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VoIP Intercom – What Is It?
As VoIP technology becomes more and more pervasive throughout the workplace, some older features of communication systems have fallen into disuse. Faxing documents is one of these capabilities, which has been replaced by VoIP-enabled digital faxes, and calls made via intercom are another.
At one time in the past, intercom systems were widely used, but for the most part, today there are simply better ways of communicating with office workers than using intercom systems. However, VoIP service providers have recognized that some companies still prefer to use intercom, and have therefore included it in some of the plans they make available to businesses.
If you haven’t seen an intercom system in operation before, they are standalone voice systems which can be used in any facility, and are commonly used in apartment buildings or secure areas in schools and universities. These intercom systems are not connected to the main PSTN, and are used to provide voice communications to specific places.
Intercom Calls Through VoIP
Intercom calling through VoIP allows users to dial any extension within the building, in the same way that you might make a phone call. The difference is that rather than ringing some device on the other end, the device being called will automatically answer the call. This feature can be used for brief conversations between employees, it can be used to manage building access, it can be used to announce visitors, or it can be used to alert visitors at the other end of the intercom.
These types of calls are generally free, and incur no charges from your service provider. Setting up an intercom service does not require the use of dedicated hardware such as a traditional phone, and in fact, some providers offers software that can be used on desktops and mobile devices, so that callers can use the intercom system from anywhere.
VoIP intercom is a service which is generally turned off by default, and would therefore have to be enabled and configured on the specific points where it is needed. It’s very easy to set this up between any two points in your system, simply by using the online web dashboard.
Door Buzzers and VoIP Intercoms
One of the most common uses of intercom systems is managing access to some type of secure area. Organizations will have the capability of connecting door buzzers to VoIP units in their workplace, in the same way that you might connect them to an SIP phone. Rather than answering a call however, the buzzer permits someone on the outside to gain access to the interior.
This can be a very useful feature which provides security and monitors all those individuals entering a building or any area within the building. Some of these units are capable of transmitting video in addition to an audio signal that gets passed. Footage can be recorded and played back at a later date, and can even be integrated with surveillance systems to enhance security for the facility.
There are a number of other uses for VoIP intercom systems as well. When it’s necessary to announce visitors entering the building, you can use an intercom call to do that. Receptionists and security guards may have a daily need for announcing visitors, and when they do so, it won’t be necessary to wait until someone answers the phone on the other end.
Some incoming calls in a busy office place need to be routed to specific individuals, and there are several VoIP features which can help you accomplish this. When you need to transfer a call to a different employee, you can place the incoming call in park mode, while then using the intercom to contact the intended person at the other end.
You can also use a VoIP intercom to set up an emergency broadcast system on a school campus or throughout an entire office area. The intercom unit itself will basically operate just like any other SIP device, which means you can use it to send emergency notifications, as well as important messages from users who may be remotely located.
If need be, your intercom units can be configured to communicate with each other. It is possible to make intercom calls from your SIP phone, although you may prefer to have them set up as stand-alone units for use in an emergency broadcast system. The fact that they are built to withstand bad weather, makes them ideal for outdoor use as well as indoor usage.
Advantages Provided by VoIP Intercom
Prior to the advent of VoIP, companies had to establish a separate intercom system in order to use local communications. Now however, intercom capabilities are provided as one feature in a service plan which is made available to business clients. You can use VoIP intercom to enhance communications within the workplace, to provide a boost to security at your facility, and to monitor access to secure areas within the company.
Security in particular is an area that has deceived a lot of attention from intercom users, because there have been such widespread attacks against all businesses by hackers. It’s much more difficult for the criminal-minded to exploit businesses when all employees are required to authenticate themselves prior to gaining access to secure areas. Using VoIP intercom features, you can enhance your company’s security significantly.