Playing with VOIP

Since I started working with Solidsoft one
of the piece of technology they use has really impressed me. Instead of having a telephone
on everyone’s desk, they have a package called Swyx which
talks over IP to their PBX.
This means that calls between myself and my colleagues are essentially free to the
company, as long as we have some sort of Internet connection. Also, if you’re out
of the country but have a VPN connection to the office, all your calls originate locally.

I had messed around with VOIP before,
but was surprised at how well Solidsoft have
integrated it into their working practices. My laptop came with a headset and within
a few minutes, I was up and running, chatting with people. Swyx is
actually quite a neat package, though I did have problems getting it to work with
XP’s firewall.

So, as I’m surfing the VOIP wave,
I went ahead and downloaded Skype, a package
I had played with previously. It allows you to make voice calls to anyone connected
to the Internet, and even has a facility where you can place PSTN calls
which are quite competitively priced; It’s really similar to all these cheap-rate
phone companies, who purchase a chunk of bandwidth and provide telephony services,
but if I wanted to call Russia
at 2p a minute
, Skype is the way to go. Still,
my main use of Skype will be to keep in touch
with people around the internet: friends in Malta or
the Isle of Man, family
etc; without any additional cost.

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