The numbers behind VoIP adoption and growth back up its reputation as the up and coming attraction in the way we do business. A Webtorials survey of 200 IT pros came to similar conclusions this year, finding that 75 percent of enterprises either partially or fully deployed UC in some fashion.
I wanted to provide some insight specifically surrounding business-grade VoIP offerings, such as Lync and cloud-hosted IP voice from the likes of 8x8. First and foremost, there is so much competition in the market, and every competitor is trying to a claim a me-too spot in the playing field. And therein lies problem number two: VoIP means anything and everything to consumers and providers, depending on who you ask and what you are looking for.
Don't make the mistake of placing your organization's finger on a technology solution or service before you've done your homework, and answered some baseline questions. Here are the top areas I recommend your organization takes a hard look at prior to any move into life after the PBX.
VoIP as a whole is such a meandering definition that providers are doing a great job at confusing customers -- to each of their own respective courts, naturally. Cloud-hosted VoIP: This is one of the easiest to deploy, simplest to maintain, and also offers one of the lowest CAPEX propositions of any option since aside from ensuring proper network bandwidth and infrastructure, you need zero investment in things like PRIs, SIP trunks, or extra on-premise appliances. Internally-hosted VoIP: These systems come in the form of options like Lync Server 2013 and Avaya IP Office, which place some form of server or voice appliance into your office. And likewise, there are a plethora of options for your users that need to leverage VoIP services. Softphone clients: Too many people think of telephone service in 2013 as being strictly relegated to a traditional handset that sits on a desk.
IP desk phones: Most office users that like the notion of having a traditional phone on their desk will likely opt for the same in a move to VoIP.
ATA adapters: If you still rely on physical fax machines, and cannot imagine dumping them in a move to VoIP, you will need one (or many) of these to convert the analog connection on your fax unit to a digital ethernet based line that travels over the internet. While I will not name them directly, I will put a word of caution out against anyone looking at getting cloud-hosted Lync enterprise voice (Lync Server in the cloud, pretty much). Lync is a very attractive option for companies looking to Office 365 and who want to get the full circle Lync experience, but the only viable option today is doing it in-house. And be mindful that you don't have to corner yourself into a single option for endpoints for most solutions. It goes without saying that when going knee deep into VoIP, you better have a solid grasp on your network infrastructure situation. VoIP calls for cloud hosted VoIP aren't terrible in their requirements, but there are baselines you need to be aware of. The most common culprits I have seen in the field that use this tech are Zyxel USG-series models and Sonicwall's TZ line, but there may be others. Another big consideration is whether you want to use fancy tech called PoE (power over ethernet) with your new desk phones, if you are going that route.
Using PoE with your phones requires the use of singular adapters which are unwieldy in any rollout of more than a few phones, or the use of PoE enabled switches on your backend. Power over Ethernet is a simple and relatively readily available technology already, baked into switches of numerous flavors on the market.
You can of course fall back on using AC adapters with phones, but it requires you to have access to one extra AC outlet by users' desks, which may not always be ideal or practical.
You want to keep up-front CAPEX related costs down. Cloud-hosted VoIP providers charge an all-inclusive fee, on the average, that is per-seat which covers any endpoint which offers a dial tone. You have access to good bandwidth and a reliable WAN connection. If your phone system is hosted in the cloud, it goes without saying that a solid and stable, bandwidth-friendly connection is what you will live or die by. You incur, or plan on incurring, swings in staff size. The cloud route is excellent for allowing you to downsize or upsize your desk phone needs in short order with minimal effort. You don't have a dedicated IT staff. If your organization relies on outsourced IT support, like that which my company offers, then you are a great candidate for a cloud-hosted VoIP solution. You have a need to have complex, multi-level IVR. Does your company rely on multi-stage auto attendant menus when customers call to route calls? Your WAN connection is not reliable. If your organization lives and dies by the telephone system, and your WAN connection options are not up to snuff, you may be forced to go in-house and split your call traffic out to a separate pipe like a PRI. Your organization doesn't have seasonal staff or usage swings. Cloud providers only charge you for what you use, and most of them only have one-year contractual obligations for seats you introduce. You have a dedicated IT staff. If your organization has IT staff regardless of your VoIP situation, then going in-house may not be as painful as if you rely on an MSP like mine for day to day support.
The biggest culprit here is Lync Server 2013 on-premises deployment situations, where you are replacing your PBX with Lync fully. Virtual faxing is the best and cleanest way to handle faxing going forward, if you must still wrangle with it. If you need to keep your physical fax machine intact, be sure to work with a VoIP provider that allows for conversion of analog landline jacks into ethernet connections via an ATA adapter. I may bite my words later, but I've asked enough providers about which of these niche scenarios work on VoIP so far to come to this brash conclusion. For example, customers who have landline alarms on their premises can usually switch to cellular based systems. Some clients of ours always start out by asking the glaring question: what are the big picture differences in VoIP from standard legacy PBX? Per connection, not per line, pricing for cloud VoIP. Most of us think of per-unit costs in the telco realm as being per line. Line limits are non-existent. Again, we used to think of incoming call limits in the sphere of how many DIDs or physical lines our PBX afforded. SIP-based desk phones are near universally supported now. Don't get stuck into proprietary systems like Cisco's enterprise products, many of which rely on their own SCCP protocol that requires special phones which usually come at a premium. Cat3 cabling won't cut it. If your cabling infrastructure is still Cat3-grade from your existing PBX, you need to invest in Cat5e or better for new data lines (if you don't already have data in place). There are other caveats to be aware of, but the above represent the most basic items which I cover in client discussions. One of the greatest aspects about going with a cloud hosted VoIP provider, like an 8x8 or RingCentral, is that they provide you with all the control you could ever want, at your fingertips.
Cloud hosted VoIP providers, like RingCentral, offer the power of enterprise grade phone systems at an affordable small business price.
On the other hand, more fancy systems that usually have on-premise hardware like Lync Server 2013 and Avaya IP Office, for example, require configuration and upkeep by a trained professional (most of the time).
If your organization is a covered entity, as defined by United States HHS HIPAA regulations, then you need to be aware of extra scrutiny that comes with offloading your VoIP needs. This same goes for any cloud service your office may use in which PHI is stored on their systems; not just cloud VoIP.
Our usual go-to provider for hosted VoIP, RingCentral, has made it clear that they will not be HIPAA compliant until about Q2 of 2014, and therefore we have been directly our medical customers to a comparable provider, 8x8, recently. If you are going in-house, you are still on the hook for ensuring all PHI is kept confidential, but solutions such as Lync 2013 make this relatively easy as all transmissions are encrypted by default.
If you are looking for assistance with becoming fully HIPAA compliant, I highly recommend reaching out to HIPAA Secure Now, a company dedicated to giving organizations regulated by HIPAA full circle support in reaching and keeping federal compliance. VoIP is a panacea for many things, but escaping potential snags when it comes to hidden fees is not one of them.
The same goes for hosting more than one or two virtual numbers with most cloud hosted VoIP providers. Many people only count the dollars they are saving directly on phone service alone after moving to VoIP, which does indeed add up, but they overlook the numerous other overlapping areas that their VoIP solution may cover. Dedicated fax lines. Lync systems can't do this, but most cloud VoIP providers offer integrated faxing at little to no extra cost each month. You don't need a desk phone, either. Many Lync enterprise voice rollouts have sizable numbers of users that don't even opt for desk phones anymore.
Cheap(er) call recording. I know for a fact that any company that wanted to use call recording on their PBX had to purchase add-on hardware for their closet. Switching from a costly, yet well known technology like the PBX over to a cloud or on-prem VoIP solution can be a risky endeavor if approached in the wrong manner. Choosing a system just because it offers option A over provider X's option C, without considering other auxiliary needs like conferencing or softphone requirements, can sink your decision's effectiveness over the long term. Derrick Wlodarz is an IT Specialist who owns Park Ridge, IL (USA) based technology consulting & service company FireLogic, with over eight+ years of IT experience in the private and public sectors.
The Window is a authorised partner to Euphoria – a Cloud based PABX provider that yields savings of between 30% and 50% of telecommunications costs. It’s also a really flexible solution that allows employees who are traveling to have their calls seamlessly follow them, providing more flexibility and capability at a really efficient price point. In a nutshell…The Window has established solid partnerships with industry-leading products and technologies in order to apply customised business solutions at our customers.
Established in 1998 as an IT consulting company, The Window steadily developed new service standards within the IT industry in South Africa and has a proven track record in offering business-centric IT solutions, backed by effective service.
Our objectives are to implement and maintain effective procedures complying with ISO 9002 standard for service companies. Virtual pbx: get professional hosted pbx for your business, Maximize uptime and safeguard your data. Virtual pbx - voip service & small business phone systems, Up and running in 5 minutes. VoIP sounds almost magical: The hype makes it sound more flexible, more full-featured, and best of all, significantly cheaper than placing your calls through traditional telephone service providers. No matter which option you choose, typically you can handle the basic settings for your phone lines or extensions over the phone, while tweaking more advanced options requires diving into your provider's online account interface. Depending on the size of your company and the infrastructure you already have in place, jumping on the VoIP bandwagon could cost your company next to nothing, or it could entail significant up-front costs.
Even home broadband connections can handle several VoIP calls simultaneously, though you'll need to be sure to leave bandwidth available for other applications as well.VoIP requires a broadband connectiona€”and the more simultaneous users you have, the more bandwidth you'll need.
Make sure that your internal networka€”including your routers and switchesa€”can handle the load, too.
If your Internet service provider has a bandwidth cap in place, you should take that into consideration as well.

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A low-cost, next-generation Internet telephony software and service provider, today announced that it has launched a SIP based IP-PBX service to consumers and small businesses.The service enables subscribers to establish a virtual telephone system and communicate free through the web, including video conferencing up to 5 extensions at a time, while calls to landline and mobile phones are priced at highly competitive VoIP rates.
Different businesses have diverse needs in phone systems, and choosing the right small business phone system can give the people in your company the means to work more efficiently. The ability to depend on your small business phone system is vital, and so is the ability to save on costs wherever possible. With ClarityTel’s voice solutions, all of your organization’s voice traffic is integrated onto the ClarityTel cloud-based network. This broad term blankets a ton of technologies, from things as simple as Skype and Google Hangouts, to more business-esque offerings like Lync and IP desk phones.
That's 3 of every 4 big businesses, and solidifies the fact that companies are empowering workers with better tools to keep pace in the modern workplace.
According to a 2013 survey by SpiceWorks, 60 percent of small and midsize businesses reported that they are already deploying, or deploying in the near term, web conferencing solutions. As a technology consultancy to small and medium sized organizations, you can only imagine the amount of questions we are fielding about these offerings lately.
From business requirements, to infrastructure requirements, down to your reliance on faxing -- there is a lot of ground to cover before signing on the dotted line.
And as such, there is rarely a case of doing an easy "apples to apples" comparison among solutions.
Popular options in this arena include my favorites RingCentral and 8x8, which are virtual PBX providers that offer an all-inclusive Voice-as-a-Service (VaaS) ecosystem.
These systems usually have to be coupled with delivery mechanisms like separate PRI lines or SIP trunk providers, which add cost but add a level of stability for larger organizations. The most common one we deploy is the Cisco SPA122 since it's cheap, stable, and works with nearly every provider we recommend.
I have personally researched and dealt with a number of these providers myself, both for my own and my clients' needs, and I was thoroughly less than impressed with the competition in this relatively small market. The same tool which provides IM, voice, and video conferencing handles desk phone capabilities quite admirably. Sorry -- this is the sad truth about going Lync for your phone system currently (until Microsoft releases it's cloud hosted Lync offering sometime in 2014, rumors say).
We have numerous clients who mix and match endpoint types, such as some users utilizing softphone clients and some having IP desk phones. I've gone through enough nightmare installs already to be certain that I'm not trying to use such services behind firewalls that employ symmetric NAT, or port restricted cone NAT. Before investing in new firewall gear for your organization, be sure to find out from the manufacturer if this tech exists on their gear, and if so, if it can be disabled through a soft switch. One of our favorite go-to units is the Netgear GS724TP, which is a 24 port full gigabit switch with PoE across all ports. A solid PoE switch in your data closet can not only provide power for desk phones over a single data line, but also light up WAPs, IP cameras, and any other 802.3af compliant device. Centralizing power needs in the data closet on the switch side streamlines desk phone rollout and simplifies connections (and possible issues) for end users.
If you don't have one at each desk you want to place a desk phone at, you better start running the numbers on some more hard lines. Each path has its own set of limitations, and respective costs associated, but there are some basic guidelines for making this decision. If you are going in a deskphone-less route, you can save considerable sums by ditching the need for any desk phones. Offices we support in rural locales prefer going in-house when they were otherwise good cloud candidates solely because of their reliance on T1 or DSL lines that weren't good enough for using a cloud PBX provider.
Going in-house for your phone system usually requires the purchasing of licenses outright, and in some cases, investing in greater hardware or PRI capacity. This is great for clients of mine who have some parts of their staff that work from home often, or better yet -- travel and want to take their desk phones on the road for conference calls in hotel rooms and the like. This will inflate costs, but many companies don't have a choice when downtime equals hundreds or thousands in lost revenue.
Cloud providers are excellent for sub-100 seat organizations, but if you have a dedicated IT staff that can implement and support a well tuned Lync 2013 system or similar, you may indeed save a great deal over the long haul. If your business is larger and doesn't have the potential influx of staff counts coming in the near term, going in-house won't eat through your pocketbook on hardware upgrades or licensing costs.
When issues arise having someone on staff that knows your system inside and out is a definite plus. The rollouts of Lync I have seen so far of this nature have not been able to entangle faxing too nicely. My company doesn't advertise a separate number for faxing even -- and for the few people that do have to fax us, they do so to our normal RingCentral company number. Likewise, most modern credit card swipes have data jacks, meaning you can plug the device into any standard LAN port in your network and configure the box for transmission over IP.
Here's my hotlist of the biggest tenets that you should be aware of, if you take nothing else away from this piece. With services like RingCentral, even if every desk phone is slammed to its per-device limit for number of calls, your incoming callers will still at the very least reach voicemail. You can alleviate this by piggybacking dual WAN pipes, but I've found business level coax service to be extremely reliable in my consulting region.
Cisco makes SPA-model SIP based phones, in contrast, which you can buy and bring to a provider of your choice. There are no ways around this, unless you plan on investing in expensive and not-so-great wireless VoIP phone solutions.
All you literally need to administer these systems in their full glory is a web browser and internet connection.
I wouldn't recommend any average customer try to self administer such systems unless they were truly geeks at heart and knew the risks of doing something wrong. Using a cloud VoIP provider entails requiring that provider to abide by and offer you a fully signed BAA (business associate agreement) denoting how and where they store potential PHI (protected healthcare information). Backup services, like CrashPlan Pro, and email providers like Office 365 (both of which are 100 percent HIPAA compliant, as we recommend them to medical clients), are held to the same standards even if you are sending all of your data to them in an encrypted manner. The pricing, features, and support offered by 8x8 has been on par with what RingCentral is known for, and the best is that they are 100 percent HIPAA compliant and will sign a BAA with no hesitation. If going with another provider for in-house VoIP, be sure to inquire about the security and encryption standards employed to see whether they will pass muster in the face of HIPAA regultions. We use them for our internal HIPAA training needs and have referred them to numerous clients with nothing but positive feedback. RingCentral, for example, allows for free hosting of a single toll free number, a local voice number, and a dedicated fax number. Our two favorite providers 8x8 and RingCentral both bundle conference bridges into their service offerings. If you didn't want any callers to hit voicemail, you likely paid for extra DIDs to tack onto your phone system to handle overflow capacity for incoming callers.
The specialized service required by "the phone guy" to fix desk phones, lines, and the PBX itself (with its myriad of add-in cards and such) is a thing of the past. They are merely using their mobile or computer-based softphone clients for telephony, further reducing capital costs on PBX replacements. Don't make the same mistake of many of my clients who have predetermined visions of what solution they believe will solve their ills. Think in a mindset of positioning any move to VoIP as the beginning of offering unified communications to your workforce.
He holds numerous technical credentials from Microsoft, Google, and CompTIA and specializes in consulting customers on growing hot technologies such as Office 365, Google Apps, cloud-hosted VoIP, among others. The only thing that could slow down your new business phone system is deciding what to do with the extra money. As Voice over Internet Protocol communication matures and as high-speed Internet becomes cheap and ubiquitous, an increasing number of businesses are ditching conventional landlines and jumping to VoIP. Many of the top VoIP providers handle all the heavy lifting offsite, delivering calls to your phones and software clients without much hassle, especially if you use phones that are plug-and-play certified for the service in question. You need an IP-based private branch exchangea€”a VoIP-friendly version of the PBX phone systems that many offices usea€”to route your calls to the appropriate phones on your network, as well as a device called a PSTN gateway. If you work alone out of a home office, or if you have only a few employees, you won't have much to worry about; for example, on my setup, running RingCentral's Connection Capacity utility shows that my 15-mbps home Comcast connection could handle 11 calls simultaneously even if I had Netflix, Spotify, and an instant-messaging client running on the network at the same time.
Most providers suggest using a router with configurable Quality of Service settings and assigning VoIP traffic high priority to maximize quality. Most VoIP service providers use the high-quality G.711 codec for VoIP communications, which consumes 64kb of data every second you talk. Most VoIP systems use session-initiation protocol technology to assign each phone or VoIP software client a specific address; that's how the IP-PBX routes calls to specific lines. Unlimited video conferencing for up to five participants from smart phones, tablets, video phones and PCs is available for a small monthly fee.
By switching to a hosted VoIP phone system, you can reduce calling costs by up to 60% and benefit from the dependability of VoIP technology to boot. Residential VoIP subscribers hit a massive tipping point of 203 million users as of the first half of this year.
Of the same respondents, a similarly high 58 percent claim to be handling video conferencing in the same manner. As legacy PBX systems continue to die off in back closets, organizations of all sizes are making conscious efforts to wade through the confusing mess that is everything VoIP, and figure out what can benefit them most in a cost effective manner.
Aligning your VoIP direction based on organizational need, not salesperson promises, is the best recipe for a successful decision. There's a bevy of ways in which you can have your service hosted, and also in what kind of medium you use to interact with the service. I am rarely recommending this route for smaller (25 and under) organizations these days due to up-front and ongoing maintenance costs. You can count the number of providers in this arena on one hand, and the only one which we have had good experiences with is one called SPS.

It's not as easy (or cheap) as rolling out a cloud-hosted service like 8x8, but if your organization is larger and invested in the Microsoft menu already, replacing your aging PBX with a Lync 2013 solution may be a good option.
Here's hoping Microsoft hits this area on the head sooner rather than later, as we are getting increasing demand for such a product from our clients.
This is especially common in full Lync deployments, as the feature gap between desk phones and the softphone clients is nearly extinguished. Shifting the telephony traffic from dedicated PRIs over to your traditional WAN pipe, as many businesses are doing, definitely saves on recurring costs but may shed light on some cobwebs in your backbone setup that wouldn't have otherwise been exposed. I don't even offer to quote a small business out on a move to VoIP before they consider upgrading to something like business level coax. You can visit the links for each aforementioned provider as they offer easy to use VoIP readiness tools to gauge where your WAN capacity stands currently. This nasty technology's problems with VoIP are widely discussed, and you can read up on the core issues all over the web. We have found much success with Cisco's small business level RV-series gear (namely the RV042G), as these boxes use friendlier asymmetrical NAT that is very kind to mass numbers of VoIP phones.
This means an office with up to 23 users (1 port is always your uplink!) who have phones can rely on one data line for their LAN access and phone power. Cordless VoIP phones that use wifi do exist, but they are expensive and rarely feature the same level of functionality as wired phones.
Here are some general considerations for opting to take your company down the in-house or cloud-hosted route based upon your own particular needs.
Even if you need phones, going cloud-hosted means you don't need any internal phone server or telco appliances, which range in price from hundreds of dollars to thousands without blinking an eye.
This is a huge determining factor you need to check into up front before even comparing options. Not to mention, if you don't have your own IT staff, you're on the hook for the labor needed to configure extra users onto the system (which is usually self-administered on a cloud-hosted provider's website).
In-house systems generally require more upkeep, and problems that arise take longer to resolve, on the average.
Internal phone systems generally don't offer this flexibility without extra networking expertise and hardware in place.
These advanced functions are still relatively immature in the cloud-hosted VoIP realm, and require you to take your needs in-house with a dedicated beefy phone server or appliance. Real estate agents, medical offices, and even the US Pentagon have ongoing fascinations with facsimile. This excellent blog post by James Cussen goes into detail about Lync's tough time with faxing and how to work around the snags. Outgoing faxes are treated similarly, with most at my company opting to fax right off the RingCentral website on our web accounts. For these instances, you need to keep some legacy landlines in place, or just move away from reliance on landlines.
Get creative -- you may be surprised at how easily you can ditch all forms of landline phone service at your workplace.
You need to think of pricing as "per endpoint" now, or more simply, how many devices or software users need a dial tone.
There are hybrid options out there which can tie into old PBX lines, but they add layers of complexity and don't solve the long term problem -- they are temporary stopgaps to get you over a short term evolutionary hump. It makes installation and configuration a breeze for myself, and I can help train customers on how to take care of their own phone system.
If you've never had a PBX before due to upfront cost, cloud hosted VoIP is exactly what you have been looking for. So it goes without saying that if you want a system that has little barrier to self administration, you're probably going to want a cloud hosted VoIP service. While yes, bare telephone calls and fax transmissions are exempt from regulation due to the "conduit exception" in most instances, most cloud VoIP providers handle voicemail storage and fax storage in their systems before you get a copy of the material.
You can read my full in-depth article about how HIPAA affects your organization's computing needs. If your medical practice is looking to go cloud VoIP, then 8x8 is a provider you should be looking at without a doubt. For example, if you're purchasing service from 8x8, you should be aware that their base packages for service don't include any toll free minutes, and the same goes for faxing.
Anything above this combination will incur a fee of $4.99 USD per every extra number you want to use for incoming call routing.
8x8, for example, doesn't enforce a contract of any sort per-se, but it does opt to charge roughly a $60 USD termination fee for each endpoint of service you close early before the first year is over.
If you're paying per month for separate conference calling service, you can wave those fees goodbye. If your company is moving to a full Lync system, or even merely has Office 365 level E1 or better, you already have access to Lync in its full web conferencing glory. No fees for fax machines, extra toner, or paper wasted on printing incoming or outgoing faxes. Virtual PBX systems like 8x8 can handle as few or as many callers as you can throw at them. With cloud-hosted VoIP, your internet connection and your desk phone is the only thing you have to worry about. Even if the only goal is to fill a limited needs gap in the short run, like purely deskphone based service -- choosing a solution that is expandable in the future for long term growth may reap wonderful rewards as your organization continues its path towards full circle modernization. Derrick is an active member of CompTIA's Subject Matter Expert Technical Advisory Council that shapes the future of CompTIA exams across the world.
What VoIP allows these companies to do is consolidate their traffic from their voice network and their data network onto one pipeline into their locations, reducing their costs over time.
I'll walk you through the basics, discuss the pros and cons, and take a look at three commercial VoIP services of varying complexity. The majority require no additional on-site hardware aside from those phones; at most, you might need to find a space for a small box of hardware somewhere on-site. The PSTN gateway sits between the IP-PBX software and the analog signals of the public switched telephone network, converting calls to and from digital signals as necessary. In reality, even a large number of people should be able to chat it up on VoIP without having to worry about hitting bandwidth caps, but you'll want to keep close tabs on your data usage to avoid exceeding that cap. By bypassing the need for an in-house PBX, your scalability possibilities are unlimited with the needs you can see today, and the things you can’t see for tomorrow. And chances are, based on the latest stats, your organization either has UC on the timetable or is already putting some form of it into place. And Microsoft recently let loose that over 60 percent of 500+ seat enterprises surveyed are either deploying or in the planning stages for rolling out its Lync UC environment in the workplace.
RingCentral and 8x8 both offer softphone options for users -- both on the mobile phone and desktop computer side.
This is the most common, universally offered endpoint option from nearly every provider from my experience. Outdated, slow connections cannot handle the bandwidth necessary for hosting numerous ongoing calls, in addition to everything else we do online. It's not the speed of the switches that will kill you -- it's the unreliability of old, creaky hardware that may have smaller problems sitting idly under the hood.
I rarely recommend them to clients (but if you must, Panasonic has some better than average standard SIP-based sets). Be sure any moves into VoIP entail a realization that not all VoIP providers treat fax like a first class citizen.
I'll go so far as to say that anything which isn't a desk phone or a fax machine likely can't be converted to use VoIP technology. This is why nearly every cloud-hosted VoIP provider needs to be questioned on whether they will sign a BAA if you are HIPAA-covered and want to use their services. It's not as nasty as termination fees from the likes of Comcast, but they still do exist, so you need to be clear and get these facts in writing.
In example, 8x8 offers up to 15 callers per bridge line, and RingCentral has near limitless bridges.
The very need to have overflow DIDs is old-hat, extinguished with the introduction of cloud hosted VoIP. And I'll be completely honest: today's desk phones rarely die unless they are physically abused. If you have a modern workforce willing to wade into new usage territory, going softclient-only may not be a bad option. Most modern virtual PBX systems like 8x8 and RingCentral offer cloud based call recording which is either free or cheap to add on.
Let ClarityTel’s voice solutions team customize a system for your organization’s needs now and the future. Lync deployments go one step further in this area, with a soft client for seemingly any device out there. Latency-reliant tech like VoIP will snowball any problems present in old, outdated routing and switching gear. The Office 365 edition, Lync Online, supports full HD video and meetings of up to 250 people. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on chosen equipment, but we are having rock solid luck with Cisco's SPA line of SIP handsets.
If you rely heavily on incoming and outgoing faxing, going with a simpler solution like that which 8x8 offers may be your better bet. This is a good chance for us to rid smaller companies of gear like residential level Linksys boxes in exchange for quality Cisco gear, for example.
Any of my staff members can use it by initiating a recording via hitting a designated digit on their keypad.

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