Submitted by: Craig A. Meritz, President, Meritz TeleNet

Finally Voice over IP (VoIP) technology has matured to the point that most businesses should be seriously considering its adoption.  Potential cost savings of 40% or more on your Telco bills are just one of VoIP’s many benefits. 

But what is VoIP? Where are the places VoIP can be effectively implemented? How can you determine if it will be beneficial to your business? How can it enhance your overall communications strategy?  What are the precautions and potential pitfalls in its implementation?

The major advantage of VoIP to smaller businesses, particularly those that are currently using analog trunks (phone lines) is that VoIP is digital.  The result is a small company can garner all the advantages of a T1 – the connection speed and the power of digital call routing – without the expense.  This allows, for example, designating executive numbers that don’t result in a second call getting a busy signal, and advertising campaigns that can tag and track all calls to a specific number, and make it easy to provide detailed call reporting.

For larger businesses the most obvious benefit is cost savings.  However, IP phones for remote users – including software phones for road warriors installed on their laptops – VoIP phones at the homes of remote call center employees, all using the company phone system trunks are other potential advantages.  And the ability to have a local number anywhere you are doing business, even if you don’t have an office there, is another plus.  And unlike T1’s, if you need to move your office, there is practically no cost at all.

For multi-site businesses, such as a chain of stores, VoIP can be used to tie phone systems of their stores together and appear seamlessly as one, and at a reasonable price.

Meritz TeleNet is a Philadelphia-based business that manages networks and implements computerized phone systems for businesses.  For more information, check out our Website at http://meritztelenet.com, or attend our seminar on March 18, at 9:30 a.m., at the Chamber Offices.