New technology trends are creating unprecedented opportunities for organizations to communicate more effectively, securely, and efficiently. This article will explore 3 trends that are extending the capabilities of VoIP for business with unified communications, custom VoIP networks, and cloud-based firewall.
1. VoIP as Part of Unified Communications
Voice communications were comparatively late to the game in leveraging the internet. Email was well established and pervasive before VoIP technologies began to emerge. Now, however, VoIP is considered a mainstream technology, and is ready to participate in a blooming web-enabled evolution: unified communications.
Unified communication refers to the integration of disparate communication technologies into a single solution. The solution may incorporate multiple types of hardware and create a single, unified user interface. Typically, unified communication solutions can encompass:
- Audio conferencing
- Collaboration tools such as whiteboarding
- Instant messaging
- Presence (available, busy, away, in a meeting, etc.)
- Video conferencing
- Voice control for digital assistants and voice controlled devices
- Web conferencing
Unified communications solutions, moreover, integrate with both processes and applications. This integration creates synergies that make unified communications a powerful solution. The future of VoIP includes many paths, and at least one leads unified communication.
2. Custom VoIP Networks
VoIP technology has always been relatively flexible. For example, a business can implement VoIP using their existing analog phones, or they can upgrade to digital IP devices.
But VoIP flexibility is now improving forms of communication related to information access.
One key capability emerging as a value-add to VoIP technology is verticalization. This refers to the creation of VoIP solutions tailored to the needs of specific industries.
A VoIP network solution for a healthcare provider, for example, might link medical records to specific extensions (such as devices in hospital rooms) or phone numbers (such as patient phone numbers). This linkage would allow healthcare providers to have the appropriate authorizations to see medical records as part of incoming calls. In this way, custom VoIP networks can become part of a business's overall product and service delivery strategy.
3. Cloud-Based Firewalls for VoIP Protection
VoIP solutions leverage the internet, making them subject to the same vulnerabilities as any internet-based technology. Sophisticated VoIP solutions come with built-in security measures, such as encryption of all VoIP communications and the use of VPNs at deployment.
Even before VoIP is officially launched, however, you can take steps to protect your VoIP communications.
A firewall is an early—and important—line of defense for your network. Cloud-based firewalls can offer a wide range of features. Security capabilities in cloud-based firewalls can include, for example, data loss prevention, access control with granular filtering, connection management, SSL decryption, traffic shaping, policy management, security assessment, threat intelligence and, depending on the service, even specialized capabilities such as anti-DDoS.
However, maintaining a strong firewall requires continuous vigilance and effort. No worries. Managed security service providers now offer cloud-based firewalls. The provider takes on burdens such as round-the-clock monitoring, as well as constant updating and patching.
Are you operating, or considering, a VoIP solution? Contact us today for a professional consultation with specific recommendations for your business.