Solutions

VoIP and IP Phones

An IP Phone is a device/software client that is designed to support the transmission of voice over the type of network used by the internet, often referred to as VoIP. IP Phones are used to make calls through Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies which basically help place and transmit calls over data networks like the your own inter-site data connections or the Internet.

The term IP Phone denotes both, the software used for making calls over the data network / Internet, and the handset or SIP Hardware that look much like an more sophisticated version of an ordinary telephone. It is possible to use ordinary telephones (POTS phones) as IP Phones by attaching analogue telephone adapters to them.

IP phones have advantages over the traditional phones.

  • They are available in many forms such as soft-phones that run on computers, Voice over Wi-Fi phones that operate using wireless network, Soft-clients on mobile phones, and the more traditional hardware desk phones.
  • They are highly mobile as they can be relocated anywhere on an IP network and will automatically reconnect which means they support the speed of change and low cost, low hassle relocations that are a fixture in so many businesses today.
  • They offer cost savings since long distance calls can be made more economically over the internet or over your company data network when compared to ordinary/digital/analog phones.
  • They can be accessed remotely, with appropriate permissions, and the phone configuration can be checked/ changed, this makes configuration changes / maintenance easier and less costly.
  • IP Phones are especially valuable when used as part of a unified communications solution to integrate communication channels and help employees deal with the large influx of telephone calls, voicemail, fax and email that is the norm in so many businesses today.

Unified Communications

Unified Communications is on the rise in businesses of all sizes. Unified Communications is the integration of real-time, communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, voice (including IP telephony), mobility features (including Mobile Apps and DECT) audio, web and video conferencing. Businesses deploy IP telephony and Unified Communications to improve collaboration, increase worker productivity and reduce telecoms costs. The ultimate aim of UC is to rationalise devices and channels so that users are able to communicate instantly using whatever method is most appropriate at that point in time. That might be a fixed phone, smartphone, PC or tablet, and it could be communications via SMS, instant message, voice, video or email. Snom support unified communications deployments with a range of products providing desk based and mobile IP Telephony and enabling new levels of communication and collaboration for businesses worldwide.

Hosted IP Telephony

High on the list of to do items for any business looking for a new or upgraded phone system must be to investigate whether a Hosted VOIP or a traditional on site PBX VoIP phone system is the best solution for their business. Neither solution is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, rather these 2 are equal alternatives and the ‘right’ choice is the one that fulfils on your business requirements, meets your budget and financial planning needs and can handle the capacity of your forecasted business growth.

Hosted VOIP

  • Installation – Fundamentally a Hosted VOIP solution is completely cloud based, this means installation costs are less than with a traditional onsite system. There is no hardware onsite apart from the phone handsets to install.
  • Maintenance – A Hosted VOIP system does not have any equipment on your business premises, this means there are no maintenance costs, now or in the future. The service provider holds and maintains all of the equipment and as a result covers the cost of maintenance.
  • Low call rates –Hosted solutions typically come as standard with free ‘bundled’ minutes for instance to UK land lines and UK mobiles. This approach reduces costs and makes budgeting spend much easier. Since call traffic is routed over IP, the costs of chargeable calls are also considerably cheaper than a traditional none SIP based system.
  • Speed of installation –Since only the handsets are involved in physical installation a hosted VoIP solutions can near enough be set up instantly in the cloud. With snom handsets remote provisioning and management is also provided.
  • Flexibility –All phone numbers on a Hosted / VOIP system are completely portable, leaving you free to move your offices or work from home without having to change your phone number. With no hardware on site, the cost and complexity of relocation is severely reduced.

VoIP onsite PBX phone system

  • Feature rich – As VoIP phone systems have been in existence far longer than Hosted VOIP and in active competition to traditional PBX solutions the features available are typically greater in both quantity and complexity.
  • SIP –The integration of a SIP trunk to a phone system offers the business free call packages and calls using IP. This is similar to provided by Hosted VoIP and represents cheaper call costs than routing calls over analogue lines.
  • Ownership – Ownership of hardware on your premise can be seen as a benefit. This is a very personal benefit; your business will either perceive it as one or not, but for many having something tangible, that is ‘theirs’ is a positive aspect.
  • No single point of failure – On premise phone systems typically uses multiple analogue and SIP lines to route calls, this presents multiple options if a single line was to go down or develop a fault. This is compared to a Hosted solution which unless deliberately set up for resilience can rely on a single internet connection to route calls. If this connection was to go down or develop a fault, the whole system would be impacted.
  • Unified communications – On premise phone systems now facilitate so much more than just phone calls. On Premise VoIP phone system’s now have the capabilities of instant messaging, video conferencing,  voice conferencing, visual voice mail (see who called and left a message, prioritize which messages you listen to – and respond to – first).

Whether you select an on premise VoIP solution or a Hosted VoIP PBX system your Snom handset benefits will be the same.

Mobility

Since Apple released the iPhone in 2007 business users have embraced the use of mobile communications devices. IT departments have struggled to handle the changing cost models and maintain control and reconcile device and application management and security with providing their users with the freedom to move around without any loss of access to communications, and to be connected both in and out of the office. 63% of enterprises look to mobility for cost savings and near 50% are responding to employee demand. Mobile communications creates opportunities for greater productivity, cost savings, improved customer service and boosted employee morale.

For the business looking for telephony combined with mobility Snom identify five possible solutions for IP mobility the range of options being a wireless headset connected to your desk phone, a cordless Wi-Fi solution using your business WLAN, mobile GSM handsets, cordless soft phones installed on laptops, or VoIP DECT solutions. Each of these end point options is a valuable part of the Telephony Toolkit and all these options are supported by the Snom portfolio of products.

Security

Organizations are increasingly implementing VoIP technologies, and many of them are drawn by the cost reductions, but deployments must be done in the most secure manner possible.   Otherwise, the sought-after cost savings could result in monetary losses if the security of the VoIP infrastructure is compromised.  The good news is that with proper planning and administration, VoIP need not strike fear.    By taking the right approach to VoIP security, organizations can expect the quality, reliability, and security that we’ve come to know from the existing phone networks.

Snom is a security-aware VoIP-vendor and using Snom handsets it is possible to implement a complete, multi-layered security solution.  Using Snom phones in conjunction with a TLS/SRTP-enabled PBX provides a secure VoIP environment that is not vulnerable to security risks involved in Internet telephony. This telephony setup not only maintains the integrity of the SIP signaling messages exchanged, but also provides encrypted audio streams, providing high-end security against eavesdroppers and tapping.  The TLS/SRTP feature of Snom phones is interoperable with a number of PBX vendors including PBXnSIP, Asterisk and Ingate.


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