How To Select The Perfect VoIP Phone

VoIP DeskphoneBuying VoIP hardware for your business telecoms system can be a nerve racking experience.

In fact, it combines two confusing unknowns for most of us – computers, and VoIP. Most consumers find themselves quickly drowning in a sea of acronyms.

From SIP, DDI and PBX, it is very easy to get caught in a world where the IT literate know what’s happening, and the rest of us are lost.

If you have a VoIP system, and a VOIP provider which supplies your phone system, then supplying hardware should be a good test of the service they provide.

The benefits of using a regular, trusted supplier is that any doubts over the providence of hardware is (or should be) removed. You know the hardware is genuine, and you receive the manufacturer’s warranty.

It is the same as making any other purchase. Would you be happier buying a Rolex in a jewellers, or from an ebay shop? The problem is the same – you don’t know where the item has come from, if it will work or even if it is genuine.

The next part of the puzzle is to narrow down your requirements – what exactly do you need your phones to do?

Do you have multiple phone calls to direct and multiple users to keep track of, or do you receive fewer calls, going to one or two users? Do you need to walk about as part of your job role, or are you situated at a desk? All these things will influence your hardware choice.

One of the best features of working with a trusted VoIP Provider is that they should be able to advise in situations like this. Any Provider who you are paying for a service, or in fact any decent Provider who you are discussing a service with, should be able to offer guidance on the best hardware for you based on your requirements.

A really good Provider will even be able to supply your hardware, and preconfigure it with your user settings so it will work as a functioning part of your phone system as soon as it arrives!

As you can see, there are a number of advantages of working with a trustworthy VoIP Provider when sorting out your telecoms hardware.

Have a look at our online store to see the hardware we can supply
Get in touch if you want us to help you select your perfect hardware

Adrift In A Sea of Acronyms

The IT industry is notorious for using acronyms. Many people not involved may be confused by them. Random strings of letters march through web-pages in three and four letter sequences, striking fear and confusion in the hearts of us 'non-techys'.

I've decided I will represent us, the ordinary folk, and in this vein I present this short guide to what these dyslexic sequences actually mean.

As you are on the SureVoIP website, I suppose I should start with VoIP.

VoIP – stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. This is the technology which allows voice services to be delivered using the internet. Rather than calls being delivered through traditional phone lines, a VoIP service delivers an upgraded telephony service using an internet connection rather than a copper phone line.

One down! Lets move from VoIP to SIP. Those enquiring or specifying a VoIP service will probably have heard of this one, but I doubt if many know what it actually means.

SIP – stands for Session Initiation Protocol. This is the 'language' which VoIP speaks. VoIP equipment must use this language in order to speak to other VoIP equipment, so they can understand each other. Think of it as a bit like moving to Spain. In order to buy your shopping or order in a restaurant, you need to speak Spanish (not the best analogy but bear with me). If you don't speak the correct language, you won't get far. Likewise, if your phones don't speak the correct VoIP language, they simply won't work.

Our next acronym will be familiar to those who operate or are thinking of operating there own phone system on their premises. Lets look at PBX.

PBX – stands for Private Branch eXchange. In the context of those with their own equipment, this means a piece of hardware somewhere on the premises which is responsible for making and receiving telephone calls. Gets a bit more confusing when it refers to 'Hosted PBX'. This will refer to a VoIP system (see above).

Our next set of initials is ITSP. It relate to telephony, and SureVoIP is one! Let's see what it means.

ITSP – stands for Internet Telephony Service Provider. Quite simply, a telephony provider which delivers your phone calls using VoIP.

The next two are possibly familiar to all, DDI and PTSN. They both refer to traditional telecoms.

DDI – stands for Direct Dial In. Quite simply, the phone number which people have to dial to reach you directly. In an office environment, this means the number to call your own desk phone, as opposed to reaching your company switchboard.

PSTN – stands for Public Switch Telephone Network. The collective name for the interconnected series of networks which link mobile, landline and VoIP phones to each other. It is this which allows you to call a landline from your mobile, or a VoIP phone from a traditional landline. 

I hope this brief explanation has given you some insight into the world of IT. If we can be of any further help, whether it is for clearing up any more acronym confusion, or discussing what VoIP can do, just contact us and let us know.

SureVoIP on LINX and 2015

Just a short post covering some of the things that went on in 2015 via a nice case study we did with LINX – SureVoIP on LINX Case Study

Since joining LINX in 2014 and expanding over to IXScotland and IXManchester in 2015, SureVoIP have recorded an increase of 65% in turnover on their 2014 year end. 2016 looks to be an exciting year for its existing as well as new customers and partners, as this means more funds are being re-invested for enhancements and innovation.

“We’re a small operator, with low important traffic, but have had to date, a very exciting and interesting self-funded and fully-owned journey with lots of friends made and help from others along the way.”

How did LINX help?

Gavin Henry, Managing Director of SureVoIP explains;

“This has been our best year, with LINX really bringing value via two examples I can tell you about. One proving our technical prowess, leading to a much bigger order with an existing customer. Another being the resilience and low traffic latency LINX enables, allowing us to demonstrate to a customer that they could trust us with their whole corporations VoIP traffic. The former allowed us to directly reach out to much bigger network operator NOCs and be taken seriously with our fault finding.

We wouldn’t have that level of access and respect without being a LINX member. This in turn has allowed us to expand our team and invest in becoming a true telecom operator via the SS7 network.”

SureVoIP relate much of this success to peering and will happily give technical and non-technical evidence (friendly community, NOC contacts, traceroutes, sector awareness, legal policies etc.) to anyone that wishes to learn more. They consider the network operator and peering sector, especially LINX, as a community which all depends on the co-operation of everyone in order to make the Internet work.

Gavin concluded; “LINX has really made our network one of the best out there and we have won some pretty well known names due to the quality of our phone calls and attention to detail for doing things right.”

Perl Developer Vacancy – API/Portal developer using Catalyst

Please see the following:

API/Portal developer using Catalyst

Thanks.

Oil & Gas ICT Leaders 2015, 2nd Annual Conference

SureVoIP are delighted to exhibiting at Scot-Tech’s 2nd Annual Oil & Gas ICT Leader, this being held 18th & 19th March 2015, Aberdeen AECC.

ICT is crucial to the ongoing transformation of the Oil and Gas industry; having long transcended the role of backroom support, IT leaders now have wide-ranging responsibilities and are increasingly central to the performance of their organisation. With oil prices reaching record lows and margins becoming squeezed, the need to utilise ICT resources as a driver of innovation and improvement has never been clearer.

The ICT Leaders conference will bring together IT Managers from across the industry to discuss how ICT can be used to help deliver cost reduction, efficiency savings and competitive advantage. The event will consider some of the transformative technologies which are revolutionising operational processes, from big data analytics to unified communications. The programme will also explore the role of IT within the wider organisational context, looking at business transformation, investment models and technology strategies.

The conference will offer a unique platform for knowledge exchange and discussion, providing an opportunity for delegates to share their views and discuss common challenges with their peers in an open forum. While each organisation has their own goals and priorities, many of the IT challenges will be the same. This event aims to harness the vast collective expertise from across the country and explore how we can create a more prosperous, secure and competitive UK oil region.

Speakers Include:

  • Anders From – Subsea 7
  • Dr Cedric Levy-Bencheton – ENISA
  • Steve Harrison – Scottish Enterprise
  • Prof. John McCall – Smart Data Technologies Centre
  • Dr Vidar Hepsoe – Statoil
  • Eilidh Clarkson – Baker Hughes
  • Martin Ogden – Expro
  • Tim Harwood – HS & T Consultants
  • Mark Stephen – BBC Scotland
  • Angus Murray – TAQA
  • John Mullin – Subsea 7
  • Matt Grist – Swire Oilfield Services
  • Richard Higgs – brightsolid
  • Chris Davis – Open Group IT4IT Forum

 

Registration

This conference is free to attend Oil & Gas Sector employees, to register visit: http://www.oilgasict.com. Please note that spaces are now limited so do sign up ASAP.

Last dates for new orders and changes

Please see the following dates:

Thanks.

VoIP Optimised Broadband update

Dear all,

Just a quick update to let you know where we are with our broadband roll out. We’ve been working with Fluidata SEP to get our own platform, interconnects, resilience and quality right before releasing the final services. We’re very happy with the result. Right now we have some BT Wholesale ADSL (for VoIP only IPv6 broadband), LLU ADSL (which will be our unlimited data product) and BT Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) live and in use with select customers and SureVoIP Partners. We also have some Ethernet Fibre products about to go live with customers.

It’s all just about there and is currently in the final stages. What’s left is Quality Of Service (QoS) testing for VoIP/SIP, integration with the SureVoIP API for SureVoIP Partners and our own use and a Broadband Checker for the main website. It’s taken a long time, but doing things right always does. Much better than us just adding a margin on to someone else’s internet connectivity products, where as this way we have lots of control and your traffic comes straight in to the SureVoIP Network.

The new customer portal is also making excellent progress which will be available for Beta usage next month, all going well. More when we have it.

Thanks as always,

Gavin.

Free 0330 numbers (as many as you’d like!)

We’re excited to offer any existing or new customer 0330 numbers for free. What are 0330 numbers?

  1. A non-geographic number charged at the same rate as calling 01/02, i.e. location independent as classified by Ofcom
  2. A type of number included in most mobile phone bundles
  3. Gives a UK wide presence when 01/02 isn’t quite right for you or your business.

If you’d like some free 0330 numbers, please choose them from the SureVoIP number search tool and contact us!

 

SureVoIP is now an independent IP network operator and 2014

Dear all,

Some of you will already know that currently SureVoIP rents servers in London and owns and co-locates some in Edinburgh. This is all about to change. Those of you that follow SureVoIP on Twitter and read the SureVoIP Blog or have chatted to me personally at GraniteExpo 2013 last month will already know all about this.

As of now we are an independent ISP, but more specifically an Internet Telephony Service Provider in our own right. We made our first test VoIP call last week across are new network. Here are the details and what you can expect this to bring to our SureVoIP Partners, your customer and our direct customers. This has been fully self-funded (and fully paid for outright) via your hard work which is now almost fully deployed:

  • Juniper and Cisco based with an on site 4 hour response support SLA
  • Full Out of Band management network
  • RIPE LIR – https://stat.ripe.net/as199659
  • IPv4 and IPv6 based using our directly assigned IP address allocations
  • Based in Telehouse East – full rack and directly contracted with Telehouse
  • Small PoP in Edinburgh which will be expanded once we join IXScotland
  • Level3 Tier 1 provider for transit – directly contracted with Level3
  • NTT Tier 1 provider for transit – directly contracted with NTT
  • Members of LINX (London Internet Exchange) –  Check the members page – https://www.linx.net/about/memberlist/letter/S
  • Fluidata interconnect for full UK coverage in order to for us to provide internet connectivity which is VoIP optimised. This includes ADSL, FTTX, EFM, Leased lines, VPLS and MPLS services (we can start doing quotations for you now)
  • Interconnect/peering with current ISP partners
  • Interconnecting with BT Wholesale (via physical fibres) and existing carriers
  • All on-net access meaning VoIP calls from our internet products do not cross the public internet
  • Those of you that wish to host VoIP equipment with us and be physically connected, now can be
  • SLA’s when using our own connectivity products
  • New SIP security platform allowing fully encrypted SIP trunks (which is currently only available on hosted handset calls)
  • IPv6 VoIP ability
  • Broadband with no general internet access for security, allowing low cost VoIP optimised connectivity directly in to our platforms
  • New dual services using SRV records and/or two IP addresses, no more Primary and Secondary
  • Much more contracted control with less hops (try pinging/traceroute to 185.8.92.61-62 versus sip.surevoip.co.uk)
  • Connected to the core of the UK internet
  • Microsoft Lync compatible SIP trunks using new security platform (including Office365 Enterprise)
  • Members of IXScotland Steering Committee
  • New public access contacts platform available via our public LDAP servers – ldap.surevoip.co.uk – sync with LinkedIn, Google etc.
  • New portal coming for billing with call packages, partner access, per customer tariffs and discount, nice invoices with call stats and graphs which is all driven by the SureVoIP API
  • Partner access monitoring platform to monitor your customers IP networks and services

as well as all of above the following things are ongoing:

That’s a lot to digest and I’m sure you have tons of questions! We’ll keep you updated on the migration plans and new IP addresses too.

Lastly, don’t forget our opening hours for the Christmas period.

Thanks,

Gavin.