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June 15, 2011

Test Drive: Using VoIP for My Home Business Solution

IStock_000007395743XSmall Many work at home moms use their home or cell phones for their business calls. I just recently had the chance to review another alternative for work at home communications (or for any businesses): VoIP. VoIP is not a word many recognize, but it simply means a communications protocol over the Internet. So when using VoIP, instead of make calls using a cell services, an internet connection is used.

Alteva is a cloud (or internet) based communications solution. The phone I am testing is a wireless business phone that will be using the Alteva solution. I am excited to try it for a couple of reasons.

1. First, my cell coverage is always not so great at home and my cell phone speaker is not a perfect solution for business calls.

2. I have a home broadband service but there are limits on how many "mbps" (mega bits per second) that I can use. With all the wireless gadgets I have in the house, our broadband can sometimes be slow. It would be great to have a different communications protocol for my business calls so it won't interfere with the broadband demands of our many other home wireless devices.

The  Alteva VoIP phone I’m currently using at home allows you not only to manage your email in Outlook from your phone, but also to automatically redirect phone calls to mobile, desk phone or voicemail, depending on your Outlook calendar.  And, using VoIP to make my calls over the internet gets around international long distance charges.
The service Alteva is offering incorporates MSFT Comms Svcs – Outlook/hosted Exchange, Office live Meeting, Office Communications Suite – with Broadsoft’s VoIP telephony.  

3. No matter if you are a work at home parent or have an office these days everyone seems to work with a virtual team. This solution offers an advantage because it is a Unified Communications platform (UC Platform) that supports the concept of a virtual team. One of the other bloggers in the review, Joseph Mutidjo, explains  a Unified Communications platform  as this "Unified communications is the concept of taking all the ways we communicate and seamlessly integrating them into a single interface. For businesses, this translates into pulling communication modes like voice calls, video conferencing, instant messaging, mobile communication, email, voicemail and fax into one platform.".

I will post about my own experiences soon, but here are perspectives from some of the other bloggers in the review:

Ramon’s Journey With VOIP and Integrated Comm Services  

Voice over IP and Unified Communications - What It Means for Your Small Business & Sales

Unified Communications–Connecting Your Team on One Platform
Alteva, Microsoft Communications Server for Small, Medium Business    
Disclosure: This is not a paid post. I was supplied with a VoIP phone for testing purposes.


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interested to hear how this compares to skype and its hardware accessories

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