What is VoIP and how has it changed business communications?
This post originally appeared on IPro Media.
In the 1840s, Samuel F.B. Morse announced an invention that would forever change how humans communicated: the telegraph. Using a series of electromagnetic impulses over a single wire, Morse developed a code that could be used to relay messages over vast physical spaces.
While this invention was critical, it was only a matter of time before it became fundamentally improved upon. In the 1870s, Alexander Graham Bell took an interest to Morse’s invention. He took note of the drawback to his system; with a telegraph, each message had to be hand-delivered and parsed through specialized stations (and only one message could go through at a time).
Bell worked together closely a machinist named Thomas A. Watson. Together, they developed a prototype for an archaic telephone that delivered sound waves over a distance through vibrating magnetic plates. This marked the beginning of advanced communications for all of mankind.
In a little over a century, communication technologies advanced greatly. By 1973, a researcher from Motorola placed the first-ever mobile phone call. Cellular towers and satellite technology soon followed thereafter, causing a rapid increase in the spread of communication technology. But with the invention and spread of the internet, communication technology would drastically change once again.
The Modernization of Communication
For years, businesses continued to utilize the office phones that were available to them. Naturally, their business communications were limited to whatever was most effective and affordable at the time. With the adoption of the internet as a vital part of business, new possibilities emerged.
In 1995, a company called VocalTec created the first ever internet phone that used VoIP technology (and it was simply called the “Internet Phone”). The VoIP technology took the concept that was created by Alexander Bell and converted it to a digital format. Instead of vibrating sound waves through metal plates, VoIP phones broke down voice samples into smaller chunks (called packets). These packets could be sent quickly through the internet to another user via IP address, where they would be quickly reconstructed and played.
VoIP was not quickly adopted. Prior to the 2000s, VoIP was seen by most businesses as an expensive and gimmicky method to communicate. At the time, establishing a VoIP system for office phones would have been an extremely expensive logistical nightmare. However, this disdain was largely short-lived.
By 2003, internet infrastructure throughout the world improved drastically. Suddenly, it was feasible to use VoIP because there was bandwidth to spare. VoIP went from being an outlandish concept to a great way to communicate effectively for business. Calls could now be made while browsing the internet, and were overall much clearer in quality.
Much like the quick advancement in telephonic technology, VoIP changed dramatically within a short amount of time. Modern office phones do so much more than simply make calls; through the right partner, organizations can leverage phones with advanced technology. These technologies can provide an overall boost in productivity for the entire company through useful features and applications.
VoIP forever changed business communication by providing a cheaper, more effective alternative to traditional phone services. With VoIP, companies have the option to create an advanced network of multi-purpose and internet-capable office phones.
Want to see how VoIP can affect your company for the better? Contact our partner for a professional consultation and a more in-depth talk.