Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

VOIP, IVR, Telephony: Demystifying Business Phone Services

February 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 115

The 4 most popular choices in business telephone systems are voice-over internet protocol (VOIP), interactive voice response (IVR), private-branch exchange (PBX), and basic telephony.

...but what's the difference?

Truth is, these acronyms are rarely explained. Moreover, little guidance is offered when it comes to selecting services that match an individual's needs.

Below you will find several easy-to-read explanations that will demystify business phone services for good.


Conversations that take place over an internet connection, as opposed to a traditional telephone line, are considered 'VOIP' calls. Other terms that may be used interchangeably include IP telephony and soft/sip phones. Curiously, consumers are more likely to recognize VOIP services as Skype calls. This particular vendor offers free video calling and highly affordable pricing for VOIP calls. Nevertheless, corporate users tend to be more skeptical.

Pros: Typically, these systems are highly affordable for most small-mid size companies. In addition, most are user-friendly and easy to implement.

Cons: One major disadvantage is the issue of redundancy. Without multiple points of connection, VOIP calls are highly susceptible to random outages and quality concerns during chats.


Voice response services do exactly as the name implies -- respond to voice. Speech recognition, call automation, and artificial call agents are terms used interchangeably. The other systems described here automate the call itself -- IVRs automate the actual conversation.

Pros: Barring issues with proprietary programming language, today's IVRs compliment a wide array of VOIP, PBX, or customer relationship management software.

Cons: Cost. For up and coming businesses, hosted call automation is recommended. Software is one area you'll definitely want to research. The quality of speech technology varies wildly from one vendor to the next. Register for a trial so you can experiment.


One way to think about this service is to envision a private telephone operator that only works for the company who owns it. Powered either by software or a physical device, this virtual operator automates many of the company-wide tasks a human would normally perform. Examples include the placing, transferring, or ending of calls.

Pros: Automates call answering. Telephone numbers may be incredibly short; with some being 3-4 digits.

Cons: No conversation automation; system relies on keypad entry & user-programming.


This service has essentially replaced human operated switchboards. Instead of a person, a digital "operator" transmits and routes data from the caller (i.e., a telephone number) to the receiver. In other words, the term is an umbrella under which all modern phone services can be classified. Some might deem this term as jargon. Others may choose to view the term as a historical reference to times gone by.

Pros: Businesses have the option of using telephony as a stand-alone communication aide, or combining it with one of the other systems discussed above.

Cons: Interestingly, the same federal regulations that apply to other communication delivery aides do not apply to internet-based (VOIP) telephony. For some businesses, this may matter.

Which one is better?

By now, it should be apparent that no single business telephone system is better than another. Clearly, each phone service offers its own unique set of advantages and challenges. Members of call center management, public health and education sectors, automotive industries, logistics, and even retailers report that multiple services tend to work better than any one technology alone.

When he's not writing about innovative IVR design, Jay E. Coop consults with contact centers on how to effectively use hosted IVR.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Business Phone Services




Hosted Ivr


Speech Ivr


Ivr Software


Ivr Solutions


Hosted Ivr Solutions

Teenage rebellion is easier to tolerate in book or film form. Take a look back at some of the most well known and loved "coming of age" stories set in boarding schools.

By: Harvey McEwan l Arts & Entertainment l July 10, 2012 lViews: 444

An important thing you have to consider before working out is having a pair of great training shoes. You cannot immediately undergo any physical training wearing inappropriate footwear. If you do so,

By: Steve Hill l Recreation & Sports l July 10, 2012 lViews: 348

Granite is one natural stone that is used for several purposes from dimension stone to countertops to sculptures. The use of granite for building the temples and monuments was initiated millions

By: Steve L Patterson l Arts & Entertainment l July 10, 2012 lViews: 297

Up to 65,000 H-1B visas for new employment may be issued each fiscal year (FY) for professional workers, including medical providers. In general, a person who already has an H-1B and applies for

By: Ann Badmus l Arts & Entertainment l July 10, 2012 lViews: 308

Beside coin shooting, gold detecting or the many other things you can do with your metal detector. There is a large group of people who take their metal detector out looking for old stuff. Not just

By: Candy L Lindsey l Recreation & Sports l July 07, 2012 lViews: 293

Many people want to be writers and you may be one of them. In order to make your dream occupation a reality, you need to have a plan. You also need to work on this plan constantly. These tips from a

By: Harriet Hodgson l Writing & Speaking l July 06, 2012 lViews: 438

The most successful networkers build relationships with others because they love people, the dynamics of relationships and are irrepressible matchmakers. They love sharing their lives and experiences

By: Rick Frishmanl Communicationsl July 06, 2012 lViews: 192

Although the T1 Line Internet Service is not as popular as DSL or your common broadband connection, it does deliver higher speed connections and is mainly used in business networks. With advances in

By: Jacob Richardl Communicationsl July 05, 2012 lViews: 181

Today, most of the telecommunication systems are being run on the fiber optic network. This network has many advantages over the older versions of networking. The optical carrier fiber network is

By: Jacob Richardl Communicationsl July 05, 2012 lViews: 219

Many businesses start out as small firms before gradually increasing their size as well as their operations. The beginning is normally the hardest aspects in any business. The use of services such as

By: Jacob Richardl Communicationsl July 05, 2012 lViews: 188

Point to point ethernet service providers are a private data trade that allow one to have an independent cable or wireless network link, ensuring utmost up time and a dedicated bandwidth ranging from

By: Jacob Richardl Communicationsl July 05, 2012 lViews: 232

Do we need all that information? Well yes and no. We need it if it is going to grow our businesses, or it pertains to people and promises we make. So how do we get it organized so that we don't end

By: Mandie Crawfordl Communicationsl July 05, 2012 lViews: 194