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In this #TechinThree episode, Dan Greenall explains how business hosted VoIP calls work and how much each one costs

Everyone within business seems to be talking about cloud-based telephony or hosted VoIP at the moment, yet most business owners don’t actually know what it is.

And this is surprising given that it can potentially save organisations thousands of pounds on their on-going call costs.

In this #TechinThree episode, Dan Greenall explains how a cloud-based phone system works and how it can potentially save your business thousands of pounds on call costs. Watch it here.

For reference, here’s a still of this week’s whiteboard!

techinthree-voip-whiteboard

Video transcript

Hello everyone and welcome to the first edition of #TechInThree, a short show where we answer some common technology questions in just three minutes.

In this show I’m going to talk about hosted VoIP.

The first question I want to tackle is: how does an internal or inter-site VoIP call work.

Imagine you’re at one site, but you want to call a colleague who works at one of your other offices.

You first make the call via a VoIP-enabled device – this could be a laptop, an IP telephone or a tablet. Now with a traditional phone system, your voice would be carried over a traditional analogue line. But with business VoIP, it is instead carried over a data connection, through a router and onto a managed connection, which could be any type of data connection; ADSL (business broadband to you or I), fibre to the cabinet or Ethernet, your connection really depends on the size and type of your business.

So your voice is carried across your data connection and into the cloud. The cloud, to you and I, is essentially a huge storage facility that holds all types of data. It then recognises that you are calling a colleague internally or at another site who is using the same VoIP platform, so it pushes it out the other side via a managed connection, through a router and to your recipient, who will also be using a VoIP-enabled device.

This basically mirrors the first part of the path.

The crucial thing to note here is that these type of calls are classed as ‘On-net’, which means they are free of charge.

So the next question is: how does a VoIP call work to a colleague who is working remotely or who works in the field.

Well, it’s essentially the same process, but with one slightly change to the call route.

You make your call from a VoIP-enabled device, your voice is carried through the router and over the managed data connection and into the cloud.

Don’t forget that the cloud is a very clever beast so it recognises you are calling a colleague that is working remotely.

The call is then carried over the public internet to the device your colleague is using. Now because you’re contacting someone within the same business, 9 times out of 10 they’ll be using the same VoIP platform as you, so that makes the call ‘on-net’, again, free of charge.

Finally, the last question I want to tackle is: How does a VoIP call work to someone not on the same platform.

It’s very simple, the call again is carried through the router, across the managed connection and into the cloud. But the cloud then pushes that data out onto the PSTN, which is essentially the local telephone exchange, and then carried to your recipient’s device. And that device is either someone using a different VoIP platform, or someone using a traditional telephone.

The crucial point to remember here is, these calls are classed as ‘off-net’ – which means that they’re chargeable at standard call rates.

So I hope that has helped you understand a little bit more about business hosted VoIP.

Join us again next time for another #TechinThree.

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