Which is the best solution for your office phone system?VoIP and SIP; the acronyms that we can no longer ignore. The fact is, these are two very important technologies that have revolutionized the way we communicate every day, even if we don’t know it. But when it comes to your office phone solution, which one is the better choice? Here, we’ll explain what they are, how they work and help you decide whether SIP or VoIP is right for your business.
What’s VoIP?VoIP stands for ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’ and is the umbrella term used to describe any call made using the internet instead of traditional PSTN or ISDN phone lines. VoIP converts your voice calls into data packets that can be transmitted over the internet. The important thing to note here is that VoIP is a voice service, which is key to the difference between it and SIP. Protocol refers to a set of digital rules that developers use to manage communication between computers, phones, tablets and other digital devices. At both the receiving and transmitting end of the connection (called ‘endpoints), the same digital rules must be followed in order for the communication to be successful. It’s like sending something using snail mail – for the mail to be sent properly, you need a stamp on the envelope and in order for it to be received on the other end, you need the correct address. Otherwise, the communication will fail.
What’s SIP?SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol and is different to VoIP in that it is used for managing not only your voice calls, but also multimedia communication including video calls, instant messaging, media distribution and a whole lot more. SIP is a specific type of protocol that facilitates VoIP and we often refer to it as the ‘VoIP Superhighway’. That’s because it can be used to communicate between several devices or endpoints simultaneously, it’s scalable, calls are clearer, QoS is higher and line rental and phone calls are a lot more affordable. It’s no surprise that SIP is becoming the number one communication solution for businesses across Australia. It’s probably also no surprise that we’re going to tell you that, in the battle between VoIP and SIP, SIP is the winner. If you’re running a PBX or other unified communication system in your office, there really isn’t any competition here.
The Benefits Of SIPWe’ve already mentioned that SIP is capable of carrying all of your multimedia communications, which is a major draw card for businesses using an office phone system. But there are a lot more benefits of going with a SIP provider:
- Affordability – the cost of line rental is significantly lower than traditional PSTN lines and local, mobile, national and international calls are also a lot more affordable than they used to be.
- Scalability – your SIP provider can scale the size of your office phone network up or down without having to come into the office to install new equipment and without major cost.
- Reliability – when you go with a provider that’s out to give you the best service available, they’ll talk to you about your data service and help you decide how to run your SIP service with the highest Quality of Service possible.
- Redundancy and disaster recovery – SIP offers more re-routing options for redundancy than PSTN or ISDN services
- Independent network access – Unlike PTSN and ISDN services, SIP can be carried over any data network type, including fiber, copper and wireless networks. This means that switching to the NBN won’t affect your SIP service.
Making The Right Choice For Your BusinessTechnically, there isn’t a competition between VoIP and SIP, because SIP is really just a protocol used to achieve VoIP… which still has it’s place. When it comes to deciding how you will improve your business phone solution and reduce your monthly phone bill, it’s important you talk to your chosen provider about how your staff makes and receives calls and what you hope to achieve by using a VoIP or SIP service. There are a lot of providers out there, some who are less likely to bring you savings than others and we generally refer our clients to SpringCom. We know that they provide a lot of information on their website about the options available to businesses and always strive to deliver the best solution with the greatest savings possible. The bottom line is that, when choosing your phone service, knowing about VoIP and SIP – and how they work – can make the world of difference between a smooth and efficient phone experience and an unreliable and disappointing one.
Make sure your business is prepared for the changes that lay aheadThe NBN is slowly making it’s way to more and more Australian businesses every day. With promises of reliable service and high download speeds, you’d be forgiven for thinking that your internet service is all that will be affected by the roll-out. The truth is, there’s a lot more at stake and business owners are being urged to give some serious consideration to how their businesses will be impacted.
More Than Just Your Data SpeedsYes – the NBN will mean you’ll get access to faster download speeds and a more steady service than what you’ve probably been used to. This is fantastic news, of course, but when it comes to making the switch, you’re also going to have to make some major changes to the way everyone in your office communicates. When fibre is installed in your area, NBN Co. will only leave your existing phone lines active for a certain amount of time before they will be switched off. This is because, in some cases, existing copper infrastructure will be entirely removed and in other cases, they simply won’t work the way it has done in the past. Either way, it means that your current internet and phone setup will become redundant and this will potentially affect your:
- Phone services
- PBX system
- EFTPOS machine
- HICAPS terminal
- Fax machine
- Security systems
- Any other device that requires a phone line
Getting The Right AdviceWhile the migration of your services is unavoidable, taking the worry, hassles and expense out of the equation can be. But the most crucial factor is that you get the right advice, from the right place, before you have to make the switch. Many providers are actually taking advantage of people’s ignorance on this issue and convincing them that they need to purchase entirely new office hardware in order to use the NBN. When in actual fact, it’s rare that you will need to spend any large sum of money at all; in 99% of all cases, you’ll be able to put measures in place that ensure you can continue using your existing equipment. If you’re not an expert on the NBN or how it will affect your business, you need to get an NBN ready audit as soon as possible. It’s not worth a) spending money unnecessarily or b) leaving it too late and ending up without any service at all. Infiniti offers a complete NBN ready audit for Australian businesses. We value our integrity and that’s why our advice is genuine and supportive and seeks to bring the greatest financial benefit to your company. During an NBN audit, we will:
- Find out the type of NBN you will have in your area, when it will be available and how it will change your current services
- Assess your current internet and phone setup and make recommendations based on this information
- Talk to you about what you would like out of an NBN service, including PBX management, phone services and data
- Evaluate your existing cabling and make recommendations based on your preferences for an NBN service
- Provide upgrade recommendations and implementations for your current devices
- Provide advice about how to continue using your current hardware
Get an NBN ready audit today!
Call us on 1300 889 792 or click here
When @POTUS calls, you answer.Watch as Coach Lue receives a ring from the @Whitehouse.https://t.co/m9xkCRCBqf — Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) June 24, 2016
PBX & VOIP HackingPBX & VOIP hacking is responsible for millions of dollars in losses for organisations each year. Which has a massive impact on Australian businesses.
Who is responsible?PBX & VOIP hacking can result is a substantial amount of unauthorized call charges on your telecommunications account. It is your responsibility to maintain your own company’s phone system security. Ideally you should’ve been briefed by whoever your provider is when you bought the phone system on the risks and we would recommend that you contact them first if it happens. Infiniti may provide notification if we suspect any possibility of fraud on your account. Infiniti will not take responsibility in maintaining your security or should your system be compromised. That responsibility falls onto you.
How is it done & Why?The main point of hacking your phone system or service is so that the hackers can make obscure international phone calls at no cost to themselves at all as it is payable by the organisation whose system or service they hacked. If they do it long enough these costs can become quite large. They do this by exploiting any weaknesses in a company’s phone system by deciphering their voicemail pins and or call feature codes. Once they have entered the system they can then reprogram it to make international phone calls. They will then do one of two things; either on-sell any calls they make mimicking an operator or divert the calls to their own plans so that they don’t have to pay a cent for everything while the business is left with the bill. Most often a hacker will attempt to do this after office hours in order to avoid detection while attempting to access it.
Ways to Protect your Phone System
- Don’t use default pins & change the pins on a regular basis
- Turn off any abilities such as call forwarding and outbound calls that can be made from your voicemail ports
- Make sure to get rid of any unused voicemail boxes
- Unless its absolutely necessary disable all international call access
- Keep your PBS admin unit in a secure place
- Make restrictions to all outgoing calls made after office hours
- Unless absolutely necessary turn off remote access to the systems features
- You can track it by monitoring to see if there are a high amount of calls being made at night, on weekends or on public holidays
- Disable all admin short codes
- Constantly review all call records for any unusual activities
Signs That You Have Been HackedIf you are unsure consult with your PBX maintainer to figure out whether or not your system has been targeted by hackers. Possible Warning Signs:
- You may receive a phone bill from a provider that aren’t even with
- You get a “busy” error message when trying to receive a voicemail
- High amounts of calls being made on weekends, nights & public holidays
- International calls showing up on your bills that you usually don’t or never call
- Very quick calls in your records (less than 10 seconds)
The Ultimate Guide to EFTPOS on the NBNIt’s difficult to ignore the changes being brought by the NBN roll-out, but most of the information we receive focuses on internet speed and data, accompanied by that familiar push to “get ready for the NBN” actually involves and the fact that the NBN will have an impact on more than just how fast a webpage will load. It’s important to understand that the NBN in bringing massive changes not only to the way we use our internet, but also to the way we use our phones. And for businesses, this also means changes to the way your EFTPOS terminals function.
How the NBN Roll-out May Affect Your BusinessLet’s begin with the three ways the NBN is being rolled out.
- Fibre to the Node (FTTN) are cables that are installed underground in your street. 93% of users will receive this type of broadband internet.
- Fixed Wireless Broadband is provided via a tower that supplies a set number of premises, usually in rural areas.
- Satellite Broadband uses a satellite dish where traditional broadband services are not available.
Types of EFTPOS and the NBNAt the moment, there are four main ways in which businesses use EFTPOS:
- Mobile – these terminals rely on mobile data to make transactions and can be taken anywhere.
- Counter-top Wireless – rely on mobile data OR an internet connection. They do not require a phone line.
- Fixed Line – these terminals require a phone line to process transactions
- HICAPS – used to process Medicare claims, these terminals require a phone line. (Although not technically EFTPOS, we have included them here because the information in this article is crucial to HICAPS merchants)