Category: Business

There are two types of call transfer that your system if capable of:

  1. Blind transfer:  This is where the call is directy transferred to another user without any introduction.  Following the transfer, the other phone will ring showing the callerid of the original caller.  If there is no answer, the call would go to the voicemail of the numebr the call was being transferred to.
  2. Attended transfer:  In this scenario, the user transferring the call would have the opportunity to speak to the transfer recipient before the call is transferred.  The recipient on the transferred number sees the callerid extension  number of the user transferring the call rather than the original callerid.  If the recipient is not available or does not want to take the call, the user can return to the original call.

The system is also capable of making conference calls joining three calls.
Blind Call Transfer
In the first call, press the TRANSFER key
Enter the number to transfer to and then press the TRANSFER soft key
The calls will be transferred and the phone will return to the ready screen.
Attended Call Transfer
In the first call, press the TRANSFER key
Dial the number that you want to transfer the call to and wait for the call to be picked up.  You may talk with the recipient.
To complete the transfer of the call, press the TRANSFER key
The call will be transferred and the phone will return to the ready screen.
In the situation where the recipient of the transferred call is not available, or does not want to take the call, the user should just hang up and return to the original call by pressing the first green flashing line key.
Conference Calling
Initiate first call. Press the conference key
Dial second call.  Once connected, press CONFERENCE key .
During the conference call, the MANAGE soft key allows the user to manage the other parties
Using the up and down arrow keys, one of the other parties can be selected and their line mutes or removed

Important VoIP 911 Information

Enhanced VoIP Communications provides all customers with 911 access to a national emergency call center.  In the case of an emergency you should dial 911 on your telephone to access 911 services.  When you reach a 911 agent, the agent will ask you which emergency service you need: fire rescue, emergency medical assistance or law enforcement.The agent will then ask you for the address where you need the emergency service.  You should be prepared to confirm your address and call-back phone number with the operator.  Please do not hang up unless told directly to do so and if disconnected, you should dial 911 again.  You should print your address and phone number and keep it close to each of your phones or work areas so that visitors and guests can quickly determine where emergency services should be dispatched to. Please see below for an important note regarding keeping your physical location(s) up-to-date in our database.

Keeping your Physical Address up-to-date

Enhanced VoIP Communications provides a web based interface for updating your physical location(s). Customers must review this information and keep it current at all times. In case you are not able to speak during a 911 call, the emergency personnel will dispatch response vehicles to your last registered address. You need to update your VoIP 911 information if you move your device to a different physical location. If different extensions have different physical locations you will need to setup multiple emergency locations and assign each extension to a different location.

Backup recommendations

It is important to note that in the event of a power failure or loss of Internet connectivity at your office you will be unable to dial 911.  You should inform all employees and visitors of this important limitation of 911 service.  The use of a small inexpensive battery backup device available at most electronics retailers will prevent short term power failures from affecting your telephone service.  It is a good idea to have a backup plan for dialing 911 in case of an extended power failure or loss in Internet connectivity.  This might include keeping a cell phone available nearby or attaching a phone to your regular fax phone line.

Important Note Regarding Test Calls

Please do not use our service to make 911 test calls from your telephone.  If you wish to perform a 911 test you must arrange this with our customer service group.  Unscheduled test calls to 911 services will automatically be charged a $95.00 service fee.  Only dial 911 in an emergency.


Before you deploy voice-over-IP or a Hosted PBX service in your office there are a few considerations you must first address.  Switching from traditional telephone service to voice-over-IP (VoIP) requires sufficient bandwidth, a proper switch and router, and a good battery backup solution to protect you from power failures.
The key voice-over-IP requirements discussed in this article are:

  • Bandwidth – Determining how much bandwidth you will need for voice-over-IP in your office is your first step.
  • The Router – Choosing a low quality or under performing router is a costly mistake which will degrade your call quality.
  • Quality of Service – You must decide whether voice traffic will be separated from regular internet users or if it will share the same network.
  • VoIP Equipment – There are many digital office phones, soft phones, headsets and telephone adapters on the market to choose from.
  • Power Failures – Voice over IP does not work when the power goes out so you should install a battery backup system and possibly a Power-over-Ethernet switch if your budget permits it.

 How much bandwidth do I need?
Voice over IP needs a certain amount of bandwidth in order to keep your conversations clear and free of disruptions.  Bandwidth is the amount of information which your internet connection can send and receive in a certain period of time.  Your first step should be to use an online speed test to find out what your maximum upload stream and download stream is.  We suggest you do this test using a fixed connection to the internet rather than using your wifi (wireless) connection to get accurate results.  Try to use numerous tests during different times of the day to get a good average of what you can expect from your internet connection.  Bandwidth is normally measured in kbps or kilobits per second. You will need to have a high speed (broadband) connection to use voice-over-IP.  A typical DSL connection will be rated at 600 kbps for the upload stream and 5000 kbps on the download stream.  You will notice that your upload stream is almost always smaller than your download stream which becomes your limiting factor for using VoIP service. Your next step is to determine how many people in your office are likely going to be using the phone at the same time.  For instance, having ten people on the phone will require ten times as much bandwidth as having one person on the phone.  Below is a chart which will help you calculate how many people can be on the phone at one time:

  • Ask your voice-over-IP service provider what audio codecs they offer as there is a trade off between audio quality and bandwidth usage…
    Full Quality Audio (G711 Codec)– Uses 87 kbps for each concurrent phone call
    Compressed Audio (G729 Codec)– Uses 33 kbps for each concurrent phone call
    So the calculation for a typical DSL connection would be:
    DSL connection:600 kbps upload / 5000 kbps download
    Gives us (Full Quality):600 kbps / 87 kbps = 6 concurrent calls
    Gives us (Compressed Quality):600 kbps / 33 kbps = 18 concurrent calls

Notice we used the upload bandwidth in our calculation as this is the limiting factor for voice-over-IP.  You also don’t want to push your connection to the limit as most cable and DSL connections do not have guarantees in terms of how much bandwidth they will deliver.  If you Internet connection drops in bandwidth at some point during the day you don’t want your call quality to be affected.  Other factors affecting voice-over-IP are the latency of your connection and how much packet loss there is on it.

Choosing a router

A router is the device that connects all your computers and network equipment to your Internet connection.  It is an often overlooked piece of the puzzle that can have a major impact on the success or failure of your voice-over-IP implementation.  There are many routers on the market, some are very cheap (less than $40) and others can cost you thousands of dollars.  There is nothing worse than putting a poor quality or underpowered router in your office which could cause an otherwise good VoIP installation to go bad.Your router needs to be powerful enough to handle the number of phones you will have in your office and should also work flawlessly with voice-over-IP equipment.  A good place to start when deciding on your router is to speak with your voice-over-IP service provider. We also recommend checking to make sure that your router is compatible with voice-over-IP services. Please review our Router Compatibility Guide.The following is a list items which will help you to determine whether your router is right for voice-over-IP:

  1. How many voice-over-IP phones will you be connecting to the router? The more phones you will be connecting, the more powerful the router needs to be. Don’t use a $40 router to run an office with 10 IP Telephones.
  2. Will your voice-over-IP phones have their own dedicated Internet connection? If not, a router with a quality of service (QoS) setting to prioritize voice traffic over regular traffic is an absliute must. Without QoS you will encounter poor quality telephone calls regularily.
  3. What other functions will the router need to perform? You might need your router to handle vpn connections, allow wifi (wireless) connections or perform other tasks.
  4. Make sure you can bridge your router to your modem. Routers that are not bridged can cause problems with voice-over-IP installations.
  5. Never use more than one router or nat gateway on the network at a time as this will cause problems for IP Telephones when they attempt to do NAT.
  6. Check our Router Compatibility Guide to make sure your router is compatibile.

It is always best to get a recommendation from your voice-over-IP service provider as some routers are known to perform very poorly with VoIP phones.
Quality of service
Call quality is a function of your network and the public internet. Some delays and network congestion cannot be avoided due to information traveling over the public internet while other types can be avoided. Good network design is critical to a stable and reliable voice-over-IP implementation.Quality of service (QoS) refers to the ability for your router to prioritize voice traffic (VoIP) differently than regular internet traffic on your network or the seperation of voice traffic.  Voice over ip is a real-time protocol which means that if information is lost or delayed it will result in a noticeable drop in call quality or a complete loss of it. Synptoms of network congestion include garbled audio, dropped calls and echo.   When setting up voice-over-IP in your office there are three possible ways handle voice traffic. Some customers report perfectly good results without any quality of service (especially in a small 1-2 person office) and others report worse results with quality of service enabled on their router as some routers do a poor job of implementing this. Generally speaking however the best way to deliver realiable voice-over-IP service is through a dedicated internet connection that is only used by the voice-over-IP equipment rather than sharing the internet with computers. Below are the different methods of doing quality of service:

  1. No QoS – Voice traffic and regular internet traffic in your office are sharing the same internet connection.  No prioritization of voice traffic over regular traffic is being performed and thus there is the high potential that voice quality could be degraded if there is insufficient bandwidth for both voice and regular traffic. Some customers experience very few problems using this method while others report a high frequency of poor quality calls, dropped calls and garbled voices. It all depends on how much network congestion your office has. Most internet connetions are more likely to be upload bound which generally results in people not being able to hear you, because all of your upload bandwidth is being consumed by something on your network.
  2. Router enabled QoS – Voice traffic and regular internet traffic in your office are sharing the same internet connection, but your router is able to distinguish between voice traffic and regular internet traffic and give the voice traffic a higher priority.  The problem with this method is that routers can only prioritize upload bandwidth which means your voice will be clear but the router cannot ensure that download bandwidth will be prioritized. If employees on your network are downloading often this will cause a noticible drop in call quality but this method is better than no quality of service. Some internet providers can prioritize the download bandwidth using TOS or COS methods from their end which will create an end to end quality of service solution. Most customers find that even prioritizing upload bandwidth for voice-over-IP offers a dramatic improvement in call quality because most internet connections are limited by their upload bandwidth and have lots of download bandwidth free.
  3. Separated Traffic – Voice traffic and regular internet traffic are separated onto two different internet connections and networks. This is especially critical for larger offices with 5 or more employess.  Voice traffic is carried on one internet connection and data from computers is carried on the other connection. In this case no prioritization is required by your router because voice traffic has its own dedicated internet connection.  This is the best way to ensure clear voice communications and the method we generally recommend customers whenever possible.

The method you decide on largely depends on how much bandwidth you have, what you are using your internet connection for besides voice-over-IP and the level of call quality desired.  Many offices report perfectly good results without using any QoS, while others find that it makes a major difference in the quality of their calls.

Choosing VoIP phones and equipment

Before deploying voice-over-IP in your office you will need to decide how each employee will be connected to your voice-over-IP provider.  There are many choices on the market today.

  • Digital IP Telephones – These types of phones look just like regular multi-line business telephones except that they connect directly to your internet connection using a network cable.
  • Soft Phones – A soft phone is a software program running on your computer that looks and feels just like a real telephone.  This requires you to purchase a USB headset which connects to your desktop or laptop so you can make and receive calls.
  • Wifi Phones – A wifi phone looks and feels very much like a regular cell phone except that it connects to your wireless router in the office.
  • Analog Telephone Adapters (ATA) – An ATA is a small box which connects to your router and allows you to plug in regular analog telephones so they can work with voice-over-IP.  ATAs are generally low cost alternatives to digital office phones and are easy to take with you when you travel.


Battery backup and Power-over-Ethernet

With voice-over-IP and most office telephone systems you must consider what happens when the power goes out.  For some offices this can be a regular occurrence and for others it might happen with a very low frequency.  Once of the things you will need to decide is whether or not you will install a battery backup system. Here are a few important terms your should know:

  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) – Is a technology that allows VoIP over ip telephones to be powered using regular network cables rather than power adapters which plug into the wall.  This has the advantage that you can power all the phones in your office from a single source and makes installing a battery backup unit much easier.
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) – Is a device that powers your equipment when you lose power at the office.  The system has a built in battery which keeps your network devices operational when the power goes out.

The easiest way to protect your phone system from a power outage is to power all the phones using a Power-over-Ethernet switch that would normally be connected in the back room where your router and cable/DSL modem is located.  This has the advantage that all your phones are drawing power from a single source which you can backup using an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).  All you need to do is plug in your PoE switch, router, and DSL/cable modem into a sufficiently powerful UPS device so that when the power goes out all your phones remain up and running.

There are countless reasons why your business should start integrating VoIP. In fact, there are probably as many reasons as there are businesses, whether big or small, that have already made the switch. You should too.
Making decisions about this sort of thing is strictly a case-to-case basis for businesses. You make decisions based on what the specific needs of the venture are. So it’s really up to you.
But, there are numerous reasons available that have convinced many businesses to make the switch to VoIP. Here’s a quick look at the main reasons – they might be what you’re looking for too.
1. Get more even when you spend less.
VoIP’s main tool is the internet, which is most likely where everything is headed in the future. There is much evidence to suggest this. By setting up VoIP, you cancel out the many costs associated with having a decent communication system. Say goodbye to monthly phone bills, wiring and extension charges, bills for on-site repairs, and so much more.
VoIP gets rid of most regular payments and reduces them to, at most, an annual fee. But with everything you get – including cheap long-distance calls and free VoIP to VoIP calls – it’s as if you’re getting all this for free.
2. They’re no-brainers.
That’s not to say that VoIP does not have some complexities. They are, however, easy to use and very easy to troubleshoot. The reason why you don’t pay for on-site repairs anymore is because most of the fixing can be done on your own. And in the unlikely event that things do get tough, you know who to call. Most US VoIP service providers have active consumer support for such instances.
3. VoIP is mobile.
These days we have to be everywhere – at the office, home, and everywhere in between – almost always and at the same time. VoIP eradicates any geographic problems that we once thought were unavoidable hurdles. Wherever there’s an internet connection, you will always have direct and immediate contact with your co-workers and not to forget, the loved ones. Leaving your business behind will no longer be sacrificed if choosing to go on a vacation in the future.
VoIP is even available on most smart phones. If you set one up for yourself, you can literally say that you’re mobile.
4. VoIP is growing.
Everyone who is (or wants to be) anyone is slowly switching to VoIP. Eventually, your growing business will need to affiliate with other organizations and companies that will want to use this as a method of correspondence as well. Don’t get caught or find yourself a step behind – it’s a worthy investment.
And as this kind of technology continues to develop, there will be many more reasons to get connected with VoIP. It’s a service that continues to grow for the benefit of everyone. As should your business.