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How your business can save money with VoIP

Written By: Louis Philip

Many of you have probably already heard about VoIP, or voice
over IP. This is a technology that allows you to make
telephone calls using the internet. From a consumer
standpoint VoIP offers significant savings in monthly phone
bills and long distance charges.

However, what you are probably only starting to hear about
is the significant cost savings that VoIP brings to
business’s. A recent Business Week article titled “The Power
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_25/b3938601
of Us” .htm describes the story of a small 35 employee
software firm in Palo Alto, Calif. that uses Skype to make
90% of their 2k$ per month long distance phone bill vanish.
This is only one of many similar stories.

So how do you get started? Well, you can either start by
checking out the more than 1100 VoIP providers that exists
today, doing a careful analysis of all the pros and cons, or
you can simply go to http://www.skype.com/ and download
Skype.

Skype is essentially the “plug a headset or phone into my
computer and it costs me nothing to make telephone calls”
option. Skype is free, Skype is easy to use and Skype works.
It is completely painless.

Perhaps, if you are like me, you will start using Skype
because you want to stop paying for long distance at home.
After a while you realize that this would be great at the
office. Since you are probably sitting at the computer
anyhow, you will find that it is more convenient to simply
talk to a colleague on Skype rather that picking up the
phone and dialing a number. And that Skype conversation is
completely free regardless of where that person is located..
absolutely no cost what so ever!

After you get used to paying nothing for long distance, you
will begin discovering some of Skype’s other options. As of
June, 2005 Skype has the following options:

1) Conference calling, “caller-ID”, Call waiting and
numerous other similar features.

3) Instant messaging, file sharing and other instant
messaging type features.

2) Numerous add-ons or plug-ins, many of them are free, give
you additional features such as a Skype Answering machine,
Microsoft Outlook integration, even a Video for Skype
option. All Skype add-ons can be found at
http://www.summitcircle.com/ the largest Skype resource site
on the web.

If you decide that you find Skype convenient you may
eventually want to consider some of Skype’s premium
services:

1) Skype Voicemail at ~19$ a year (that is about ~1.50$ per
month,

2) Calling “external phone numbers”, About 2 cents a minute
for almost anywhere on the planet! (Skype to Skype calls are
always free)

3) An incoming phone number with almost any area code in the
US, England, much of Europe and even in China for around
~39$ a year (that is ~3.50$ per month and they throw in
voicemail)

Once you get going with Skype you will find that it starts
to grow on you. I haven’t replaced my regular phone with
Skype but it has become my second phone line and I use it
frequently. If you are interested in Skype, then download
Skype for free at http://www.skype.com/

Once you have Skype, you can find a Skype phone, add-on or
community at http://www.summitcircle.com There you will
find all the Skype add-ons (or plug-ins) that you want
along with a growing list of Skype business services.

About the Author

Louis Philip is the owner of http://www.summitcircle.com/
where he writes about the world of Skype and maintains the
largest Skype resource site on the web. He can be reached by
e-mail: louisphilip@summitcircle.com

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