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Current PBX systems can accommodate three major telephone stations - analog, digital and IP. IP phone stations are the newest and most talked about of three. IP capable PBX’s equipped with IP telephone stations work by converting voice into data packets and then sending the data packets over a business’ data network. This is often referred to as Voice over IP (VoIP).

Traditional digital and analog telephone stations require separate wire runs to each work station. This means one wire run for the phone and another for a computer. IP phone stations share the same wiring as the computer – one jack for both the phone and computer. This provides a business with primary cost savings in physical material like wiring and modular jack installations. An added benefit of running voice on the data network is decreased management costs. Because voice becomes just another application on the data network, conceivably, current IT staff can manage both voice and data systems.

The most important application provided by today’s IP capable systems is telecommuting. An employee no longer needs to be in the office to use the phone system. Employees equipped with a VPN connection, computer, and IP telephone can connect remotely through the internet to a company’s data network. They can use computer applications and communicate on the company PBX seamlessly as if they were in the office.

Considerations

Although today’s IP telephone stations are high quality communication devices, there are some drawbacks to consider. Within your company’s local data network, Voice over IP quality will be excellent. If any quality issues do arise, they are usually not due to the devices themselves but to the quality of the connections between devices. Quality of service issues occur more often when using VoIP over the public internet (e.g. over a VPN connection). Echo, jitter, and latency name a few. In today’s market though, VoIP quality is very good and the benefits of using VoIP most often outweigh its shortcomings.

VoIP Phone Selection Guide

Choosing the correct IP telephone station is easier than ever before. Most IP telephone stations include familiar fixed features like transfer, redial, conference, hold, mute, volume, and speaker, but there are some other important questions to consider.

  • Do I need access to multiple lines or call appearances?
  • Do I need a high quality display for Caller ID and call application information?
  • Do I need a full duplex speakerphone?
  • Is my phone compatible with wired and/or wireless headset adjuncts?
  • Do I need a message waiting light and voicemail access?

IP telephone stations are an excellent option for small or large businesses. IP systems create an enhanced work environment by decreasing maintenance costs and increasing telecommuting opportunities for users. Before buying an IP system it is it is import for a company to consider use, features, price, support and warranty. Once these factors are considered, figuring out which phone system to purchase will be an easy decision.

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