the testing of telecommunications took place within networks in university graduate test laboratories. All you needed was more than one network, and a microphone. Well, it wasn’t quite that simple, but multiple networks, including networks contained within networks, spelled the beginnings of the Internet as we know it today. Everything begins with the Physical Layer, and this is where initial testing took place. Add the Internet Protocol (IP) to fibre optics for faster transmissions, send analogue data in digital packets, and we can see how SIP Trunking developed. We also need to thank Claude E. Shannon for his vision, and his mathematical model of analogue to digital to analogue communications.
How many concurrent calls can a SIP trunk handle?
There is no one correct answer. It depends on the size of your company, your bandwidth, and the nature of your business, as well as the number of voice conversations that typically occur concurrently at any given period during work hours.
What is the difference between SIP and VoIP?
SIP and VoIP are both protocols. SIP adds a layer on top of VoIP by adding other types of data to the Voice data. It enables the transfer of voice, video, files, and more, using IP packet-switching.
What is the difference between a SIP line and a SIP channel?
There is no difference. A SIP Trunk can hold many SIP lines, which are the virtual connection channels between two ends of a telephone conversation.
Can my high-speed Internet connection be used with SIP Trunking?
Yes. In fact, it’s your Internet connection that enables SIP. It replaces legacy phone networks, but you can still connect your existing phones if they are SIP-compatible. High speed Internet is ideal because your Internet will need to handle the extra load of your SIP channels.
Let’s have a conversation about your current phone system
You don’t want to part with your older, legacy phone infrastructure? SIP Trunks are easily installed using modern phone systems. However, if you wish to hold on to your existing PBX system, let Conversation Piece convert it for you. Our SIP installations can add VoIP to any traditional phone exchange within your premises. You can then benefit from SIP features that allow you to lower the costs of your telecommunications network. Do you wish to revamp the apps for your Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, or set up a Call Centre? Your business requirements may suit a customised Unified Communications system that we can design for your company. Our experienced staff is waiting to answer your questions, and discuss your options. We are happy to help.
In these uncertain times, Businesses need to keep staff working and mobilised through remote working and you need your telecommunications to work as if you where in the office.
Customers need to be able to contact your business and have up to date information on your opening hours, service and access to speak to a member of staff. Your employees need the technology to work from home and have access to all the features they are used to having when based in the office.
How your Phone System can help your Business during Covid 19
Auto-Attendant (or automated attendant) is a term commonly used in telephony to describe a voice menu system that allows callers to be transferred to an extension without going through a telephone operator or receptionist. The auto-attendant is also known as a digital receptionist. You can create custom menus with multiple greetings.
Per Extension Number or Staff Member
A soft phone is an application you install on your PC, Laptop or tablet. This application replicates the features of your desk phone and make and receive external and internal calls. You will have the ability to function exactly the same way as you would i the office on your desk phone with ring groups, transfer, hold, voicemail and many more features.
A mobile App with act as your extension number off the phone system giving you the ability to work from home or anywhere on the move. You will be able to make and receive calls, hold and transfer. The app will also give you the ability to be part of any ring groups and over flows during busy times.
Your Phone System can help your business and staff to operate outside the office ans also give customers access to information and your employees for business continuity.
Were IVR Phone Systems on Alexander Graham Bell’s radar when he called Mr. Watson to “come here”? Most likely he never entertained the idea. But we did! Conversation Piece has been supplying SMEs and very large enterprises with telecommunications solutions for more than 40 years. Since the beginning, we have been players in advanced telephony systems, and have been forerunners in Ireland in the fields of VoIP, Cloud PBX, and Hosted PBX phone systems.
Interactive Voice Response, is not new. Since the early 1970’s, it has been utilised by businesses to save time transferring telephone calls to the correct employee. Always ahead of the game, Conversation Piece has led the way in Ireland with state-of-the-art voice and data services, and have brought IVR technology to a new level. We have the experience and the expertise to provide our customers with leading-edge solutions, yet we take note of our clients’ special business requirements, and customise the most appropriate services to suit each enterprise.
What is Interactive Voice Response?
An Interactive Voice Response system is based on a call flow chart/tree system of recorded voice menus that respond to touch-tone activation from the caller’s phone. The system works with Dual Tone Multiple Frequency (DTMF) telephony systems. It lets a customer find the correct department in your business by navigating the automated telephony system that systematically filters the caller’s choices, and finds the required agent. Hardware, software, apps, and various protocols all play a roll in the workings of the phone system.
An Automated Telephony System for the 21st century
Interactive Voice Response technology is moving away from entertaining the public with annoying music while on hold. Likewise, “Press 2 for a Sales Representative”, and a list of numerous hard-to-remember choices, will soon be a thing of the past. Instead, callers are increasingly offered options that make sense to them. The IVR medium is no longer restricted to DTMF numbered options, but now also incorporates other technologies and software, such as voice recognition, AI, and Interactive Voice Response systems for call centres, no matter how small or large your enterprise may be. Machine learning technology will soon become the norm, allowing the system to sift through basic enquiries using Natural Language Processing, and letting only the more complicated queries reach the agents. Simply tap away through the menus on your mobile phone.
Benefits of Interactive Voice Response
There have always been many advantages for businesses using these systems. With the latest advances in technology, benefits are on the rise. The following are just a few reasons for considering an IVR phone system:
Efficiency: B2B communications are global. The world of business never stands still. Clients that require a service such as support, no longer find recordings of the company’s business hours to be acceptable. They need immediate responses to their calls. If well-designed, an IVR phone system covers all bases by being there for your clients, 24 hours a day.
Automation: It can be designed to represent the degree of automation that works for your enterprise, whether fully automatic, semi-automatic or a combination of various telecommunication systems.
Call-handling: It can cope with high-traffic call-handling, especially when the system is well-designed for the prevention of long customer waiting periods.
Keeping track: The ability to collect statistics from calls is not always considered when looking into a telephony system. However, tracking can provide you with leads, inform you about heavy traffic periods, and give you visibility into the types of calls your system is fielding.
Time and money: The savings of both time and expenses rank high in their importance as a benefits. The number of transferred calls can be reduced by letting the software act as an electronic “FAQ”. If personal data is required, this can be collected by the IVR program, and made immediately accessible to the agent when the call is finally transferred to him. This kind of time-saving is invaluable to your business. Unified Communications can be a major player in savings for both you and your customers.
Personalised menus: They can be as flexible as you wish. Menus can consist of multiple-language options, for example, making customers feel most comfortable in their mother tongues, and assisting them to navigate their routes through the system.
Benefits of working with Conversation Piece
Although IVR systems have been successfully connecting consumers and businesses for decades, the system has also generated complaints over the years, especially if waiting times are long, or the correct party is not found. The solution to eliminating problems like these is professional design.
When it comes to professional design practices, you’re in good hands at Conversation Piece. Here’s why:
Over 5000 companies across Ireland have decided they can trust Conversation Piece. Our solutions cover a broad spectrum of verticals, including IT, the public sector, and manufacturing. Our clients include the likes of Clonmel Healthcare, Crowleys DFK, and Cash & Carry Kitchens. We also use top-of-the line equipment, and are particularly proud of our association with Panasonic Phone Systems, Ireland.
Owner, Jim Dunne, as well as members of his family, never cease to learn more about the field of telecommunications. They are constantly updating their skills and familiarising themselves with the latest developments in this ever-changing arena.
We listen and we are flexible. We can develop customised solutions for your business, making sure that you get what works well for you.
Aside from our capable full-time employees, we have excellent working relationships with a score of professionals on contract, who will work with us on projects that require specialty training outside of our arena. This gives our solutions an unbeatable amount of scope.
Our fleet of vehicles takes us all over Ireland, so our projects are not restricted to our main locations in Cork City and Dublin.
Our solutions are very scalable. We design systems for very large-scale enterprises, medium and small businesses, and can even scale down to a one-man-show. As your company grows, we can scale the capabilities of your system. Scalability and intelligent solutions are the keys to the professional presence of your business, no matter how large or small it may be.
Types of IVR systems
IVR solutions don’t all work the same way. At Conversation Piece, we ensure that your IVR package will suit your requirements. However, IVR systems can be defined in a number of ways that are not mutually exclusive. As well, the telephony can consist of various intermixed components, such as PBX, Sip Trunks, the Cloud, and VoIP.
Inbound and Outbound IVR
Inbound IVR refers to the response the caller receives when dialing one of your company phone numbers. This response may begin with a general welcome message, which is followed by menu routing options.
Outbound IVR refers to a message your company sends out to a list of phone numbers. This can take the form of advertising and promotions, or may be a public message with regards to changes in policies.
Visual IVR uses the screen of your client’s mobile phone to provide him with menu options for navigating your IVR phone system.
Hosted IVR is IVR that is hosted on the Cloud, as opposed to the PBX equipment inside your premises. However, IVR is often referred to as Hosted IVR, and Cloud supported IVR is then referred to as Cloud-Hosted IVR. Either way, you can choose between a system that is cloud-based or PBX-based. Both systems will provide the functionality and apps that work with IVR.
Many PBX IVR solutions can work with VoIP. (Note that Skype is an exception.) Some PBX systems support VoIP, in any case. As Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is the communication protocol for VoIP, adding a SIP Trunk means that your business will be able to handle more than 23 calls at any one time. The SIP IVR will work with VoIP, and the IVR can also communicate with other SIP devices.
What does IVR stand for?
Interactive Voice Response.
What is IVR used for?
IVR phone systems are used for banking, billing, shopping, booking appointments, B2B communications, travel plans, stock market activities, making reservations, ordering food, and much more.
What is an IVR menu?
An IVR menu is a branch of a navigation tree that forms the structure of the responsive part of an IVR telephony system. An IVR menu uses the structure of a flow chart, because it starts with an initial question, then works its way down, filtering options along the way. For example, if you reach the Diagnostic Testing Appointments of a hospital, the menu may provide options for you to choose from X-rays, ultrasound, or blood tests.
What is multi-level IVR?
Multi-level IVR incorporates a number of IVR paths within one larger system. This is different to single-level IVR, which may present a caller with one set of options, any of which will bring him to his destination. Multi-level IVR drills down to your final destination, by providing you with further options along the way, which are based on choices you make on each path.
What is SMART IVR?
SMART IVR will intuitively route the caller to the most appropriate team or agent. This will probably necessitate the use of multi-level IVR, so that SMART options can be presented to the caller while he navigates the system. This type of system requires very careful planning and design. It often also incorporates “personal” language styles, such as addressing the caller by his name, in order to encourage the caller and help him arrive at the correct destination.
Can IVR authenticate a caller like a live agent would?
Yes. Typically, a one- or two-part process ought to be sufficient. If authentication requires too many steps, this can turn a caller away from the IVR system.
Interested in a quote?
When a potential lead makes that first contact with your business by telephone, his first impression is the most important one, and can make the difference between conversion or not. IVR is a tool that can paint your SME or large enterprise with the mantle of professionalism.
Our team of experts at Conversation Piece are happy to answer any questions about our IVR options and any other telephony services we provide. There are a number of ways to reach us: by phone, email, or our contact page.
Ask for a quote now. We look forward to your call.
VoIP for Business – VoIP is an acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol, or in more common terms making your phone calls over a internet or broadband connection. VoIP can work along with your existing PSTN or ISDN lines but usually these lines would be replaced with a dedicated internet connection that will be connected to your phone system.
Why VoIP for Business and what are the Advantages
The main reason most businesses consider VoIP is the cost savings. VoIP calls National and Internationally are up to 60% cheaper compared to traditional landlines. When you add in you dont need your PSTN, ISDN or PRAs the savings dramatically increase and businesses can save 000’s every year.
All your existing phone numbers can be ported to VoIP with no changes or downtime. VoIP also gives you the added benefit of using phone numbers from any where in the world so your business can be based locally but have UK, US number etc operated locally from Ireland.
VoIP offers a lot more resilience than traditional phone lines because if there is an issue with your phone system or broadband the numbers can be diverted to another number or mobile in a matter of minutes. 4G or LTE backup is also available now where your phone system provider can install a 4g sim card as back up to your VoIP connection so your business will not be with phones.
In the modern business environment not everyone is desk based or office based, VoIP enables employees to work from anywhere because once they have a mobile phone or PC. This allows employees to be connected to the office and customers from anywhere at anytime.
Cloud based PBX and Features
VoIP also give you access to Cloud based phone system, applications and unified comms features including voice-mail to email, IVR, Mobile apps, Softphones and API Integration with CRMs. A number of providers also offer privately-managed network functionality on the cloud so your communications never travels on the public internet.
Scalability is another advantage of VoIP that make it an attractive proposition for any growing businesses. With VoIP if you want to increase the number of channels/lines for you business its only a matter of licensing as you need them, you dont have to wait for installation of traditional lines and the added cost of a monthly line rental.