Here’s how to choose the right VoIP solution for your SMB

Many small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) turn to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as their telephony solution. VoIP allows them to make calls either through traditional desk phones (hardphones) or software-based phones (softphones). Find out the pros and cons of both phone options so you can decide which one fits your business best.

What’s a hardphone?

A hardphone functions like a normal phone, but it’s connected to your business’s IP network instead of a telephone line. There’s no learning curve associated with VoIP hardphones and they allow your staff to call anyone worldwide at an affordable price. More advanced hardphones have built-in video displays and touch screens for video calls, eliminating the need for separate equipment for video conferencing.

What’s a softphone?

A softphone is any electronic device that uses a software application that allows users to turn their PCs, laptops, and tablets into phones that can make and receive local and international calls. Softphones let you dial a number on your computer or mobile device and speak through its embedded speakers and microphone or through a headset with a microphone, so you can make and take calls wherever you are.

Which VoIP phone is for you?

When choosing between hardphones and smartphones, consider the following questions:

Are your employees always moving around?
Do they require 24/7 connectivity?
Does your company take pride in offering top-notch customer service?
What’s your IT budget?

Your answers to these questions will determine the type of equipment you need.

Why choose hardphones?

Nothing beats the voice clarity and noise cancellation features of hardphones since they are designed specifically for voice calls, unlike softphones that share power with other programs on a device. They also let you make and receive calls without being disrupted by poor PC performance or malware.

Because you have to purchase actual phones, the initial setup costs for hardphones are greater than those for softphones, but the monthly phone bills are more affordable. Not only that, softphones may be more costly in the long run, as they require separate headphones and microphones that may need to be replaced or maintained frequently.

Why choose softphones?

If your company has a mobile workforce, adopting a softphone solution may be the way to go. Softphones feature call routing, which allows you to divert calls to one or several specified internet-enabled devices, ensuring your clients have 24/7 access to your company. This is most useful in a contact center environment. Transcribed voicemail messages are another helpful feature, as this enables you to receive messages promptly, even if you’re in a meeting or on the road.

Our experts are available 24/7/365 to answer any questions you may have pertaining to VoIP and especially about whether hardphones or softphones are right for you. If you’re interested in upgrading your telephony infrastructure, give us a call today.

This post was originally published on this site

Here’s how to choose the right VoIP solution for your SMB

Many small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) turn to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as their telephony solution. VoIP allows them to make calls either through traditional desk phones (hardphones) or software-based phones (softphones). Find out the pros and cons of both phone options so you can decide which one fits your business best.

What’s a hardphone?

A hardphone functions like a normal phone, but it’s connected to your business’s IP network instead of a telephone line. There’s no learning curve associated with VoIP hardphones and they allow your staff to call anyone worldwide at an affordable price. More advanced hardphones have built-in video displays and touch screens for video calls, eliminating the need for separate equipment for video conferencing.

What’s a softphone?

A softphone is any electronic device that uses a software application that allows users to turn their PCs, laptops, and tablets into phones that can make and receive local and international calls. Softphones let you dial a number on your computer or mobile device and speak through its embedded speakers and microphone or through a headset with a microphone, so you can make and take calls wherever you are.

Which VoIP phone is for you?

When choosing between hardphones and smartphones, consider the following questions:

Are your employees always moving around?
Do they require 24/7 connectivity?
Does your company take pride in offering top-notch customer service?
What’s your IT budget?

Your answers to these questions will determine the type of equipment you need.

Why choose hardphones?

Nothing beats the voice clarity and noise cancellation features of hardphones since they are designed specifically for voice calls, unlike softphones that share power with other programs on a device. They also let you make and receive calls without being disrupted by poor PC performance or malware.

Because you have to purchase actual phones, the initial setup costs for hardphones are greater than those for softphones, but the monthly phone bills are more affordable. Not only that, softphones may be more costly in the long run, as they require separate headphones and microphones that may need to be replaced or maintained frequently.

Why choose softphones?

If your company has a mobile workforce, adopting a softphone solution may be the way to go. Softphones feature call routing, which allows you to divert calls to one or several specified internet-enabled devices, ensuring your clients have 24/7 access to your company. This is most useful in a contact center environment. Transcribed voicemail messages are another helpful feature, as this enables you to receive messages promptly, even if you’re in a meeting or on the road.

Our experts are available 24/7/365 to answer any questions you may have pertaining to VoIP and especially about whether hardphones or softphones are right for you. If you’re interested in upgrading your telephony infrastructure, give us a call today.

This post was originally published on this site

Qualities of an ideal keyboard

When your keyboard has been with you for a long time, it can show signs of wear and tear. You could have a hard time typing even simple words or executing basic commands. Keyboards are relatively inexpensive, so you don’t have to endure the trouble the one you have is giving you. Look for the following when you buy a new one.

Ergonomics

To keep carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive stress injury at bay, use an ergonomic keyboard. Such keyboards keep your hands in a neutral position while typing. Not only do these provide greater comfort, but they also reduce joint and tendon stress. This prevents inflammation and pricey surgical procedures. Ergonomic features range from simple padded wrist-rests to elaborate curved and sloped keyboards.

Connectivity

If your computer mouse can go wireless, your keyboard can too. Wireless ones are powered by batteries and normally connect to your computer via Bluetooth or a radio frequency, whereas wired models draw power and transmit typed input via a USB connection.

Your choice of keyboard will depend on what you’ll use the keyboard for. Gamers tend to prefer wired over wireless because they don’t have to deal with the lag and interference issues that the latter is prone to. On the other hand, people who like to switch locations or have to work remotely are likely to appreciate the portability of wireless keyboards. Some tablet users may find these to be more affordable or more pleasant to use than the keyboards specifically designed for their tablets.

However, even if your computer is at a fixed location, a wireless keyboard — together with a wireless mouse and wireless headset — is great for creating a clean and modern look. Most models can be connected to your PC via a 2.4-GHz wireless dongle that can also be used for cordless phones and Wi-Fi, providing connectivity to multiple devices at once. And if you have a large enough screen, you can lie on the couch and type from across the room.

The right type of key switches

This aspect of keyboard design is widely mentioned in reviews, yet many people overlook the importance of the type of switches used for individual keys. Although the intricate mechanisms that hide beneath the keys may not excite you, the difference you feel from each type will.

The three main types of key switches include silicone dome, scissor, and mechanical switches. Newer keyboards generally use silicone-dome switches, where two dimpled layers of silicone membrane form a grid of rubber bubbles that acts as the switch for each key. This requires you to press the key hard to type a letter, gradually diminishing its springiness and responsiveness over time.

The newer laptops and ultrabooks use scissor switches, which have a mechanical stabilizer for uniformity. Moreover, under each keycap is a plunger that allows for shorter key travel. This causes scissor switch keyboards to have a shallow typing feel, making them more durable than silicone dome switches.

What keyboard enthusiasts can’t get enough of are mechanical switch keyboards. Their advantages lie in the spring-loaded sliding keypost beneath each key. Several variations are available with slightly different sensations or sounds. Mechanical switches generally provide enhanced tactile feedback and have a clicking sound. Thanks to their sturdy switch mechanisms and durable springs, these keyboards last longer and can easily be repaired. Furthermore, each keystroke registers quickly, making them ideal for touch typists.

It won’t take long to examine your current keyboard and see how well it works. Do not settle for anything but the best. If you need help finding the right keyboard, email us or drop us a line. We’re more than happy to hear from you.

This post was originally published on this site

Qualities of an ideal keyboard

When your keyboard has been with you for a long time, it can show signs of wear and tear. You could have a hard time typing even simple words or executing basic commands. Keyboards are relatively inexpensive, so you don’t have to endure the trouble the one you have is giving you. Look for the following when you buy a new one.

Ergonomics

To keep carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive stress injury at bay, use an ergonomic keyboard. Such keyboards keep your hands in a neutral position while typing. Not only do these provide greater comfort, but they also reduce joint and tendon stress. This prevents inflammation and pricey surgical procedures. Ergonomic features range from simple padded wrist-rests to elaborate curved and sloped keyboards.

Connectivity

If your computer mouse can go wireless, your keyboard can too. Wireless ones are powered by batteries and normally connect to your computer via Bluetooth or a radio frequency, whereas wired models draw power and transmit typed input via a USB connection.

Your choice of keyboard will depend on what you’ll use the keyboard for. Gamers tend to prefer wired over wireless because they don’t have to deal with the lag and interference issues that the latter is prone to. On the other hand, people who like to switch locations or have to work remotely are likely to appreciate the portability of wireless keyboards. Some tablet users may find these to be more affordable or more pleasant to use than the keyboards specifically designed for their tablets.

However, even if your computer is at a fixed location, a wireless keyboard — together with a wireless mouse and wireless headset — is great for creating a clean and modern look. Most models can be connected to your PC via a 2.4-GHz wireless dongle that can also be used for cordless phones and Wi-Fi, providing connectivity to multiple devices at once. And if you have a large enough screen, you can lie on the couch and type from across the room.

The right type of key switches

This aspect of keyboard design is widely mentioned in reviews, yet many people overlook the importance of the type of switches used for individual keys. Although the intricate mechanisms that hide beneath the keys may not excite you, the difference you feel from each type will.

The three main types of key switches include silicone dome, scissor, and mechanical switches. Newer keyboards generally use silicone-dome switches, where two dimpled layers of silicone membrane form a grid of rubber bubbles that acts as the switch for each key. This requires you to press the key hard to type a letter, gradually diminishing its springiness and responsiveness over time.

The newer laptops and ultrabooks use scissor switches, which have a mechanical stabilizer for uniformity. Moreover, under each keycap is a plunger that allows for shorter key travel. This causes scissor switch keyboards to have a shallow typing feel, making them more durable than silicone dome switches.

What keyboard enthusiasts can’t get enough of are mechanical switch keyboards. Their advantages lie in the spring-loaded sliding keypost beneath each key. Several variations are available with slightly different sensations or sounds. Mechanical switches generally provide enhanced tactile feedback and have a clicking sound. Thanks to their sturdy switch mechanisms and durable springs, these keyboards last longer and can easily be repaired. Furthermore, each keystroke registers quickly, making them ideal for touch typists.

It won’t take long to examine your current keyboard and see how well it works. Do not settle for anything but the best. If you need help finding the right keyboard, email us or drop us a line. We’re more than happy to hear from you.

This post was originally published on this site