What you need to know about business telephony
- Discover the professional telephone system for SMEs
- Improve your communication
- Stay organised
Since its invention by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876, the telephone has evolved a lot until today. Let's take a look at the origins and evolution of this unique tool... On February 14, 1876, the British-born American Alexander Graham Bell filed a patent application for an audio transmission system. The telephone was born!
Can you imagine what your life would be like today without this object on your desk? But with so many developments in just over a century, the history of business telephony is more than rich. You'll see it for yourself.
Communication and more precisely corporate telephony is a major component of sales enablement.
What is business telephony?
The basics of business telephony:
Let's start with VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is also called IP telephony, Internet telephony or Internet calling. It is an alternative to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Although it may sound complicated, a VoIP phone system is a breeze. Business telephony or IP telephony is a communication technology increasingly prioritized by professionals. It uses the Internet to enable telecommunications and prospection.
At the simplest level, a business phone system is a way to transmit voice calls over IP networks. It is a way to make phone calls using an Internet connection, rather than making a call using a landline. Recent advances and improvements are rapid, making it the standard means of communication for businesses that want a reliable and scalable means of communication. Modern high-level business telephony is now consistent and reliable.
Business telephony: a real asset?
What business telephony represents is a low cost and hassle-free telecommunication option that suits all types of businesses and all types of CRM. Adopting this type of phone system allows a business to reduce or eliminate a variety of costs associated with traditional business communications. Call charges are often much lower and businesses do not need to pay for multiple phone lines or a lot of equipment.
A VoIP phone system is a communications option you can't afford to overlook. Before we go any further, however, you'll rightly want to know exactly how it all works.
How does business telephony work?
With a normal phone call, a specific physical path is provided by a service provider (usually a dedicated phone company). This path goes between you and the number you are calling. This system also uses the traditional telephone infrastructure, i.e. the network of telephone lines running across the country. With a business phone service, calls are transmitted differently. The audio at the end of a call (your voice) is converted into digital packets. It is easier to think of them as data envelopes, in the same way that traditional envelopes contain what you have written. Business telephony is part of the prospecting tools
How are the signals transmitted?
The conversion of audio voice signals into digital packets is handled by what are called "codecs". Codecs can be hardware devices or software processes. They compress the voice signals and then encode them into digital signals. To continue our analogy, they take what you say and slip it into digital envelopes.
The data packets are then transmitted via IP. This can be done via a local area network (LAN) or online. They are often transmitted via Real Time Transport Protocol (RTP). Or, if this is not the case, via SRTP (Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol). The latter is simply an encrypted version of the former. This step of the process is like a mailman picking up your envelopes and taking them to their destination.
The data packets reach their destination almost instantly. They then have to be decoded and compressed, this is handled by codecs. They take the digital data and convert it into audio signals. The recipient of your call heard your voice as he would on a normal phone line. The codecs at the transmitting end open the envelopes so they can read them.
10 technical terms to know in business telephony
1. Bandwidth The ability of a network to transmit data from one point to another in a given amount of time. It is often measured in 1000 bits per second (kbps). The more bandwidth available, the more VoIP calls a network can support. If your Internet connection has very limited bandwidth, the quality of a call will be lower.
2. Codecs Codecs can be hardware devices or software processes. They are used to compress, encode and decompress data. In the case of VoIP, codecs convert audio voice signals into digital data packets. They then compress these digital signals for transmission and convert them back to the "other end" of a call.
3. Latency The time it takes for data to be transmitted. The higher the latency, the greater the delay between the start of a transmission and the receipt of data at the other end. High latency can be a problem for VoIP, especially if you are using it for video conference calls. Voice delay is noticeable with latency greater than about 150 milliseconds. Considerably more than that and a conversation will be difficult.
4. VoIP Voice over Internet Protocol is the technology that allows you to make voice calls over an Internet connection. Audio is repackaged as digital data and transmitted almost instantly to its destination. It is becoming a new standard of business communication for companies of all shapes and sizes.
5. PBX PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange. It is the name given to a private telephone network used within a company or organization. It is your PBX that allows you to press a button on a desk phone to reach someone else in your office.
6. IVR IVR or Interactive Voice Response is a feature of traditional telephony. It is the interactive service that allows callers to use menus and manage call transfers - basically an enhanced version of an auto attendant. Think "press one for accounting", etc.
7. DSL DSL stands for 'Digital Subscriber Line'. It refers to the traditional telephone technology that allows for a high-speed connection over existing telephone lines. While allowing the analog telephone signals to travel along the same copper lines.
8. RTP The Real Time Transport Protocol. An Internet protocol that often carries the data packets associated with VoIP calls. It also carries audio or video streams for other forms of multimedia communication. Secure Real Time Transport Protocol - The encrypted (and therefore secure) variant of RTP.
9. SIP Link A means of providing voice communication over the Internet. It is in many ways an alternative to VoIP. It usually involves connecting a PBX to the Internet. It gives additional control to a user, but requires a bit more equipment to get up and running than a VoIP phone system.
10. Enterprise Telephony This is the name given to software or applications used to make VoIP calls, such as Aircall or Ringover. In case you are using your computer, mobile device or tablet and not a VoIP phone. Most "softphones" have an interface that looks like a telephone handset when it appears on your screen. It will have a keyboard, a screen and can be used via a touch screen or computer keyboard.