Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP is the transmission of voice and multimedia communications over the internet. IP Telephony is very similar to traditional telephony and is even somewhat backward compatible ad adaptive technology has been created to allow backward compatibility into traditional phone systems.
Packetized transmission and compression technology reduce overhead greatly compared to the cost of traditional phone networks and systems. VoIP has quickly become the industry standard for new phone system installations and upgrades and is currently the method of choice for corporate and unified communication systems worldwide.
More capacity and reliability at less cost – what to expect
Voice-over-IP technology increases overall capacity and reliability by enabling an organization to utilize existing and inexpensive internet services rather than relying on conventional local telephone trunk providers. VoIP “Trunks” or “Lines” are typically portable and more cost-effective as they do not require a local telecommunications company to maintain and provide the expensive equipment and labor needed to bring the service into the phone system.
Many of our customers are opting to have their phone systems hosted in a cloud environment or via a hybrid hosted configuration where minimal on-site equipment is in place for failover situations. Remotely-hosted solutions offer a unique set of advantages:
- Cloud Reliability – A PBX System hosted in a cloud environment is less suspectable to failure. Managing on-site equipment and relying on local power grids and internet service can increase your risk of downtime. Modern data facilities have redundant services in place to ensure connectivity and reliability are always in place. Cloud communications bring disaster recovery and redundancy to a new level offering continued communications even in the event of a total local power or internet failure.
- Mobility – Mobile integrations in a cloud environment as much more straight forward. Remote extensions and mobile-friendly integrations are faster and easier.
- Cost – This is a major factor for most of our customers when it comes to phone system integration, no one wants more overhead. Remotely hosting your phone system means less management of on-site hardware and opens up even more opportunities when it comes to remote management (Both paid and self-supported).
- Network Limitations – Overcome internal network restrictions such as firewall and internet provider limitations.
Flexible and Cost-Effective Solutions from 3CX
3CX is an open-platform, software VoIP phone system that works with popular IP Phones and SIP trunks whether on-premise or in the cloud. Offering a complete Unified Communications solution with advanced features, 3CX is more than just your average business telephone system. Simple, affordable and flexible, 3CX eliminates the cost and management headaches of outdated, traditional phone systems or the limitations of shared cloud PBXs.
In addition to the many features built to boost productivity, enhance customer service, and increase efficiency, 3CX’s Unified Communications system will also cut your telco costs in half with IP communications and SIP trunking. With an IP telephony system your phone bill will be slashed, and so will the cost of buying, expanding, and maintaining your VoIP phone system. If you decide to host in the cloud you can self-host and pay a low monthly per PBX fee rather than an expensive per extension price per month.
Teleworker/Remote Worker Unified Communications Solution Made Easy
No matter how big or small your company is, the right Unified Communications solution can take your business communications to the next level, helping to improve collaboration, boost productivity, increase mobility and enhance the customer experience. 3CX’s UC functionality is inbuilt and included as standard on-premise or in the cloud, all on one user-friendly platform – no need to purchase add-ons or extras. With 3CX’s modern, intuitive VoIP softphone and smartphone apps, users have instant access to communication tools such as status, instant messaging, web conferencing, the ability to chat & talk with website visitors, fax & voicemail to email and more.
3CX includes VoIP apps for Android and iOS which allow you to take your office extension with you anywhere. With a modern and intuitive user-interface, 3CX’s integrated softphone applications offer a full range of Unified Communications features including presence, chat, conferencing and more. Answer calls to your office phone extension via your mobile device and transfer to colleagues without asking customers to call another number. Slash your company’s mobile phone costs, increase productivity and make sure you never miss a call again!
What is an Open Source PBX? Is it Really Free?
Asterisk is an open source framework for building communications applications. Asterisk turns an ordinary computer into a communications server. Asterisk powers IP PBX systems, VoIP gateways, conference servers and other custom solutions. It is used by small businesses, large businesses, call centers, carriers and government agencies, worldwide. Asterisk is free and open source. Asterisk is sponsored by Digium.
Today, there are more than one million Asterisk-based communications systems in use, in more than 170 countries. Asterisk is used by almost the entire Fortune 1000 list of customers. Most often deployed by system integrators and developers, Asterisk can become the basis for a complete business phone system, or used to enhance or extend an existing system or to bridge a gap between systems.
Asterisk is available free of charge under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Never let anyone charge you for a copy of the Asterisk PBX system.
More information on Asterisk can be found at https://www.asterisk.org/products/software
Not All VoIP Systems Are Created Equal
To the left is a diagram of a typical system we would install in a small office or retail environment with two separate locations. In this diagram, both a PSTN, Remote network and portable network are involved (web client). VoIP systems are versatile enough that almost any environment that can access the internet can support VoIP as long as the internet connection quality is high enough.
Please remember, this diagram does not express the limitations of a VoIP System. With the massive amounts of options, do not limit yourself creatively regarding what your phone system can actually provide. From Voice to Video and text messaging, do not hesitate to contact us today to start building your very own custom designed communications system.
Free vs. Paid PBX
The Free PBX systems such as Asterisk and Freeswitch are leading the way as far as cutting edge features in the open source world, but more stable commercialized platforms such as 3CX and PBXact are providing business with what it needs today as far as a balance of reliability to functionality.
We always recommend selecting a paid and commercially supported solution to any client wanting to deploy a production system that will rely on it for business. Both 3CX and FreePBX (Sangoma) offer solutions that will help grow with your business such as free licensing for low call volume businesses and low cost commercial modules that add functionality as you need it. It is important you pay attention to what features are offered by each system before making your decision, to help further guide you please see our feature comparison below:
- 3CX Feature Comparison Chart
- FreePBX Feature Chart
- PBXact Feature Chart