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The current economic climate is not exactly friendly for small companies. Rising prices for almost all of the day-to-day running costs are causing many problems for small businesses, and managers are being forced to look for as many ways as possible to save money. One popular solution is to sign up for a VoIP for Business solution. A well chosen VoIP for Business service can offer carrier-quality calls at a fraction of the cost, using a MPLS network.
What does the MPLS network do?
If you are using VoIP for Business, then you want to make sure that your calls will always be high quality, and have minimal lag. This is what an MPLS network can help with. MPLS stands for Multi Protocol Label Switching. This is used to prioritise data packets, ensuring that your VoIP calls are given priority over other bandwidth intensive network traffic such as file downloads, which do not need to be handled at speed.
Using VoIP for Business instead of standard telephony can save you a lot of money if you make a lot of international calls. Most VoIP providers offer free calls to other VoIP users on the same network. This means that you can use VoIP internally at no extra cost.
Another advantage of using VoIP for Business is that you can take advantage of many remote collaboration tools. Where standard telephony services offer only voice communications, VoIP providers often offer a lot of extra tools, including video communication, file sharing, remote collaboration and whiteboard tools. These extra features can be incredibly useful for many companies, and can save a huge amount of money compared to implementing several separate solutions. Call handling, messaging, conference calling, and other features are also easy to set up and handle using the software that is provided by most of the major VoIP providers.
Getting started with a VoIP solution for your business should be a fairly inexpensive proposition. If you already have a good computer infrastructure, then getting started with VoIP could be a matter of just investing in some headsets. This is one area where small companies have an advantage over bigger businesses that have invested a lot of money and set-up time in traditional PABX systems. For those companies, moving over to a new telephony system could be a difficult proposition, but the long term cost savings may well make it worthwhile.
For some bigger companies, there may be some concerns about availability and uptime for VoIP services. Currently, using a VoIP provider with an MPLS network can offset some of the concerns, but there are still some issues that are worth remembering. For example, some VoIP systems will not work if there is a power cut, where traditional phone lines are available at all times.
The MPLS network standards are improving every year, and the new standards are being applied to routers, switches, and gateway hardware at an increasing number of providers. As MPLS support improves, the advantages of VoIP are amplified.