Technology Made Simple
Remember when communicating seemed so simple? All you had to do was pick up the phone and call. But today we communicate in many more ways than one. And today’s businesses need to be able to communicate with their customers whenever, wherever and however they want – via landline phone, cell phone, PDA, email, fax, text, PC softphone, etc.
Fusion Communications helps make communicating simple again by providing your business with the telecommunications solutions that best fit your – and your customers’ – needs – now and for the future. As telecommunications evolves from the business of selling “boxes” and hardware to the provision of software-centric applications and features, we know you don’t have the time to research and understand how today’s advanced communications technology works; you just want to know that it will. And what it can do to help improve your business.
That’s why Fusion Communications is your technology partner. It’s our job to know about the latest technologies so we can customize a business phone system that’s right for you. Taking advantage of today’s technology can help you do more than simply communicate. It can help you actually improve business processes, resulting in:
Here’s a brief primer to get you started and answer some basic questions on how today’s telecommunications technology can help your business.
CTI – Computer Telephone Integration
The merger and marriage of “plain old telephone service” (POTS) and the computer has forever changed the face of telecommunications. CTI is the technology that connects your computer and a telephone switch (a PBX or an ACD) so they work together to move calls around. As the technology has evolved from basic call control and routing, so have the benefits for your business. Now referred to simply as CT, this technology provides the foundation for IP (Internet Protocol) telephony for running today’s advanced business applications. It enables building new phone systems with open standards, open hardware and open software, and features such as callback, one number find me, predictive dialing, unified messaging, interactive voice response, fax blasting and serving, and more.
Digital vs. VoIP Phone Systems
Perhaps the most frequent question most small to medium-size businesses ask about telecommunications is which type of business phone system is best – digital or VoIP? Because every business is different, there is no simple or single answer. But an assessment of your existing legacy system and telecommunications budget by Fusion Communications can help you determine whether digital or VoIP is the best solution for your business needs today while providing you with an easy migration path to ensure your future communications needs – and those of your customers – are met.
Digital systems are based on voice and data signals that are converted from an original analog signal into digital by using a binary code. The benefit is clearer, “cleaner” transmission of voice and information over a circuit. And digital signals are compressed so they can carry more information faster than analog transmissions. Digital signals can be transmitted over standard telephone lines (public switched telephone network, or PSTN), or via an Internet Protocol, such as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), enabling digital phones to be integrated into an IP-based system.
SIP is the most important standard for setting up telephone calls, multimedia conferencing, instant messaging and other types of real-time communications on the Internet. The bridge between digital handsets and Voice over IP (VoIP) is IP telephony. IP telephony is a set of technologies that enables voice, data and video collaboration over existing IP-based LANs, WANs and the Internet. This offers users both flexibility in the physical media (e.g., POTS lines, ADSL, ISDN, leased lines, coaxial cable, satellite and twisted pair) used to transmit digital signals, and flexibility in physical location. A VoIP call is transmitted over a data network, such as the Internet, a corporate intranet, or a managed network used by traditional local, long distance and international phone service providers.
There are three main benefits to VoIP phone systems:
Traditionally, a Private Branch Exchange, or PBX, was the hub of a company’s communications system. A small version of the local phone company’s larger central switching office, depending on the size of a company, PBXs used to require a dedicated room – sometimes even a floor or more – on a company’s premises for the multitude of equipment, server racks, etc., required to maintain the phone system. But today’s “PBXs” are smaller, more powerful, energy-efficient communications servers or platforms designed to take advantage of open application interfaces (OAI) – a term first used by PBX makers – or open architecture used to drive software-centric business applications that support business functions across organizational groups or industry verticals in inter- or intra-department settings.
Many vendors use the term “virtualization” – an umbrella term for enhancing a computer’s ability to work – for virtually everything. It’s not a new concept, but its use in telecommunications is relatively recent. And Fusion Communications is proud to be working with the leaders in voice virtualization, Mitel and VMware. Their visionary collaboration has resulted in the industry’s first solution for virtualizing real-time voice applications in the data center. The benefits of bringing unified communication applications into the data center are clear. By breaking down the barriers between the “telecom closet” and the data center, IT managers can minimize voice management tasks, consolidate voice and non-voice applications on a single server and ensure that the server can still be accessed in case of a disaster. The flexibility provided by virtualization means deployment and management of mobility, conferencing, collaboration and other voice applications are simplified, resulting in lower capital and operating costs.