Making Sense of VoIP Jargon

One of the selling points of business VoIP is the simplicity it brings to calling, but ironically a plethora of acronyms make it sound more complex than analogue telephone systems, not simpler and easier to use.

With that in mind, let’s unpack some of this jargon when it comes to business VoIP.

First, there’s the term VoIP itself. While VoIP stands for voice-over-IP, which sounds complicated thanks to the IP part, really all the term means is that calling takes place over the Internet instead of through dedicated copper wires like old school telephones. VoIP is using the Internet to make calls, even though the person on the other end might be on a traditional phone.

Which brings us to the second piece of jargon we should unpack: SIP trunking.

SIP stands for session initiation protocol, which is a complex and technical way of saying that businesses can use the technology to connect VoIP to callers that don’t use VoIP. When someone uses Skype (News- Alert) calling to talk with another Skype user, they are using VoIP. If they call someone on a cell phone using their Skype account, they are doing so through a SIP trunk.

The takeaway is that SIP trunking makes VoIP calling work with non-VoIP phone systems. This is, of course, quite important for business VoIP systems.

Another term you might run across soon after hearing about SIP trunking is DID. The term DID stands for direct inward dial, and DIDs allow an outside caller to place a call to a direct extension via a dedicated phone number. Basically, a DID removes need for additional extensions and offers companies the flexibility of customizing phone numbers. Companies such as Vitcom provide uncomplicated access to DIDs that then can be connected to a firm’s PBX (News - Alert).

Which brings us to our last piece of jargon: hosted PBX.

A PBX is a public branch exchange, which is another way of saying it is a business phone system that has extensions, maybe hold music, and things like directory access. A hosted PBX is one that is in the cloud so a business does not have to install hardware on-premise.

Hosted PBX systems are particularly easy to use because businesses simply need to sign up for phone service on a web page not unlike other web services these days. There’s no need for hardware or maintenance, and both setup and administration are easy to use.

Business VoIP, especially hosted PBX solutions, make business phone systems easy.

A pity that the jargon nught get in the way sometimes.

By Mae Kowalke for DIDsresource.com