- Best cloud phone systems of 2019: set up a business PBX system in the cloud - TechRadar
- What Is SIP Trunking, and Should Your Business Use It? - Business News Daily
- Robocalls now flooding US phones with 200m calls per day - Naked Security
- VoIP Providers 2019 Global Trends, Market Share, Industry Size, Growth, Opportunities and Forecast to 2025 - Press Release - Digital Journal
Posted: 10 Oct 2019 08:49 AM PDT
Editor's note: Looking for a cloud phone system and PBX for your business? If you're looking for information to help you choose the one that's right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our partner site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:
PBX (Private Branch Exchanges) are used by companies to route telephone calls within their own premises. Depending on the type of PBX used people in your organization can have their own extensions, place calls and even send SMS messages and faxes.
Setting up your own PBX has traditionally been time consuming and costly. These days however, there are a number of companies offering phone systems in the cloud.
In this guide, you'll discover some of the top cloud-based companies offering this service today. All of these providers will save you the trouble and expense of installing your own hardware, although some are compatible with existing PBX systems too. As their systems are based online, many of these providers also support video and VoIP calling as well as regular telephone calls.
Best cloud business phone systems - at a glance
Comprehensive cross platform cloud-calling for those who can afford it
Good customer support
8x8 Inc. is a provider of cloud communications and customer engagement solutions. Services available include cloud –based voice, contact centre, video, mobile and unified communications for small, medium and enterprise businesses.
The platform offers a unified communications system which is easy to use. It has many features including calling, collaboration, mobile apps and tools. 8x8 is a cloud-hosted VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone system. No complicated PBX hardware is needed.
Phones can be purchased directly from 8x8. If you choose to do this, the will come preconfigured and ready to use upon arrival. However, if you purchased from an outside vendor, an 8x8 representative will help you during initial setup.
The entire 8x8 system is setup and managed via online portal. From where users have access to billing, call logs and support. Administrators can also create and setup extensions and call groups.
8x8 offers three price plans. In order to subscribe, users will need to contact the sales team directly. All plans include unlimited calling, mobile apps, auto attendant, online call management and business SMS.
Users have complained that the cost is high compared to other providers.
Unlimited telephone and video calls, RingCentral ticks all the boxes
Unlimited video & audio meetings
UI learning curve
RingCentral is a provider of cloud-based communications and collaboration solutions. It was founded in 1999.
The solution includes all PBX administration functions, Android and iOS apps and unlimited calling.
Upon registration, users will be assigned an 'implementation specialist' to help determine the number of phones you need. They also help to either transfer over or create new numbers for you. Any phones you purchase directly from RingCentral are preconfigured and ready to use upon receipt.
RingCentral offer several pricing tiers for small businesses. These range from $19.99 for the 'Essentials' package to $49.99 for the 'Ultimate' package. All plans include unlimited phone calls, unlimited business SMS and mobile apps. They also offer unlimited video and audio meetings with screen sharing on both the desktop and mobile apps. However, the number of screen-sharing users is limited by the package you choose.
For enterprise business, subscribers can request a demo and a quote by filling out a form on the website.
Online commentators have noticed that it takes some time to get used to the interface.
Ooma Office is a cloud-based business VoIP solution aimed at providing enterprise-level features and service for small business customers.
Even better is that Ooma doesn't lock you into a contract, meaning you can set up and stay with them only as long as you want, with no penalties.
There are a number of features available to help ensure your business phone service sounds professional to customers, such as extensions, a multi-level virtual receptionist and call transfers, as well as conferencing features.
Additionally there is a mobile app for use on smartphones so that you and your staff can use the Ooma phone system while on the go out of the office.
Ooma is compatible with a number of existing VoIP protocols, but new customers can buy a specially-built base station with range extenders. Existing businesses should be able to use their existing VoIP equipment, but additional phones and bundles are available if required.
Another advantage of Ooma is that it has a single flat-rate fee for small businesses of $19.95 per user, which is a lot cheaper than many other providers, making it particularly price-competitive.
Keep your switchboard in the cloud without breaking the bank
Some connectivity issues
Vonage is an internet telephony service which provides business and residential telecommunication services. They were founded in 2001.
Vonage Business Cloud provides users with video conferencing and online collaboration. The solution offers businesses access to a web-based console. Users can view extension numbers, the number porting tool and setup guide.
Subscribers have access to a variety of plug-ins as well as services. Some plug-ins are free such as integration with Clio, ConnectWise, Google G Suite and Microsoft Dynamics.
Vonage claim to have an easy to use service with no need to install complicated PBX hardware as everything is cloud-based.
The 'Mobile' package starts at $19.99 which includes unlimited calling and messages, mobile app, desktop app and Vonage Flow Team messaging.
The 'Premium' plan starts at $29.99 per month per user and comes with extras such as CRM integrations, multi-level auto attendant, conference calling, online meetings and video conferencing.
The top tier plan available, weighs in at $39.99 per month with all the first two tiers have to offer plus on-demand call recording and Vonage Visual Voicemail.
Vonage offer a 14-day free trial for all packages.
Some users have claimed that calls can disconnect at times.
A powerful cloud phone system
Strong suite of features
Different cloud options
Avaya OneCloud aims to create a truly scaleable business phone solution that can work for every size of business, whether small business or enterprise.
For small and medium-sized businesses Avaya OneCloud operates through Google cloud, meaning that you receive continuous service and don't have to concern yourself with software upgrades or IT buy-ins.
For enterprise companies that already have a private or hybrid cloud service, a customized solution can be set up under the OneCloud ReadyNow service. There's the option of setting up any required server hardware on premises, or else host it in one of Avaya's datacenters.
Of course, Avaya OneCloud is more than just calls, and as a unified communications solution it means integrating all communications channels into a single system.
Avaya have a solid track record in their expanded VoIP and UC service provisions, and the sheer scaleability of the OneCloud solution has to be attractive.
Other cloud phone systems and PBX options to consider
We've only scratched the surface in terms of cloud-hosted phone and PBX providers with considering for your business. Here's we'll look at some additional options which are well worth a look:
aircall is one of the more innovative cloud-based phone providers for business. Not only is it entirely cloud-based, making it an excellent choice for those with mobile devices, it also comes with a ton of standard features. Even better, it comes not just with analytics, but with a huge number of integrations, such as SalesForce, Zendesk, Zoho, Freshdesk, and Shopify.
Jive is another company that offers a hosted cloud VoIP system which combines both voice and video, making it ideal for use on mobile devices such as cell phones. It also comes with a lot of standard features, including analytics, and of course video conferencing. Although it starts from $29.95 per user for up to 4 users, the cost-per-user decreases the more users you sign up.
Dialpad is another big cloud-hosted PBX worth looking at. Dialpad runs using Google's Cloud, and as above includes both voice and video conferencing as standard. It also offers AI to work through your logs to offer actionable insights to help improve business efficiency, customer retention, and profitability. It's also cheap at $20 per user, though costs more to unlock more features.
Microsoft Phone System is part of the Microsoft Teams stable, which not only offers cloud-hosting calling, conferencing, and chat, but also promises full integration with the Office 365 office software suite. However, if you don't want to move to the cloud you can use your existing PBX hardware.
MiCloud Connect is the hosted PBX solution by one of the world's biggest specialist VoIP providers. Although it looks geared more to enterprise, it's also accessible to smaller business, with a range of scales available according to need. It also comes with CRM options and a host of other features to improve business operations.
Posted: 18 Sep 2019 12:00 AM PDT
As a small business owner, you're always looking for ways to cut costs and optimize your business. SIP trunking is an increasingly popular way for businesses to minimize their phone costs and improve their telecommunication bandwidth, but it can be a difficult service to understand. We broke down what SIP trunking is and how you know if it's right for your business.
What is SIP trunking?
To put it simply, SIP trunks are virtual phone lines that allow you to make and receive calls over the internet to anyone in the world who has a phone number.
SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol, a popular telephony protocol that initiates calls over the internet and is primarily used to manage multimedia communications, like voice and video calls. SIP establishes and terminates the connection for a phone call, controls the transfer of data, and is what enables services like Skype and Facebook Messenger to provide free calling anywhere around the world.
A "trunk" is a line or link that carries signals and connects nodes in a communications system – in other words, a pipe that carries the data channels inside it to connect two locations.
SIP trunking is a method of sending voice and other communications over the internet through an IP-enabled private branch exchange (PBX), which is a telephone system within an enterprise that switches calls between users on local lines while allowing them to share the use of external phone lines. A PBX cuts down on costs by avoiding the need for each user to have a line to a telephone company's central office. SIP can be used to send and receive local and long-distance calls, text messages, and emails; browse the internet; and conduct video chats.
SIP trunking replaces the traditional method of the public switched telephone network (PSTN), which is a copper-wire, circuit-switched network that requires a physical connection between two points to make a call. Instead, SIP trunks use a packet-switched network, which breaks down voice calls into digital packets and sends them over a network to their destination.
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Each SIP trunk can hold an unlimited number of channels. A channel, or line, is equivalent to one incoming or outgoing call. Because each trunk can hold as many channels as necessary, a business would only need one SIP trunk – no matter how many calls you have coming in and going out at one time. The more phone calls you have running concurrently, the more trunk channels you will need.
When looking for a SIP service provider, make sure you have a good estimate of how many channels you will need to get an accurate quote, since many vendors only charge you for the number of channels you need.
SIP vs. VoIP
SIP and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) are similar in many ways, but they cannot be used interchangeably. "VoIP" is a broad term that can describe any internet-based phone service (including SIP), but SIP is a specific protocol that enables VoIP by establishing start and end points and defining messages during a call.
Benefits of SIP trunking
The greatest benefit of using SIP trunking as your business phone system is that it is highly cost-effective. This is due to many reasons, but mainly because it eliminates the costs of long-distance calling. If your business often makes phone calls across the country or the ocean, SIP trunking may be the answer for you.
SIP also eliminates the use of both data and telephone voice networks. Because SIP is IP-based, you can enjoy one centralized network with multiple digital streaming capabilities that is easily scaled and requires no physical infrastructure, which means no maintenance or hardware costs.
The removal of the PSTN gateway allows the SIP trunk to connect directly to your chosen internet telephony service provider (ITSP), removes subscription fees, and gives you greater flexibility in how you scale your telecommunications services by providing more bandwidth increment options at lower rates.
Local call charges
A SIP trunk enables all calls to be local calls by carrying them over the internet, avoiding the costs of international or long-distance calls. The SIP trunk sends the call to the provider's termination point, where the call is transferred to a local PSTN, therefore only charging you for a local call.
To compete with ITSPs, many SIP trunking providers have added services such as ENUM, or telephone number mapping, which allows you to use the same phone number no matter where you are in the world. They also offer the elimination of 800 numbers by providing a local number based on your location.
SIP trunking is flexible and easily scalable, with an unlimited number of channels allowed per trunk and no physical installation or setup necessary. New channels can be added and enabled within hours.
SIP trunking services tend to be far more flexible and resilient than legacy phone systems in a disaster Whether it's a network failure, natural disaster or hardware problem, most services will have measures in place to make sure you can still place calls. These may include geographic redundancy, routing calls to different locations or data centers, or dispersed network operating centers.
Your SIP trunking service will also help you create a disaster preparation plan on your end, including steps such as routing your calls to a different predetermined number, using a backup trunk provider, or having a cloud system ready for backup.
How to implement SIP trunks
To transition from a traditional phone service to SIP trunking, start by determining how many channels you need. This will depend on the size of your business and how many phone calls you think will be going at once.
For example, companies with 100 people or more should follow the 3-to-1 rule: For every three employees making calls, you should have one SIP channel. Companies with fewer than 100 employees will need more channels, because you are more likely to have multiple people using the phone at one time in a smaller office.
Next, assess whether you have enough bandwidth and a robust enough network to support a SIP service. Also take inventory of whether you will need to replace any desk phones with SIP-enabled IP phones.
Be sure to ask about a Session Border Controller (SBC), which acts like a firewall for SIP traffic and provides security against hacking and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.
SIP trunking pricing
When you call vendors for SIP trunking prices, be sure to ask about setup fees, required equipment and monthly service fees. Most businesses can expect to save around 75% on telecommunication fees by switching to SIP trunking. The prices you're quoted will also vary, depending on how many IP-enabled handsets you will need and if you want to add extra features like video conferencing or forwarding to mobile devices.
These will be your main costs for SIP trunking:
For SIP trunking services, the average outbound call rate in North America ranges from 0.5 cents to 3 cents per minute. The average cost per channel is between $1.67 and $15 per month. Unlimited SIP trunk channels range from $19.99 to $29.99 per channel.
A cloud-based VoIP system can cost anywhere from $10 to $75 per user per month, whereas a traditional, on-premises phone system can cost several thousand dollars in one-time fees for equipment and installation and several hundred or several thousand dollars in monthly fees, depending on your call volume.
Posted: 17 Sep 2019 12:00 AM PDT
This is unlikely to surprise anybody who owns a phone: according to a new report, nearly 30% of all US calls placed in the first half of this year were garbage, as in, nuisance, scam or fraud calls. That puts the approximate volume of sludge coming into people's phones at a mind-boggling 200 million unwanted calls per day.
The TNS 2019 Robocall Investigation Report comes from Transaction Network Services (TNS), which markets a big-data analytics engine that aims to suppress unwanted calls to consumers by applying machine learning, as well as an authentication hub to help carriers combat illegal spoofing and to help consumers fend off robocalls.
TNS's analysis crunched approximately one billion daily calls, placed via hundreds of carriers. TNS defines "high-risk" robocalls – i.e., scam/fraudulent calls – as those that try to shake down targets for personal information and/or money. It defines "nuisance" robocalls as those that are, well, just nuisances that lack malicious intent and that don't reflect negligent non-compliance.
"Nuisance" calls aren't always defined to exclude scams, but we can look to the UK for what strikes me as an example of TNS's definition…
A few years back, Home Logic, a UK firm that offers energy-saving solutions, was made £50,000 lighter thanks to a penalty issued by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for making marketing calls to people who had made it clear – via the free Telephone Preference Service (TPS) – that they didn't want to be contacted in that way.
It was a tech glitch, Home Logic said at the time. What happened was that it licensed the numbers it used to make marketing calls from third-party providers. It then uploaded that data to an electronic dialer system that screened the numbers against the TPS register. One of the third-party providers left it up to Home Logic UK to ensure that the data supplied was screened against the TPS.
Technical issues knocked the system out for 90 days out of 220 between April 2015 and March 2016. That didn't slow down Home Logic, though: the unsolicited marketing calls kept right on coming, but with no screening against the TPS register.
The rate of this type of non-malicious nuisance call is rising faster than the malicious type that tries to scam you, TNS found.
Here's that plus more key findings from the report:
Nuisance calls are increasing at a faster rate than high-risk calls. Nuisance calls increased 38% from the third quarter of 2018 to the second quarter of 2019, while high-risk calls grew only 28% over that period.
Robocall hijacking of mobile numbers has more than doubled. "Hijacking" a number is TNS's term for what we more frequently refer to as illegal spoofing of a caller ID. A year ago, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) slapped (or proposed) some huge fines on robocallers for using spoofed numbers, one of which represented the first major enforcement action against a company that allegedly "commandeered" consumers' phone numbers.
TNS reports that 1 in 1,700 mobile numbers are now being commandeered by robocall spoofers every month, which is more than double last year's rate of 1 in 4,000 mobile numbers. As a result, TNS says, 2.5% of people whose phone numbers have been hijacked have disconnected their phone number.
When it proposed its fines last year, the FCC pointed to one of those people: a poor soul whose phone number was hijacked in order to plague people. The Arizona woman said she received more than five calls a day on her cell phone, all coming from irate people complaining about the telemarketing calls they got from "her" phone number. In fact, the calls were coming from Affordable Enterprises, whose shtick was to sic its robots on unsuspecting people in order to telemarket home improvement and remodeling services.
TNS noted that in one extreme case, the company witnessed a spoofer that used a legitimate mobile number to place over 36,000 calls in a three-day period.
TNS notes that the faster growth rate of nuisance calls, as opposed to high-risk calls, may have to do with the fact that, due to regulatory action from the FCC, carriers have begun to block illegal calls.
Robocallers may shift focus to smaller, regional carrier networks. TNS reports that the top six US carriers represent 70% of total calls for the time period it analyzed, but only 12% of high-risk calls were placed from numbers owned by these carriers.
Robocallers are shifting from spoofing VoIP numbers to toll-free numbers. TNS found that the share of Voice over IP (VoIP) number spoofing dropped, but that the percentage of calls originating from toll-free numbers more than doubled from 12% last year to 25% in the first half of the year. That means that more than 8 in 10 calls from the top 10 toll-free numbers are either nuisance or high-risk calls – what TNS calls "a challenge to leading brands whose legitimate numbers are being spoofed in an attempt to trick consumers."
Neighbor spoofing and "snowshoe spamming" are growing more sophisticated. Neighbor spoofing – that's when robocallers display a phone number similar to your own on your caller ID, to increase the likelihood that you'll pick up – now accounts for 25% of all bad calls. We learned about a particularly pernicious form of this a few months ago: hospitals are being suffocated by robocalls, with spam callers spoofing phone numbers to place calls to hospitals that look for all the world like the calls were placed internally.
Hospitals are also suffering from vishing attacks from voice phishers: spearphishers who pose as employees at government agencies and demand to speak to a specific, named physician as they try to finagle confidential information out of the doctors, such as medical license numbers and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) numbers – information with which fraudsters can illegally procure drugs to then sell on the black market.
The new twist noted by TNS: "snowshoe spamming." That's when spammers spoof calls over several telephone numbers in low volume, and then rapidly churn through them to evade detection.
Bill Versen, chief product officer at TNS, said in a press release about the report that while the top six US carriers – AT&T, CenturyLink, Comcast, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon – are getting better at identifying these calls, the focus now has to shift to the same place that the perpetrators are now targeting: smaller networks.
In May 2019, the US Senate passed an anti-robocalling bill. That bill, the TRACED Act, would have created an interagency task force to address robocalls and extend the FCC's statute of limitations for going after the fraudsters.
In July, the House passed its own version, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act (HR 946). Sen. Ed Markey said at the time that both the House and Senate bills would be headed to conference and combined into one piece of legislation for the president's consideration and possible signature.
If President Trump does sign it into law, the House bill would make it easier for the government to impose tougher penalties on illegal robocallers and demand that carriers deploy call authentication protocols such as SHAKEN/STIR at a faster pace.
But as the carriers have pointed out, SHAKEN/STIR isn't a robocalling panacea. It's expensive, for one thing. Nor does it signify which calls are illegal or not. Plus, with so many of these calls coming from overseas, the universal adoption needed to make SHAKEN/STIR really work is hard to imagine.
Posted: 10 Oct 2019 05:30 AM PDT
Wiseguyreports.Com Publish New Market Research Report On -"VoIP Providers Market 2019 Global Analysis, Size, Share, Trends, Opportunities and Growth, Forecast 2025"
VoIP Providers Market 2019
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), known as IP telephony, is a system that comprises several technologies like voice communications and multimedia sessions that use Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet. VoIP uses standard TCP/IP protocols to send data or communicate. User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is a part of this system that is used to deliver messages over the Internet that requires no sequencing or error checking. The market, as studied, for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is expected to gain substantial growth in the coming years.
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Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is easy to configure and install. Its maintenance procedure is also quite easy due to which the global market for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) can gain traction. It is scalable both for upside and down for better market analysis and changing of employees' number upon transferring the office premise is not required. Various call features can be implemented in the process as well. It is also pretty easy to get the system integrated with other processes, which can trigger better market growth.
However, during a power outage, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) cannot provide service. Emergency calls cannot be traced as well, which can cause trouble for many. The service also depends on the reliability of the broadband service, which can create a problem in the coming years. These can deter market growth significantly in the coming years.
Market Segment by Top Companies, this report covers
Table of Contents –Analysis of Key Points
1 VoIP Providers Market Overview
2 Manufacturers Profiles
3 Global VoIP Providers Market Competition, by Players
4 Global VoIP Providers Market Size by Regions
5 North America VoIP Providers Revenue by Countries
6 Europe VoIP Providers Revenue by Countries
7 Asia-Pacific VoIP Providers Revenue by Countries
8 South America VoIP Providers Revenue by Countries
9 Middle East and Africa Revenue VoIP Providers by Countries
10 Global VoIP Providers Market Segment by Type
11 Global VoIP Providers Market Segment by Application
12 Global VoIP Providers Market Size Forecast (2019-2024)
13 Research Findings and Conclusion
List of Tables and Figures
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