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Hosted Telephone Systems (VOIP)

A telephone system that you don’t own, can’t see or even touch.  This is a telephone system in the Cloud and is controlled by you, from your browser.

Who is it for?

This really suits new set up companies, or companies that may grow quickly, and if they had a traditional system they would be continually adding to it, as they take on new staff.

It can also be ideal for companies with several offices, and staff that float between sites.

Other candidate customers are companies who set up temporary offices, and need the functionality of a traditional system, but don’t wish to purchase equipment for a short term office.

How does it work?

Your “system” sits in the cloud, usually in a data centre, the hardware is made up of multiple servers, these are all linked, so if one “falls over” the others “take over”.  Our service has not had any recorded hardware failures in over 4 years.

You access the service through the internet, and you control the service through a Browser.  You set up the features you need and how you want to use them.

Do I need any hardware?

Yes, and possibly no.

You can receive your calls, and make calls on your PC, however you will need some sort of microphone, and also speakers to listen to calls.

This could be a simple USP headphone and microphone similar to what you get with a mobile phone, or a USP handset.

Often though companies use an IP handset, this usually looks like a conventional business handset, and it plugs into a port on your network.

It had an IP address just like every other device on your network.

If you use an IP Handset it may need an electrical power source, or if you have a POE (power over Ethernet) switch, you could simply plug into this.

Drawbacks

This system is very bandwidth dependent; almost all the problems we have seen with this type of service are usually down to a poor quality internet service.

Occasionally we see people being very optimistic about the internet service the client receives, and setting the service for too many staff over a poor quality internet connection.

One single VOIP call typically uses 100KB/s, so if your upload speed regularly drops to 0.5MB/s / (5000 KB/s), at that point you could only make four or five calls at one time.

As long as there is plenty of bandwidth available, this service will be excellent and trouble free.

How much bandwidth do you need?

This will depend upon how many simultaneous calls you wish to make at any one time.

Typically companies need approximately 1 line to every 3 members of staff; however you need a “base” of four to six lines to start with.

If you have fibre broadband, and receive 2MB/s upload (not download), you could in theory make 20 simultaneous calls, however we normally advise to work at 50% of upload speed as it can fluctuate greatly.

Ideal solution

A company that has a dedicated internet circuit that can assign 2-4 meg of bandwidth for voice.  If this network can be set for QOS (quality of service), and COS (class of service), and the network is well managed, you can get a very effective voice system, for little financial outlay, that is easy to manage and highly reliable.

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