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VoIP (Voice-over-Internet-Protocol) software combines all features of a traditional landline telephone with improved software functionality. Many businesses have turned to this inexpensive solution for their customer service representatives or other telecommunication teams. With VoIP, you can make international calls, mobile or landline calls without paying a fortune to your phone network provider.
Some features that traditional hardware telephones do not, but VoIP has, are screen sharing, unlimited calling, video communications, online meetings, instant messaging and SMS messages. Since it’s such a versatile solution, it’s worth exploring the VoIP softphone, how it works, and how to set up and configure it.
What is a VoIP softphone?
A VoIP softphone (Voice-over-Internet-Protocol) is a phone service software that you can install on computers or mobile devices and make unlimited calls. Individuals and businesses use them to make calls over the Internet from anywhere. You need to have an Internet connection and your smart device with an installed VoIP app with you.
Keeping in mind that VoIP systems are software and not hardware, you need to ensure you have the appropriate equipment to use them: an external headset with a microphone or a working internal microphone and speakers. You can use your mouse, keyboard or touchscreen to dial numbers and save contacts.
There are many different VoIP service providers, including paid and free ones. Some of the most popular VoIP apps are Skype, 3CX, Microsoft Teams, Vonage, Jive, Twinkle, GoogleTalk and iChat.
VoIP service benefits
One of the most significant advantages of VoIP services is that you don’t need a telephone network service to conduct a call. As long as you have internet access and a setup VoIP software, you can make calls from anywhere and save up on mobile roaming charges.
It’s a scalable solution for businesses and remote employees with the added benefit of advanced features for some paid apps.
How does it work?
VoIP software allows you to make voice calls over Internet protocol, meaning you need an Internet connection instead of a mobile network or a local landline. VoIP providers use special VoIP servers to set up calls and connect them to other telephone networks.
When VoIP calls begin, the software converts the voice signals from analogue to digital, compresses them to send them over the broadband network and uncompresses them on the receiving end.
VoIP phone systems carry out all functions that traditional headphones do, plus additional software-based functions such as:
- Calling remotely from anywhere in the world and forwarding incoming calls
- High mobility because you don’t need cables or plugs
- Record calls which you can later listen to
- Video calls and visual voicemail management
- Click-to-dial and SMS messaging
- Conference calling and team messaging.
How to use VoIP?
You need VoIP desktop apps/mobile apps or a SIP-compatible desk phone for VoIP solutions to work. SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol and is used to manage and facilitate VoIP calls by establishing communication protocols over the Internet and thus increasing their security and reliability.
To make such VoIP calls, you need an assigned IP address and use the VoIP app. The apps are user-friendly and intuitive since most providers tend to create a resemblance between apps and actual phones.
You can dial numbers to make outgoing calls by clicking on the numbers in the app or selecting a person from a pre-saved contact list. If you receive an incoming call, a dialogue will open and allow you to choose your preferred action.
The effective use of VoIP is possible only with the proper setup and configuration, which we’ll discuss below.
VoIP software setup and configuration
After you have everything necessary (Internet connection, a smart device, additional accessories if required) and you have chosen between the different business VoIP providers, it’s time to set up and configure your new communication platform.
Make sure you have a reliable network connection
Since VoIP signals are sent over the Internet, the system’s services depend on a good and fast network connection. A stable Internet connection lets you handle incoming and outgoing calls with good quality or conference calls, video messaging, or video conferencing.
Failure to provide reliable Internet will probably result in interrupted calls, negatively impacting customer experience and losing their attention and loyalty.
Port your existing numbers
Porting your existing numbers to your new IP PBX (Private Branch Exchange/Business Phone System) is essential for the convenience of your customers and their ability to reach you.
Consult with your VoIP provider if they can help you or have an existing porting system in place. Remember not to cancel your previous phone service before porting your numbers to ensure a faster and easier transfer.
If you choose a VoIP solution with an on-premise IP PBX server, you will need a team of technicians and electricians. If you choose a cloud-hosted PBX, you most likely will save on installation costs, space and the tech team you’ll need in case of an on-premises solution.
Download the provider’s app to hook it to your VoIP desk phones or personal devices and complete the installation following the steps.
After successfully installing the VoIP service, it’s time to configure it according to your business needs and team’s tasks. You can do so via the setup wizard or by accessing the app’s settings, creating calling schedules or voicemail and assigning extensions you might need.
VoIP software maintenance and support
Wondering which provider to choose? Network Fish offers a complete VoIP software maintenance and support solution for your business. We have a London hosted VoIP telephony service and use the 3CX phone system or Microsoft 365 business voice application for Windows/Android/iOS or our standard handsets.
Our tech team will take care of everything related to your new telephone system, providing regular maintenance and support and on-call services.
How can we help your business?
Network Fish will help your business by providing you with a complete VoIP software solution. Our team will set up your mobile or desktop apps and port your numbers from the previous phone network so your employees can continue their work uninterrupted and your customers don’t lose touch with you.
Our VoIP services include multiple features that allow your team to work remotely, call customers and other team members from their smartphones or laptops and conduct unlimited VoIP voice and video calls without incurring charges from mobile networks.
Additional functionalities such as hunt groups, cloud call recording, auto attendant and virtual numbers are also available to best suit your business communications.
Network Fish will design a VoIP solution based on your business needs and advise you about services that possibly will lighten your workload and improve your operations. We work with a compatible SIP provider, and our proactive team will install, configure, monitor and maintain your new business phone system.
Our experienced engineers are proactive and can provide a 24/7 on-call service to ensure you and your business are well taken care of.