Solutions VoIP PitfallsAs with all evolving software and telecommunications technologies, VoIP systems have their pitfalls. This article identifies the most commonly cited drawbacks of VoIP information systems. More ...VoIP HistoryContrary to popular opinion and some vendor claims, Voice over Internet Protocol transmission started in 1973 as a result of the experimental Network Voice Protocol invented for the ARPANET. However, not until 1995 did the first Internet Phone Software – Vocaltec – appear. More ...
 Market Leaders Skype and Vonage have emerged and introduced disruptive technologies. Cisco, Avaya and Nortel have introduced major market strategies to leverage their IP telephony into VoIP services. Other peer to peer groups beyond Skype, such as FlyFone, also challenge the normal and the traditional telephone companies with impressive new technology solutions.
VoIP Capabilities

The following features and productivity aids are commonly underutilized, highly valuable, and freely available with most VoIP phone systems.

Program call routing to keep in touch: Transfer your incoming voice messages from one person's phone to another, form a phone to a voicemail box or from a voicemail box to an email account, or wherever you need a messages to go to provide the best follow-up and response. Listen to your voice messages from your desk telephone, have an audio (.wav) file sent as email attachment to your e-mail inbox, and listen to the message from either your PC or mobile device.

Create custom hold messages or music: Record your choice of music or custom messaging for callers to hear while on hold. This capability is often used to promote new products, new services, limited time promotions or special recorded notifications.

Have your phone calls find or follow you: Ever need to roam around the office but expect to receive an important call at any time? Route the call to your mobile device. Or you may want to have inbound calls ring at just your desk, have them ring simultaneously at both your desk and mobile device, or have them forwarded to any phone, such as a hotel phone, your home line, your mobile—wherever you happen to be.

Use your PC like it’s a telephone: Use the soft phone installed on your PC to emulate your desktop telephone from anywhere in the world where you have Internet access. When you dial a number from the soft phone program, it can appear as though you are dialing from your primary desk line. So regardless of where you may be, callers will believe you are at your primary location with internal extension dialing as well.

Take the remote office home with you: In addition to the soft phone feature, VoIP systems support flexible call routing. When you are at home but need to make a customer call (and do not want the customer to view your home telephone number), make the call using VoIP’s remote office feature set. The call is bridged to your home telephone and then dials the customer telephone number.

Make the Telephony Toolbar your friend: For most VoIP systems, the Telephony Toolbar works with IE, FireFox, and the MS Outlook add-on toolbar to facilitate access to all of the above capabilities so that you can create the most optimal phone system and setup to suit your needs.

Oftentimes, the best VoIP capabilities are often the ones that are not included with traditional telephone systems, such as the flexibility to be anywhere and still stay in touch and the personal configuration that traditional phone companies simply choose not to support. VoIP applications can go above and beyond traditional phone systems and provide personal productivity benefits whether you are inside or outside the office.