The Voxcloud Jargon Buster:
Ah, jargon. While the world of VoIP hosted phone systems, cloud databases, and ISDN makes perfect sense to me, it occurred to me that many of those stumbling upon our blog might be hearing such terms for the first time. If VoIP vexes you, DDI dumbfounds you, or PBX leaves you puzzled, then this guide is for you. While not exhaustive, this jargon-busting list should help you to acquaint yourself with some of the most common words and phrases you’ll encounter. Pens and papers at the ready, a test may follow…
Analogue phone system
This one’s an easy one to start with. Otherwise known as POTS, or the Plain Old Telephone Service, an analogue telephone system allows calls to be made via wires and cables that are connected to wall sockets. In short, it’s the system you’ll have become accustomed to up until this moment in your business life.
Hosted phone system
Unlike analogue services, which rely on wires to convey a message, hosted phone systems connect offices, departments, and their clients via the Internet. A hosted system is managed via cloud-based technology, and can connect any number of lines remotely. Employees are free to work from home, or via their mobile device, while remaining connected to the same phone system.
Speaking of which… The cloud, or cloud computing, provides shared computer resources via a network of servers. It’s one of the most popular, and secure ways to store, access, and transfer data these days, taking over the humble hard drive. Put simply, cloud computing refers to resources and processes that are accessed via the Internet.
VoIP is what we’re all about, so it makes sense to explain it. The acronym stands for Voiceover Internet Protocol, and simply refers to a phone system that’s hosted via the Internet. You may have heard it referred to as Voiceover Broadband, or Voiceover Networks, but each refers to the same type of service. If you’re using VoIP, you’re communicating with the aid of hardware and software that’s Internet enabled.
An ATA, or Analogue Telephone Adapter, is used to convert regular telephone handsets into VoIP handsets. Its existence enables businesses to make the move to VoIP without having to replace their equipment.
Your Internet Telephony Service Provider, or ITSP, is the company that provides your business’s VoIP services. If you choose to invest in our services, Voxcloud would become your ITSP.
We’ve talked rather extensively about the convenience and lower costs of making the switch to a VoIP phone system, and centralised billing is the evidence for these claims. Rather than receiving multiple bills for your phone line, Internet services, calls, and added extras, a centralised bill is a monthly invoice with every single cost tallied in one place. It’s so much easier to manage your company’s finances if you’re able to refer to a single bill.
SIP Trunking is the means of connecting your PBX to your service provider’s gateway; without it you couldn’t access the VoIP network and take advantage of its benefits. Standing for Session Initiation Protocol, SIP Trunking facilitates the connection between your handset’s exchange, and the Internet. It works a little like a switchboard, without a need for hundreds of wires and an operator.
Hang on… PBX? Yes, Private Branch Exchange. This is your company’s private telephone network. A PBX connects local lines and external phone lines, essentially running your entire telecommunications operation
If you see us talking about ISDN we’re referring to the Integrated Services Digital Network, which is a set of communication standards that unifies the transmission of voice, video, and data via the general telephone network. It was the original high-speed Internet service, and revolutionised how we communicated.
Another nice, simple definition, the term CTI refers to the process of Computer Telephony Integration. This allows computers and telephone systems to work side-by-side, sharing many base features.
Direct Dial In numbers, or DDI numbers are as simple as they sound. They allow callers to bypass telephone switchboards and operators in order to reach a person directly. So, rather than calling the reception desk and waiting to be transferred, your clients could reach you in a matter of seconds – regardless of where you are, thanks to the magic of VoIP.
Finally, the soft phone. A soft phone is a computer program that’s used to make and receive calls. Rather than using a traditional handset, users of soft phones are able to access the same VoIP network without the need for additional hardware.
Please don’t be afraid to give us a call on tel:03330 020000 or contact us if you find yourself in unfamiliar territory. We want to be certain that you understand what you’re buying, and that you’re comfortable with how it’s going to work. The decision to invest in new technology is one often accompanied by confusing buzzwords and jargon. If you’re ever unsure, speak up. After all, we’re rather used to this second language!
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