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.
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
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.