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Virtual PBX Reduces International Dialing Rates by as Much as 80 Percent

SAN JOSE, CA — (Marketwire) — 12/06/11 — Virtual PBX , inventor and leading supplier of hosted PBX services, announced today that it is reducing the cost of international calling in all of its plans by up to 80 percent. With this change, calls to multiple international locations — such as land lines in London and Buenos Aires, and mobile phones in Hong Kong — are as low as 1.9 cents per minute. The new rates are available now with no added fees or plan changes to all existing and new Virtual PBX customers on all plans.

 

Virtual-PBX-Systems

“Virtual PBX is always working to find ways to save money for our customers,” said Paul Hammond, CEO of Virtual PBX. “We already offer local numbers in over 40 countries for clients that want an international presence and want their callers to avoid the high costs of international dialing. Now we’ve made it possible for our customers to call out to international destinations with very low costs as well.”


The new international rates build on the company’s extensive history of providing cost-effective voice services to reach and receive vital business calls to and from locations around the world.

Virtual PBX, a U.S.-based company, started offering outbound dialing to international destinations when it developed the first hosted PBX in 1996. Now, clients can make calls out to international numbers or have employees receive calls on non-U.S. phones with a much lower rate per minute. And using the company’s Open Systems Initiative, calls can be routed to VoIP phones anywhere, for free.

In December 2009, Virtual PBX started offering local inbound numbers to their clients in thousands of cities worldwide, providing clients the ability to publish local numbers in these cities while maintaining business operations in the location of their choice. The combination of low outbound rates to international phone numbers, free VoIP calling anywhere, and local inbound numbers in both the U.S. and other countries makes Virtual PBX a strong hosted PBX choice for companies with personnel, clients or business activities in almost any global location.

Specific rate information can be found on the company’s website.

About Virtual PBX
Virtual PBX believes you never get a second chance to make a good first impression, especially when it comes to serving your customers. Our hosted PBX phone service gives businesses a professional, fully automated call answering and routing solution that can be up and running in a matter of minutes. Forget the hassles and costs of buying and maintaining your own PBX hardware. With Virtual PBX, your employees, whether in one location or far-flung, can focus on serving your customers while we provide the advanced features and responsiveness that give you a competitive edge. We also offer a backup phone service to ensure your business stays up and running should disaster strike.

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - December 11, 2011 at 7:21 pm

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Cloud Communications Right to Your Doorstep

Eliminating the vagaries of the public Internet could help more enterprises move to cloud communications services.

By all accounts, cloud communications is where it’s at. Yes, many companies still maintain — and will for some time — on-premises telephony systems and UC platforms. But even if a company isn’t ready to make the move, I’ll wager that cloud conversations chew up quite a lot of time in any forward-looking strategy discussions. That is, unless IT and business leaders refuse to take their heads out of the sand.

We know this through conversing with enterprise IT professionals as well as gathering insight from industry consultants and analysts. But the numbers track the cloud’s rise, too. The latest come from market intelligence firm IHS Markit, which earlier this month released its 2016 Business Cloud VoIP and UC Services Annual Market Report and shared highlights in a research note issued just last week. Worldwide cloud PBX and UC revenue totaled $4.7 billion in the first half of the year, up 12% from a year ago, while the number of hosted VoIP and UC seats increased 22% year-over-year in H1 2016, to 38 million. That number should reach 74 million by 2020, according to IHS Markit data.

Report author Diane Myers, a senior research director at IHS Markit, provided the upshot in today’s research note: “Hosted PBX and UC service is a growth market that has moved well beyond the early stages. Growth in this space is a reflection of the increased adoption of cloud services by businesses and a broader availability of solutions from a wide variety of providers, including PBX and UC vendors,” she wrote.

“While the bulk of deployments have been on the telephony side, an increasing number of providers are adding UC features to their service mix and demand is on the rise from businesses seeking more than just a PBX replacement service. We look for providers to layer on additional functionality to maintain price points and create stickiness.”

Ah yes, “creating stickiness” — there certainly is a lot of that going on. I’m not sure why, but whenever I hear that phrase, flypaper comes to mind. The visualization isn’t pleasant, but it does capture the idea — once a customer has landed on a particular cloud communications service, the provider certainly doesn’t want it flying off to another. Hopefully, its efforts to keep the customer satisfied is a good thing — just like the fly that’s just landed in a gooey mess, no customer wants to feel stuck with no way to wiggle free from a bad experience.

Another way to think about what providers need to do to bolster demand for their cloud communications services comes from Matt McGinnis, AVP of product marketing at UCaaS provider RingCentral. He talks about the need to “alleviate enterprise resistance.”

RingCentral’s latest effort to lower an enterprise’s reticence to migrating their communications capabilities from on-premises systems to cloud platforms comes in a direct interconnection option for sites with 250 or more users, released earlier this week (see related No Jitter post, “RingCentral Adds Direct-to-Cloud Access Ramp“). Think about direct interconnection — from your MPLS network, for example, right into the RingCentral cloud platform — as a new twist on hybrid, he suggested.

“If we can extend the cloud down as close as possible to the customer, then we can take out some of the concerns of removing those premises legacy PBXs from their closets and putting that functionality in the cloud,” he said. Rather than sending mission-critical voice packets over the wild unknown of public Internet routes, enterprises can use direct interconnections that deliver the security, availability, and uptime that type of network traffic warrants.

Why build a private communications cloud, which means managing a lot of boxes as well as the “N squared problem of interconnections between different offices?” McGinnis asked, rhetorically, of course. Instead, he suggested, you should “take advantage of what IP networking, Layer 2 MPLS, and cloud being at your doorstep can really offer your business.”

As McGinnis himself admitted, the term “hybrid” has been “repurposed 100 different ways” in this industry. But private connections into a cloud communications platform, a la what RingCentral offers with its new CloudConnect option and similar to what Microsoft offers to Skype for Business Online users with Azure ExpressRoute, for example — make for a nice way to think about hybrid cloud.

Follow Beth Schultz and No Jitter on Twitter and Google+!
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Posted by CheapVOIPs - September 26, 2016 at 5:14 pm

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Latest report on Global internet protocol private branch exchange (IP pbx) sales meter sales market 2016 industry …

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - September 26, 2016 at 4:14 pm

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AudioCodes Management Pack 365 Helps Migration to Skype for Business Cloud PBX: Podcast

user-management-pack-365-bannerAudioCodes Skype for Business Podcast Series

With days to go before this week’s Ignite, AudioCodes introduced the AudioCodes User Management Pack 365 to support organizations migrating to Skype for Business Cloud PBX. AudioCodes User Management Pack 365 is an advanced software solution that enables consolidated, cost-effective user lifecycle and identity management across all Skype for Business deployments. In this brief product podcast, Eric Bauer of AudioCodes discusses how Management Pack 365 is a powerful choice for end users looking at migration to Skype for Business.

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - September 25, 2016 at 3:51 pm

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Cloud-based VoIP, UC seats to surpass 70M mark in 2020

As enterprises and small businesses look to simplify their telephony infrastructure they are increasingly turning to cloud-based hosted PBX and unified communications (UC) services that shift maintenance and upgrades to a third-party provider.

Image: IHS Markit

Initially offering a set of telephony-based products, more service providers are incorporating UC features into their service suite as additional businesses ask for more features beyond a simple PBX replacement service.

Diane Myers, senior research director for VoIP, UC and IMS for IHS Markit, said in a research note that she expects service providers to add additional functions to their cloud-based voice offerings as a way to upsell and retain customers.

“We look for providers to layer on additional functionality to maintain price points and create stickiness,” Myers said.

Given these factors, IHS Markit said it expects the hosted VoIP and UC market revenue to reach $13 billion and total 74 million seats by 2020.

Myers said that interest in hosted VoIP services is rising amongst not only small businesses, but also medium and large businesses.

“Hosted VoIP services have hit their stride owing to broad adoption among small, medium and large enterprises,” Myers said. “In particular, large enterprise activity has escalated over the last several years as more companies in this segment choose providers.”

But as the market continues to scale, consolidation amongst industry continues to rise, particularly in North America. Market participants are looking for greater scalability, infrastructure maximization and cost savings. During the first half of this year, over eight deals were completed, a trend that IHS market said they expected to continue.

For more:
– see this release (sub. req.)

Related articles:
Enterprise SBCs poised for growth as VoIP gateways are replaced, IHS says
IHS: Carrier Ethernet drops 2% in 2014, will grow slightly to $29B in 2019

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - September 23, 2016 at 7:20 pm

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Microsoft Ignite: Skype for Business Cloud PBX Solutions a Key Focus

Since the Office 365 E5 release, Microsoft has focused on identifying remaining gaps that need to be filled by partner solutions to provide a robust Cloud PBX solution.

Next week Atlanta will host the second Microsoft Ignite Conference, bringing together more than 20,000 IT decision makers, IT professionals, and enterprise developers. As part of the ” One Microsoft” initiative announced in 2013 and aimed at reorganizing and rallying the company, the Ignite event combines six separate events the company previously held: TechEd, Management Summit, and its Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, and Project Conferences.

I recently had a chance to chat with Microsoft’s Sean Olson, product manager for Skype for Business voice experience and James Skay, senior product marketing manager for Skype for Business Developer Platform, about announcements that were made at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in July that will be continuing topics at Ignite next week. Since Microsoft announced Office 365 E5, which includes Skype for Business, they said, a lot of effort has gone into understanding what current gaps, or “white spaces” as Skay referred to them, need to be filled by partner solutions in order to provide a robust Cloud PBX offer. Skay said that these white spaces have been grouped into four areas: contact center, attendant console, compliance recording, and reporting.

For partners to integrate to the premises-based Lync Server, Microsoft created the Unified Communications Managed API (UCMA). Now, in conjunction with key partners, the Skype for Business team has been working on replicating the functionality of UCMA for the cloud. Olson is quick to say that Microsoft is not building UCMA for the cloud; as he described it, “UCMA does 8,000 things.” Some of those things will not be in the new Cloud PBX API, mainly because a cloud architecture brings with it different capabilities and requirements.

Because Ignite is such a key event in the Microsoft calendar, communications companies save their best and brightest Skype for Business-related announcements for right around this time. Filling one of the white spaces described by Microsoft, during Ignite Enghouse Interactive will unveil a new Attendant Console for Skype for Business.

Enghouse says that this is the first professional attendant and operator console solution native to Skype for Business Cloud PBX and accessible directly from Microsoft Office 365. Without the need for any on-premises equipment, an interactive and graphical interface brings a gamification approach to increasing attendant and operator productivity. Calls travel dynamically and change color based on a contact’s queue position and age. In addition, users are empowered with directory searching coupled with Skype for Business Presence. The graphic below highlights some of the features of the console.

portable

Enghouse Interactive has provided a Lync and Skype for Business-compatible console and contact center solution for premises deployments for several years. John Cray, the company’s vice president of product management, told me that Enghouse has 400+ customers using either the contact center, console, or both.

Enghouse Interactive and Microsoft agree that many of the capabilities required to support a third-party attendant console, (e.g., the ability to take a call, put it on hold, handle transfer and call join scenarios, provide presence) are required by both console and contact center applications. Capabilities that have been built by Microsoft to support a fully cloud-enabled auto attendant with hunt groups are now complete. Adding the additional contact center-specific requirements and APIs still needs to be done before we see a fully-featured, cloud-enabled partner contact center solution tightly integrated to Office 365 E5.

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - September 23, 2016 at 3:18 pm

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Voip-Pal.com, Inc. Files Responses to the Petitions for Inter Partes Review by Apple and Provides an Update in its …

BELLEVUE, Wash., Sept. 22, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Voip-Pal.com Inc. (“Voip-Pal”, “Company”) (VPLM) is pleased to announce the Company’s patent attorneys, Knobbe Martens Olson Bear LLP have filed responses this week with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on their behalf to the two Petitions for Inter Partes Review (IPR) by Apple. The responses to the petition challenging the RBR ‘815 patent and the petition challenging the RBR Messaging ‘005 patent were filed on Monday, September 19, 2016, and Wednesday, September 21, 2016 respectively. A decision by the PTAB on whether or not to institute the IPR’s is expected in the next 90 days. The IPR responses to the Apple petitions, and the previously filed Unified Patents petition have been posted on the Company’s website voip-pal.com and may be accessed using this link: IPR.

Earlier this year the US Supreme Court affirmed that PTAB decisions whether or not to institute a trial in IPR petitions is “final and non-appealable.”

The IPR petitions were filed in response to Voip-Pal’s combined $7 billion dollar lawsuits against Apple, Verizon and ATT. The lawsuits have been temporarily postponed by mutual agreement among the parties until the decisions by the PTAB about instituting the reviews, expected before the end of 2016, has been made. The litigation and the IPR’s represent a clear “David and Goliath” fight. Voip-Pal’s current market capitalization is approximately $52 million compared to the combined trillion dollars plus of the defendants: Apple $605 billion, Verizon’s $206 billion, and ATT’s $244 billion.  

CEO, Emil Malak stated, “As with our response to the Unified Patent’s IPR, we invite everyone to read the response to the Apple petitions and draw their own conclusions. While we work diligently to secure the best possible outcome for our shareholders we are reminded during this process as in any legal procedure, patience is a virtue.”

About Voip-Pal.com Inc.

Voip-Pal.Com, Inc. (“Voip-Pal”) is a publicly traded corporation (VPLM) headquartered in Bellevue, Washington.  The Company owns a portfolio of patents relating to Voice-over-Internet Protocol (“VoIP”) technology that it is currently looking to monetize.

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - September 23, 2016 at 11:16 am

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Clarity Connect Cloud Contact Center Solution – Covering Your …

Clarity Connect
Clarity Connect Cloud Contact Center Solution – Covering Your Premises and Cloud Options by Marty Parker

Buying, expanding or upgrading a contact center today is a major puzzle for almost any mid-sized business or large enterprise. Microsoft Skype for Business, whether the Server edition on-premises or the Cloud PBX version in Office 365, adds another important consideration for most enterprises. This week, Clarity announced its new Clarity Connect cloud contact solution package aimed directly as solving this important puzzle.

For any contact center, it is clear that any new solution must be:

  • In the cloud – if the cloud meets the needs. This is clearly the new, progressive direction for any software. The cloud is already the proven direction for customer care (just check out Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics, ServiceNow, and so many online applications), so there’s clear momentum and rationale to use the cloud, if feasible. Cloud-based solutions provide software that is continually updated and don’t require installing and maintaining an expensive, multi-server, redundant on-premises system.
  • Flexible – Cloud-based solutions provide software that is automatically updated to keep pace with the marketplace. Cloud-based solutions are much more likely to adapt to the many services and connectors that are increasingly being produced via the cPaaS (communications Platform as a Service) providers. This includes all of the fast-growing options for UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) such as Office 365 Skype for Business Cloud PBX, Vonage Business, Ring Central, 8×8 and others.
  • Economical – Cloud solutions don’t require installing and maintaining an expensive, multi-server, redundant on-premises system. Further, most cloud-based systems are designed as integrated code which is far more efficient and economical than the multi-vendor lash-ups that most on-premises vendors are offering to their customers. Already, we are seeing the total cost of ownership of the cloud-based solutions dropping below the $100 per user per month level; the forecast is for further declines in those prices as the CCaaS market place continues rapid growth.

A key factor here will be the enterprise’s choice of UC platforms. If the enterprise is committed to legacy-style VoIP solutions such as Avaya, Cisco, Mitel, NEC, ShoreTel and others, then the cloud-based options may be limited to the hosted versions of those products.

However, if the enterprise sees UC as “communications integrated to optimize business processes,” then it is very likely the future direction will focus on Microsoft’s Office 365 with Skype for Business Cloud PBX features. This will bring voice PSTN (public switched telephone network) features into the same context as the entire Office suite of business tools used in most enterprises – i.e., voice is added to email, IM, documents, sharing, online meetings, video, collaborative workspaces, and social networking rather than trying to hook the PBX up to all of these core services through various, often fragile, integration methods.

However, there’s a challenge here since Skype for Business Cloud PBX is not ready for all of the various usage profiles in the enterprise. Some usage profiles, such as collaboration and field, are already well served by Skype for Business Cloud PBX. Other usage profiles, such as administration and executives, have more complex voice telephony needs; it will take a few cycles of feature additions for all usage profiles to be served by Cloud PBX. For the contact center usage profile, Microsoft chooses to work with partners, rather than building the contact center applications into the Office suite. Clarity Connect, the sponsor of this article, was an early member of that contact center partner community, with notable success to date.

As a proactive Microsoft partner, Clarity Connect figured the need for the contact center solution to work seamlessly with both the on-premises Server and the cloud-based O365 versions of Skype for Business. Clarity Connect has now announced a very practical solution to this requirement that will cover all three logical cases: on-premises, Office 365 Cloud PBX, and hybrid of the two.

The approach is to offer Clarity Connect contact center from the cloud via five premier hosting providers. In this way, the same contact center functionality can be provided for all three cases:

  • On-premises: If the enterprise is still running Skype for Business on-premises, then the hosted Clarity Connect solution will connect to the on-premises system via federation, a proven and well-supported Microsoft capability.
  • Office 365 Skype for Business Cloud PBX: In this case, the Clarity Connect contact center will federate with the enterprise’s Office 365 tenant, just as voice partners have been doing since the start of Office 365 services.
  • Hybrid of on-premises Server and Cloud PBX: Since Clarity Connect has included both the on-premises and the Office 365 connection methods in their software, both of those methods can operate simultaneously to cover the graceful evolution that most enterprises will need as they move the voice communications services either from on-premises Skype for Business or from on-premises legacy PBX systems.

More information on these three options is available at connect.claritycon.com.


This paper was sponsored by Clarity.

 

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - September 23, 2016 at 7:09 am

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Czech VoIP operator Fayn introduces internet services

Polish VoIP and MVNO operator Fayn enhanced its offer with internet access services for households and businesses. The operator offers three tariffs according to download/upload speeds: 8 Mbps/512 kbps for CZK 349, 20/2 Mbps for CZK 399 and 40/2 Mbps for CZK 419. Internet is provided based on ADSL and VDSL technology.

The service set-up fee is CZK 499. Migration from O2 Czech Republic’s internet service is free and without outages, Fayn promises. Additional services include a public IP address for CZK 80 a month, ADSL modem/router/WiFi for CZK 999 and VDSL modem/router/WiFi for CZK 1,499.

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - September 23, 2016 at 3:08 am

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VoIP Disaster Recovery Best Practices – CIO Review

One of the major technological breakthroughs of the 21st century is the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Delivering voice and multimedia over the internet has helped geographically distributed businesses to collaborate effectively.

Although VoIP has improved the efficiency of businesses, like most technology, this too is subject to failure and crashes. This may be due to cyber attacks, poor quality of service, network congestion, poor internet connectivity, and loss of network synchronization to name a few.

Efficient disaster recovery implementations are thus a necessity for organizations to ensure business continuity. The disaster recovery methods should ensure that the communication apparatus is up and running at all the times.

While having a network connection a decent bandwidth is vital, effective plans for data migration should also be in place that can aid during any disaster. Organizations should maintain a geographically diverse cloud infrastructure since VoIP networks have no geographic boundaries. This would ensure that local disasters have no impact on the system functionality. Basically, the clients can have backup server at a different location as a point of redundancy.

Having extensive experience in IT support and systems engineering, Anthony Ortega, in a blog for Toolbox.com, mentions that Network redundancy requires three levels of redundancy:

• Dedicated backup sites with multiple paths to connect to them.
• Different service providers delivering redundant IP bandwidth at either location to help ensure that there is connectivity through different carriers in the event of network failure at any one of the locations.
• Network clusters or computer clusters that geographically provide network connectivity in case of network disruption at the main office.

Companies should ensure that their VoIP service providers deliver all the three requirements. They should also incorporate the VoIP service provider into their disaster recovery testing to check for issues and work with them to rectify the problems.

An ideal VoIP provider should also be carrier neutral, allowing clients to install backup connections. Remote access to the VoIP system should be accessible to the workforce of an organization through web interface allowing them to reconfigure their settings by using VoIP phones. The recovery plan should include call forwarding or redirecting to these alternate locations.

In case of on-premise VoIP, it is advisable to have a backup of the database associated with the system. The data backed up should contain all the information required to restore the system in case of any failure. It is also important to have a disaster recovery site where all the data can migrate to in case of a disaster. Having battery backup systems, and spare circuit boards or wireless phones as a backup will also help in the data recovery for on-premise VoIP.

Taking into consideration how power backup is necessary for almost all voice services, the Federal Communications Commission has now come out with new rules by which, ‘Modern voice services will be required to ensure that a technical solution for eight hours of standby backup power is available for customers at the point of sale’. The rule further states that in a few years time, service providers will also be required to offer the option of an additional 24 hours standby backup power.

With multiple vendors providing backup solutions, it can be concluded that the use of VoIP in the business space is only going to grow in the years to come, playing a major role in bringing businesses ever so closer.

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - September 22, 2016 at 11:02 pm

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VoIP Disaster Recovery Best Practices

One of the major technological breakthroughs of the 21st century is the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Delivering voice and multimedia over the internet has helped geographically distributed businesses to collaborate effectively.

Although VoIP has improved the efficiency of businesses, like most technology, this too is subject to failure and crashes. This may be due to cyber attacks, poor quality of service, network congestion, poor internet connectivity, and loss of network synchronization to name a few.

Efficient disaster recovery implementations are thus a necessity for organizations to ensure business continuity. The disaster recovery methods should ensure that the communication apparatus is up and running at all the times.

While having a network connection a decent bandwidth is vital, effective plans for data migration should also be in place that can aid during any disaster. Organizations should maintain a geographically diverse cloud infrastructure since VoIP networks have no geographic boundaries. This would ensure that local disasters have no impact on the system functionality. Basically, the clients can have backup server at a different location as a point of redundancy.

Having extensive experience in IT support and systems engineering, Anthony Ortega, in a blog for Toolbox.com, mentions that Network redundancy requires three levels of redundancy:

• Dedicated backup sites with multiple paths to connect to them.
• Different service providers delivering redundant IP bandwidth at either location to help ensure that there is connectivity through different carriers in the event of network failure at any one of the locations.
• Network clusters or computer clusters that geographically provide network connectivity in case of network disruption at the main office.

Companies should ensure that their VoIP service providers deliver all the three requirements. They should also incorporate the VoIP service provider into their disaster recovery testing to check for issues and work with them to rectify the problems.

An ideal VoIP provider should also be carrier neutral, allowing clients to install backup connections. Remote access to the VoIP system should be accessible to the workforce of an organization through web interface allowing them to reconfigure their settings by using VoIP phones. The recovery plan should include call forwarding or redirecting to these alternate locations.

In case of on-premise VoIP, it is advisable to have a backup of the database associated with the system. The data backed up should contain all the information required to restore the system in case of any failure. It is also important to have a disaster recovery site where all the data can migrate to in case of a disaster. Having battery backup systems, and spare circuit boards or wireless phones as a backup will also help in the data recovery for on-premise VoIP.

Taking into consideration how power backup is necessary for almost all voice services, the Federal Communications Commission has now come out with new rules by which, ‘Modern voice services will be required to ensure that a technical solution for eight hours of standby backup power is available for customers at the point of sale’. The rule further states that in a few years time, service providers will also be required to offer the option of an additional 24 hours standby backup power.

With multiple vendors providing backup solutions, it can be concluded that the use of VoIP in the business space is only going to grow in the years to come, playing a major role in bringing businesses ever so closer.

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - September 22, 2016 at 8:00 pm

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