Skype or Google Voice? Which Offers the Best Budget VoIP Package?

While there is a wide range of premium VoIP services to choose from, the fact of the matter is that free or budget services will be more than suitable for the majority.

The problem is though, there is quite a wide range of free services too. These free services also vary in service quality, so it can be difficult to know which one to choose.

mainstreet.com have just posted a handy guide comparing arguably the most well known free VoIP services – Skype and Google Voice.

Skype and Google Voice are, in fundamental ways, different, and they have very different price structures. Google Voice is free, calling in the U.S. to U.S. numbers is also free; calling landlines in much of the world costs two cents per minute, and calling mobile phones outside the U.S. usually is 10 cents.

Skype, by contrast, has its roots in free calling, computer to computer. That Skype-to-Skype calling still is the service’s forte and many of those free calls now are good quality video calls.

The above excerpt is just a small extract from the initial introduction. The full guide goes into far more detail and is spread across 3 pages.

The full guide can be found by clicking here.

Ensuring your VoIP setup delivers a Return on Investment (ROI)

VoIP is becoming more and more prevalent in the business world, however, the switch to VoIP is not one to be taken lightly. Make no mistake, VoIP is an investment and – as with all investments – it’s important to ensure that you get a return.

Over at Techradar, there’s an article letting you know what you need to look out for to ensure that you’re getting an ROI

Moving to VoIP gives excellent results when executed properly, but requires careful planning and the right tools to avoid poor performance and reduced efficiency. If call quality is poor, users simply won’t use it.

There are two key points to consider when planning a VoIP implementation: the increasing capacity demands, and the nature of packetized voice traffic, which affects both voice quality and bandwidth use.

For more information and the full article, you can go here

 

VoIP to ‘Kill Off’ Landline Calls Within 15 Years?

Is VoIP set to kill off the traditional landline within the next 15 years?

That’s could be the case if you believe Marco Fiorentina – co-founder of M-Talk, a new internet based telecoms service.

We think that fixed lines will be around for some time, but there is no question that there is going to be a slow substitution of traditional fixed line or voice calls on mobile with this type of application (VoIP). But it’s going to be a very long process,”  - Marco Fiorentina

The benefits that surround VoIP and similar are not undocumented, so it is easy to see why there is a potential market for this type of product. It will be interest if uptake in the system will be quick enough to actually phase the traditional landline out within 15 years, though.

M-Talk works by providing users with a personalised webpage that is clicked on by visitors wishing to call or text you. This can be done via PC, smartphone and tablet. M-talk is provided by Messagenet.

VoIP firm purchased for $900m

Japanese eCommerce giants Rakuten – best known as the firm behind Play.com – have purchased VoIP firm Viber for $900m.

Hiroshi Mikitani, the CEO of the firm had this to say:

Rakuten Chairman and CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani, commented: “I am tremendously excited to welcome Viber to the Rakuten family. Viber delivers the most consistently high quality and convenient messaging and VoIP experience available.

“Additionally, Viber has introduced a great sticker market and has tremendous potential as a gaming platform. Simply put, Viber understands how people actually want to engage and have built the only service that truly delivers on all fronts.

“This makes Viber the ideal total consumer engagement platform for Rakuten as we seek to bring our deep understanding of the consumer to vast new audiences through our dynamic ecosystem of Internet Services.”

Viber CEO and Founder, Talmon Marco, added: “Rakuten is one of the world’s most important Internet companies. It is truly dominant in its home market of Japan and has been rapidly expanding globally.

“This combination presents an amazing opportunity for Viber to enhance our rapid user growth in both existing and new markets. Sharing similar aspirations with Rakuten, our vision is to be the world’s No.1 communications platform and our combination with Rakuten is an important step in that direction.”

Business VoIP Makes Cloud Integration Easy and Accessible

As technology progresses, businesses are looking for integration more and more. There is a logical reason for this; integration simplifies and optimises business processes. An example of this is businesses wanting communications to integrate seamlessly with other key enterprise software.

As the article over on Business2Community explains so well, VoIP helps with two different types of integration:

Enterprise customers are looking for two types of integration: They want all of their communications services—phone service, fax, chat, meetings, and customer-facing communications such as call centers and contact centers—in one unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) package that supports their specific needs.

And they want their UC&C service to work seamlessly with other types of services, like CRM, so they’re choosing UC&C solutions that interoperate well with other popular cloud-based services such as Salesforce.com and NetSuite.

The article goes on to discuss things such as CRM integration and related topics. It’s aimed at midsize enterprises but the content can be adapted to be applicable to both larger and smaller businesses.

The full article can be found here

 

Global Unified Communications Market Growing

Over the past months, those of us in business have witnessed the boom in Unified Communications Usage. Because of this, it may not come as a surprise that the global unified communications market is showing signs of growth.

According to a recent press release from research firm TechNavio, the market is set to grown at a compound annual growth rate just shy of 16% from 2012-2016.

TechNavio’s analysts forecast the Global Unified Communication market to grow at a CAGR of 15.85 percent over the period 2012-2016. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the shift from on-premises to cloud-based unified communication. The Global Unified Communication market has also been witnessing the unified communication heading towards WebRTC. However, the initial high cost could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.

A large part of the VoIP market is included within global unified communications. It is thought that the growth has stemmed from a global business effort to optimise and streamline business processes; this is to maximise efficiency.

If you’d like to find out more or purchase the full report, you can do so by clicking here.

Is the UK Rollout of Fibre Broadband Going to Provide a VoIP Opportunity for Businesses?

UK telecoms company BT has recently announced that over 400,00 additional properties within the UK are set to benefit from access to super fast fiber optic broadband.

Will this present an opportunity for UK businesses? The folk over at teleappliant seem to think so:

This opportunity is one that should be embraced by organisations in the UK, as Mr Galvin admitted the country is some way ahead of its main European rivals when it comes to fibre.

With a VoIP system in place, companies would be in a position to make cheap calls and increase their productivity and efficiency, while enhancing their professional reputation.

While this is certainly an interesting idea, is fiber optic broadband absolutely necessary for a VoIP connection? The answer is no, but – it certainly can’t hurt and will ensure that the quality of the calls remains high.

Will this rollout encourage more UK business owners to give VoIP a chance? Only time will tell. One thing’s for sure though, this is certainly a step in the right direction.

For more information and the original teleappliant article, please click here.

VoIP Buyers Guide for Small Business

Changing a business’s communications systems can be a challenging task. Because of this, many buisness owners – especially owners of small business – don’t want to do so unless absolutely necessary.

In reality though, switching to an alternate comms system – such as VoIP – needn’t be a herculean task. It can be as simple as you want it to be. To assist with such transitions, PC World have released an unbiased VoIP buyers guide aimed directly at small business owners.

Depending on the size of your company and the infrastructure you already have in place, jumping on the VoIP bandwagon could cost your company next to nothing, or it could entail significant up-front costs.

The entire 3 page guide can be found on the PC World website here.

This guide was created in 2012; as all of the readers of this blog can appreciate, technology develops very quickly and because of this, guides can go out of date very quickly.

Luckily, Business 2 Community have us covered. Although the vast majority of the guide remains relevant, they have provided us with a few key updates.

The best VoIP solutions have mobile apps that let workers take and make phone calls from their mobile device using business phone numbers.  This protects the personal phone numbers and work/life balance of workers and makes the business appear bigger and more professional.

The full update can be found here

Why Enterprises are Flocking to Hosted VoIP

According to research, there is growing evidence that even large-scale enterprises are beginning high-scale uptake of VoIP. The interesting question is why would established, successful  organisations with the ability to afford any number of communications solutions opt for VoIP?

Debbie Jo Severin, over at Business 2 Community has composed a useful guide that explains the reasons an enterprise may opt for Business VoIP.

Cloud-based Unified Communications Help Incubate International Business

Interestingly, global expansion—which is often associated with larger companies—also drives companies to adopt cloud-based unified communications.

“We are an investment banking firm that incubates businesses. 8×8 allows us to have remote offices in multiple countries and tie them all in as an extension,” says Sam Senev, CEO of Global Private Funding.

“Each of the offices are able to communicate with their US clients and have a US presence even from overseas. We are expanding our service contract to include overseas numbers. Sam Senev, CEO of Global Private Funding.”

For the rest of the guide, visit the Business2Community website

The Benefits of a Hosted VoIP PBX System

Communication within business is essential. Because of this, it is essential that businesses opt for a communication method that is reliable, affordable and meets essential business needs. Over at thefututreofthings.com, they put up a fairly convincing argument as to why a hosted PBX system is the ideal solution:

Just as not all business is always done in an office, not all businesses operate under one roof at a single location. These days some businesses are completely based on the internet. Virtual phone systems allow any type of business to use network-based communication.

In the case of service providers like plumbers and electricians, it is not always acceptable to work out of a facility. With no dedicated workspace, they need options for their communication needs.

With a VoIP system, communication is no longer limited by where a phone line can be installed. There are many distinct benefits to any type of business to implement a virtual phone system.

For more information and the full article please click here

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