VoIP (Voice over IP) involves the transmitting of voice traffic over an existing Local Area Network (LAN) using wiring already in place for computer connectivity (CAT 5 cabling). So instead of having separate cables for the phone system to connect to the desk phones, with VoIP, the data connections can be used to connect phones to the phone system. The “phone system” is now another server that is integrated into the network. As the voice and data travel together, this allows new options for connectivity – such as allowing someone to use his/her computer as a phone (called a “softphone”), having call management “dashboards” on PC’s, checking voicemail from email or a web browser, and allowing calls to be placed from Outlook. Just as current remote branch offices or remote users can access the computer network through a VPN (Virtual Private Network), now those remote offices or users can also access the VoIP phone system allowing the transfer of calls between offices, remote users to have a local extension, and the cost savings of potentially eliminating branch phone lines. VoIP allows for the convergence (or merging) of email, fax, and voicemail.
The VoIP systems that we are proposing still utilize the traditional phone lines from carriers (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, etc.) that a company already has in place. When using these telephone circuits, local or long-distance calls aren’t being sent “over the Internet” (except in cases of branch access to the phone system via VPN). However, there is also the capability in trixbox CE to utilize Internet Telephone Service Providers either as a backup to traditional Telco lines, or to replace them, often at a very substantial cost savings*. Again, these Internet telephone providers are only an option, as traditional lines, such as T1’s or analog (POTS) lines can continue to be used.
We also have the capability to interface this phone system (or another Asterisk based phone system) to the software packages that we support, including Microsoft Dynamics NAV (Navision) and others. With this Click-to-Call interface, we can allow employees to place calls to customers or vendors (or other contacts w/ phone numbers) directly from the ERP application itself. For example, a customer service representative could be in an order screen in Microsoft NAV and just click the Click-to-Call button. His/her desktop phone (or softphone) rings and the phone system automatically dials and connects the customer/vendor call to the phone of the representative.
There is no charge for the base software. There is no charge for add-on features. There are no annual licensing fees. There is no charge by users. And the hardware required is industry standard, not proprietary. So the cost of implementing this phone system is just hardware (server, phones, switches) and labor costs – no expensive license fees. For fractions of the cost of a big-name VoIP System, iCepts is offering a fantastic phone system with some of the same (or better) features. And because trixbox CE (and the Asterisk base IP Telephony engine) are released as Open Source software (providing access to the underlying source code), there is worldwide development and support, while being sponsored by for-profit corporations. trixbox CE is the largest distribution of Asterisk, with Asterisk being used by over 2 million users. trixbox CE can be utilized with any number of phone extensions – from only a few up to several hundred.