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What Is VoIP Integration and How Can it Empower Your Business?

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VoIP integrations enable businesses to enhance their phone system. These types of voice over IP integrations help teams offer a better customer experience and improve workplace productivity.

What Is a VoIP Integration?

Voice over IP enables users to make and receive business calls from any location and through any device. This means your team can make calls from their computer or laptop while in the office or working remotely. All that is required is a stable internet connection. VoIP stores and transmits data securely in the cloud making it easy, safe, and convenient to use.

But the best part about VoIP is that it integrates comfortably with cloud-based applications and software. This is a great advantage over plain old telephone service. VoIP integrations let users switch between tools to store, share, and sync data between them. Doing so can cut down on time spent doing mundane, manual processes while keeping all your important data easily available.

7 Types of VoIP Integrations

There are a variety of VoIP integrations that can work well with your business phone system. However, which VoIP integration will boost your office’s productivity depends on what you are trying to achieve. Here are 7 types of integrations to consider:

1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Most CRMs available still depend on users manually and individually entering information that can help ease the calling process. CRMs are mostly used to track customer contacts and their history with the company, track calls, SMS, faxes, emails, and so on. Having a VoIP integration that allows communication-related details to automatically sync within your CRM can prove useful by reducing the time users would spend entering this information manually. This saves time to be spent on much more important tasks.

2. Cloud Storage
VoIP providers offer cloud storage integrations to help you securely store data for long periods. However, storage capacity and duration vary from provider to provider. This is where a cloud storage integration can be useful. These integrations can help your phone system store and back up files, data, or call recordings on the cloud where they are easily accessible for longer periods of time.

3. Click-to-Call
A click-to-call or click-to-dial tool is generally a website widget that works with most web browsers. This tool gives your team the ability to quickly call any number they find online when browsing. All they do is click the number they wish to call and the call is placed through their VoIP device or softphone. Such a tool makes it possible to place calls when browsing with a single click.

4. Contact Lists
Part of running a business that focuses on demand generation, lead tracking and customer support is being able to quickly find updated contact information and connecting with your customers efficiently. However, this can be overwhelming when your teams are constantly dealing with a large number of leads and contacts. If contacts are not located in one place with up-to-date information, errors can be made. Here is where a contact list integration comes in handy. This VoIP integration synchronizes your contacts across different platforms keeping information up-to-date and relevant and leading to faster customer service times.

5. Voicemail Transcription
A voicemail transcription or voicemail-to-email integration sends the voicemail to users’ emails in text format. This is useful when listening to the message or if hearing through an accent is difficult. Furthermore, a written log of voicemails can serve as good documentation if ever needed.

6. SMS & Fax
Similar to voicemail transcription, an SMS-to-email and fax-to-email integration can also send text messages and faxes to recipients (your employees) as emails. This way, instant messages and fax documents can be stored in the cloud, along with other important data. And when necessary, they can be downloaded, shared, analyzed, and more to improve business communication.

7. Call Reporting
Lastly, a reporting integration gives you access to call reports and detailed records for calls, texts, faxes, etc. Collecting, studying, and analyzing this information can give you insights into customer behavior, preferences, and trends that help you find new and better ways to appeal to your customers and increase customer satisfaction.

9 Benefits of VoIP Integrations for Business

Any company that works with a VoIP integration or UCaaS will tell you that there are countless benefits of integration with their business phone system. Some top benefits of VoIP integrations include:

  1. Allowing users to multitask.
  2. Syncing data across all applications, making it easy to find necessary data.
  3. Streamlining communications by unifying essential tools.
  4. Supporting remote working for distributed teams.
  5. Able to support a call center-type business.
  6. Easy set-up and management.
  7. Reducing monthly communication-related bills.
  8. Ability to scale as needed.
  9. Increasing office productivity and efficiency by streamlining workflows.

Use VoIP to Empower Your Business

VoIP is an advanced communication service that can empower your employees by equipping them with the tools needed to perform efficiently. Think VoIP integrations can support your business needs? Speak with our experts to learn more today!

How to Measure and Improve VoIP Call Quality

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A well-functioning business VoIP system ensures that your business stays connected with customers and clients, no matter where you are located. But an important part of using VoIP numbers or a VoIP phone system is to make sure your call quality is efficient and not compromised. In this post, we will look at how to measure and improve VoIP call quality.

What Are the Most Common Issues With VoIP Call Quality?

Before we delve into how to measure your VoIP call quality, it is imperative to first understand what are the causes of poor VoIP quality. There are a few different factors affecting the quality of your voice over IP system. Fortunately, these VoIP issues are easy to fix.

So, what are the major causes of poor VoIP quality?

1. Latency

Latency refers to lag or delay that occurs between a speaker and receiver. In other words, there is a delay between the time the speaker says something and the receiver hears it. This results in echoes or speakers speaking over each other. While latency doesn’t affect the VoIP call quality, it does make it difficult to communicate effectively, leading to frustration and confusion.

2. Jitter

Jitter occurs when a data packet is delivered later than the rest of the packet. VoIP and SIP calls occur through the transmission of data packets from one user to the next. A data packet can take various paths through the interweb to reach its destination. Furthermore, all the packets may not take the same path which can lead to one or two packets arriving later than the rest. High levels of network jitter can result in bad VoIP call quality and missing or jumbled audio.

3. Packet loss

Packet loss refers to the loss of data packets during transmission. There are a few different types of packet loss:

  • Completely lost and never reaches the destination
  • Arrived late, therefore discarded
  • Contain errors, therefore discarded
  • High packet loss leads to bad call quality as pieces or chunks of audio are missed or are hard to decipher.

4. Poor internet connection

Since VoIP calls occur over the internet, having a strong internet connection is essential to the proper functioning of your business phone system. If your ISP is optimized merely for surfing the internet and uploading or downloading files, then you won’t have even bandwidth for speedy VoIP connections and transmission of data packets. You can use online speed testing tools to get a good understanding of your internet capabilities such as:’

  • Upload speeds
  • Download speeds
  • Jitter times, etc.

How is VoIP Quality Measured?

The Mean Opinion Score (MOS) is the leading tool to measure VoIP call quality. MOS measures subjective call quality and its scores range from 1 (bad VoIP quality) to 5 (excellent VoIP quality).

Some standards and metrics to consider when measuring VoIP include:

  • The ITU standards P.861 (PSQM) and P.862 that state how MOS scores should be calculated.
  • The ITU standard P.563 that calculates call quality passively and includes an R factor to estimate a MOS score.
  • PESQ and PAMS methods that need a license from Psytechnics.
  • Cisco IOS that has built-in tools to measure metrics and estimate MOS during test calls.

How Do I Test VoIP Quality?

In order to test VoIP call quality, you will have to monitor network latency, jitter, and packet loss. VoIP quality tests will enable close monitoring of calls. Call details, activity reports, and alerts can help you identify areas that need improvement or solutions.

What is a Good MOS Score?

MOS measures VoIP quality by assessing the user’s opinion of the call’s quality to score it. On a scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent), a good score for VoIP calls falls between 3.5-4.2 range. This is what a MOS chart looks like:

MOS Quality Issue
5 Excellent Perfect quality
4 Good Less perfect; may include some loss of quality
3 Fair Slightly strained quality
2 Poor Strained quality
1 Bad Heavily strained quality

7 Ways to Improve VoIP Call Quality

So, how can you improve VoIP quality, and what are some helpful troubleshooting methods? Here is a list of 7 ways to fix your VoIP call quality:

1. Check your internet speed

The first step to ensuring high VoIP call quality is choosing the right internet service provider. Make sure you have enough bandwidth for VoIP calls and regularly test your internet speed using online testing tools.

2. Check network & equipment configuration

One of the top troubleshooting methods is to check if your network and equipment are properly configured. A network that is not properly configured can negatively affect call quality. This is especially true if you are transmitting voice and data.

3. De-jitter your VoIP

Jitter is often a result of network congestion, packet lags, configuration issues, etc. The best way to combat jitter is to invest in a de-jitter buffer such as a router or Edge device that receives a Real-Time Protocol (RTP).

4. Check your cabling

Most of the current cabling for phone communication and data transmission is a CAT 5 or higher. Ensure your phone system has the right wiring and cabling for its purpose.

5. Choose good handsets

Another quick and easy troubleshooting method is to get new and improved headsets. Low-quality headsets can easily hinder call quality and make simple communication difficult and unclear. Get good headsets for your employees so they have the best tools to work with.

6. Avoid hubs on your local access network (LAN)

A LAN with multiple hubs can result in low call quality. The recommendation is that each phone is individually connecting to the switch.

7. Determine whether “crackling” is because of faulty wiring or hardware problems

Lastly, if you are experiencing “crackling,” it is important to identify where it is coming from so you can fix it appropriately. Are all lines experiencing crackling? Are cords not properly or tightly plugged in? And so on.

Improve VoIP Quality and Enhance Business Communication

One of the top reasons why businesses are switching to Voice Over IP is because issues related to these phone systems are easy to identify and fix. Ready to switch to VoIP for business? Call us today to find out how our VoIP systems can benefit your business!