Ring Central VoIP Review

A Review of Ring Central’s VoIP Service

 

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We made the very scary choice of moving from our traditional phone system and typical business lines to VoIP in July of 2010. I say "scary" because of the many horror stories we have heard in the past surrounding quality and performance. However, we had two key agendas that had to be met;

  1. Reduce telephony cost
  2. Improve remote work capabilities (this would include enhanced features)

 

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Is there any reason not to VoIP?

Voice over IP technology is a mature technology that in many cases offers significant savings compared to conventional telephony. If you’re already paying for broadband, chances are switching to VoIP is a good idea. We routinely recommend it to clients.

Naturally, this begs the question: “Why bother with traditional telephony at all?” VoIP is useful, but it’s not a telecom panacea. There are still situations where traditional phone service has the edge. For some people, this may take the shine off of VoIP. Let’s walk through them.

No outage protection: If your power’s out, your VoIP phone doesn’t work. If you routinely use a cell phone as well this is probably not such a big deal, but it could become a problem in major emergencies, where wireless networks will slow and fail in response to increased call volume.

911 Problems: IP addresses don’t correspond to fixed gegraphical points in the way traditional phone numbers do. There are a workarounds for this, but they aren’t as reliable as traditional phones. Some regions have dedicated E911 for VoIP customers, but in this case the operator relies on billing information to establish the caller’s location. If your provider has out of date or incorrect information, emergency services may go to the wrong address.

Tied to Internet uptime: When your Internet’s down, your phone stops working. If you suffer frequent downtimes your savings might not justify constant service interruptions.

DoS attack and eavesdropping vulnerabilities: VoIP is vulnerable to packet interception and denial of service attacks in just the same way as standard Internet communications. Mass requests to the phone’s associated IP can shut it down. VoIP is usually not encrypted, so anyone with the requisite expertise can eavesdrop on calls. These vulnerabilities don’t matter to most users, but they’re guaranteed dealbreakers in high-security industries.

Quality issues: VoIP works because it uses the same packet-based protocols as other Internet communications. The drawback is that packet loss will interfere with voice communications. Users may experience a temporary interruption of service whenever the network experiences heavy usage. This parallels the slowdown you might get loading web pages at these times, and it happens for the same reasons. There are also problems sending faxes, but developing protocols may eventually resolve these.

To sum up, if your business has the same needs as a typical household (even if the scale is larger), VoIP might be the cost reduction solution you need. If you have other needs, consider the tradeoffs carefully. You might want to stick with traditional phone service for these reasons:

  • Your company has safety issues to consider. Examples include heavy industry and medicine.
  • Security is important to you. Law, some government contractors and defense industry companies should consider the drawbacks.
  • You send a lot of faxes.
  • Â You need total reliability. Emergency services and other industries that need to be on-call should stick to standard phone service for critical lines.

Note, however, that it’s not always an either/or situation. GILL Technologies can manage multiple services for you to save traditional lines for critical services, and VoIP for everything else. Contact us to find out more.

5 Tips To Reduce Your Company’s Communication Expenses

Second only to Payroll, communications is the largest expense facing most businesses today. GILL Technologies is a solutions firm that specializes in helping businesses to manage their communications expenses and reduce over all costs by up to 50%. Below are 5 tips for reducing your company’s communications expenses.

1. Check Your Bills for Errors: This tip is so obvious that many companies overlook it. In fact, companies typically overpay six to eight percent on their telecommunications invoices because of billing errors. The most common problems are circuits that have been disconnected but have continued to be billed, and invoices that do not reflect new, lower rates.

2. Renegotiate your contracts: If your telecom contract is set for automatic renewal, you might be cheating yourself out of a better deal. Talk to other providers and see if they can beat the price you’re currently paying or can offer more services for the same price.

3. Consider VoIP: You’ve probably heard the buzz around Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). It’s already taking the enterprise world by storm, and adoption among small and mid-size businesses is gradually increasing. VoIP enables you to use your data network — which you already use to access the Internet — to place phone calls. It can be more cost effective than owning your own private branch exchange (PBX), not only because the equipment is cheaper, but also because you can make many of your calls without ever using the public switched telephone network or paying for long distance.

4. Assign appropriate plans for cell phone users: Avoid small business cell phone plans that offer more minutes than your employees actually use. If they need to make more phone calls at certain times of the year – like during trade show season, peak sales visit periods, or other special projects – consider buying more minutes during those times or carrying forward minutes from previous months. That way, you aren’t paying bloated prices year round.

5. Use conferencing instead of traveling: Conference Calling has quickly become a popular system of business-related communications. Company representatives may now promote their product or service and present business proposals to remote clients without need for actual travel and the incident expenses of lodging and utilities. Aside from money, the company’s time is also used more efficiently since scheduling conferences over the phone can be done by just dialing the phone. This can be used in conjunction with Web Conferences as well.

For most companies the above suggestions can be quite daunting and expensive to handle internally. Outsourcing the management of telecom, data, wireless and new technology costs, can often be your best solution. For information on how GILL Technologies can help in the areas of communications expense audits, management and reporting, and a dedicated ClientCare support team, contact us at 1-877-507-6988 or visit us online at www.gill-technologies.com

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