Indy Business: How Does e911 Work?

icon-ambulance Indy Business: How Does e911 Work?

Have you ever wondered how 911 calling actually works?  With old analog telephone service provided by the phone companies, the call would route through local stations that could transfer it to local emergency services.  But what about for Indianapolis VoIP phone service like we provide?  How does it get where it needs to go?


Area codes mean nothing.

Before voice-over IP and cell phones, area codes mattered.  But now mobile phones, home phones, and business phones can use numbers from any area code for the same cost as their local area code.  A Seattle area code can be routed to Indiana, and vice-versa.  So clearly a 911 call can’t route just based on the area code anymore.  Even if it could, how would you route a toll-free number?

The answer to that is actually pretty clever.


We know where you live.

When we provision a new number and allow it to send calls, we can also enable something called e911.  This is a service that provides extra information with the caller ID.  Let’s use our number for example and say it’s provisioned to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

Here’s what happens:

911 is called from a phone; the caller ID is set to 317-644-0075; and we have in our system that when that number calls 911, the location tied to it is 1 Monument Cir, Indianapolis, IN 46204.  So before the emergency dispatcher can even answer the call, they know that the call is probably coming from that address.  If the phone dies or the caller can’t give them much information, they at least know where to start looking.

Of course, the dispatcher would still ask for the caller’s current location because they know that what it says in the system may not be where the phone is located.  And that’s pretty much it.  We solve the problem of mobility by sending a little extra data along with the call.


Hopefully this post has clarified some of the mystery around current e911 calling.  Feel free to contact us about our voip phone service, or give us a call if you have any questions.  Thanks, and have a great day!

Indy Business: Best Phone System 2018

icon-building Indy Business: Best Business Phone System 2018

Choosing between business phone systems can be more than confusing if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.  Do you want a traditional system or a voice-over IP (VoIP) system?  How many lines do the systems support?  How do they hook up to your phone service provider?

Today, we’ll try to answer these questions as best we can.


Go digital.

We will be recommending a system in a minute; but no matter what system you buy, it should be digital.  Digital systems are everywhere and their call quality is crystal clear compared to old analog systems.  While we’re at it, you might as well go with a voice-over IP system too.  Most systems (including our recommendation) work regardless of your phone service provider, so there’s nothing to fear when it comes to compatibility.

Digital VoIP phone systems also usually offer more lines for the money.  When a call is going over your network as opposed to using traditional phone wiring, the number of calls doesn’t matter nearly as much.  So voice-over IP is more efficient.


Our recommendation.

The system we like best is from Grandstream.  Specifically, a system made up of Grandstream GXP2130’s.  That system would offer up to 3 lines per phone, the phones themselves would be reliable and professional, setup wouldn’t be too complicated, and the quality you get for the price can’t be beat.  We’ve looked at the alternatives from Mitel, Polycom, Cisco, etc.  We still prefer the high-end line of Grandstream phones.

We’re also going to recommend using the system with a hosted VoIP provider like ourselves.  You could use it with an on-site Grandstream PBX, but that’s a piece of hardware you don’t really need and if your office goes offline, all your inbound call functions are offline too.


Still need help?

If you still have questions or aren’t sure if our recommendation would work in your location, feel free to contact us anytime.  After all, sometimes you just need to ask an expert!

Indy Business: Cheaper Home Phone?

icon-home Indy Business: Why is Home Phone Service Cheaper?

No matter who you buy phone service from, you’ll likely notice that home or residential service costs less than business phone service.  Oddly enough, the reasoning for the price difference has probably swung back around with the rise of voice-over IP (VoIP) phone service.  In this post, we’ll learn why that is!

It’s all in the minutes.

The biggest reason business phone service costs more than residential is because, on average, a home user is on the phone less.  Perhaps before VoIP service came about, it didn’t matter whether a phone line was in use for five minutes or five hours; but even when phone service is sold as unlimited, the provider is paying more every time the customer is on the phone.  To make up for the possibility of a business being on the phone constantly, the price has to be high enough to ensure no money is lost.

Also, the increased cost does not only come from connecting the call to the wider phone network.  There are unlimited channels for high-usage phone numbers, but VoIP also requires computing power and bandwidth.  Both of those increase when calls are in progress.

One line, multiple people.

Now you might be wondering why, for example, a single home phone line and a single business line do not cost the same.  One line is one line, right?  Couldn’t a home phone be used more than a business phone?

Of course it is possible for a home phone to be used more often than a business phone, but businesses typically have more people relying on that phone line.  A business with only one employee still has multiple customers.  Those customers will need to call or be called, and that means the phone at the business is probably used more.

The exception.

Not every phone service provider does this; but for large businesses or Indianapolis enterprises, the per-line cost could be cheaper than home phone service.  We offer huge discounts as the number of lines increase, which can massively decrease the price of phone service for businesses.

To find out just how affordable we can be, feel free to contact us or give us a call.  Thanks, and have a great day!

Indy Business: Do I Need a Fax Line?

icon-print Indy Business: Do I Need a Fax Line?

Maybe you’re starting a new business in Indy, or upgrading to a dedicated office building.  You’re checking out phone service providers and internet providers.  Suddenly you wonder if you need a fax line in Indianapolis in 2018.  The answer to that question depends on your business and a few other considerations, so let’s dig in.

Do you need a landline?

Unfortunately, sometimes you just need a landline in a business.  Perhaps you have a fire alarm or security system that needs a dedicated line.  Or maybe your credit card reader is too old to use the internet.  If for some reason you are going to need a landline anyway, then having it double as a fax line could save you money in the long run.

Also, you probably won’t ever need two dedicated lines, since most of the time your fax line is sitting unused.  Just try not to fax anything if your office catches on fire!

Will you fax from a single location?

You may only need to fax from the office and only need to receive faxes during business hours, but most businesses have moved beyond that.  If you think you’ll ever need to fax from another location or another device, or if you’d like to know when a fax arrives and no one is there to see it, then you should consider vFax as an alternative.

vFax is short for virtual faxing, and with it you can send and receive faxes from any location and any device.  It is cheaper than a dedicated fax line and can be used by multiple people at once, so there’s no waiting.  For most businesses, it’s a far better option.

Still not sure?

No worries.  If you can’t decide if you need a dedicated fax line, feel free to contact us to learn more and have your questions answered.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Indy Business: Hosted VoIP Perks

icon-cloud-upload Indy Business: Hosted VoIP Perks

Should you have your phone server on-site?  Or should it be hosted in the cloud?  It’s an important decision to make for any business, but there are some benefits to having your PBX hosted off-site.  Let’s take a look at some of the perks of hosting to help you decide.

The cloud’s ISP is better than yours.

With today’s cloud infrastructure, having a hosted VoIP PBX usually means 100% uptime.  Unlike your office building, the internet service going to a hosted phone server is more reliable, faster, and doesn’t have any data caps.  That means that when your local internet inevitably goes offline, your incoming calls are still hitting your phone server and your customers can still access you in a number of ways.

With a hosted PBX like our VoIP Indianapolis uses, your customers can:

  • Hear all prerecorded messages you’ve created.
  • Leave you a voicemail.
  • Be routed to another office or even a cell phone.

Most of that is not possible if your PBX is located on-site.  When your local internet is down, your PBX is down too.

No hardware changes.  No upgrades.

For hosted VoIP, you shouldn’t ever have to worry about hardware failure or updating outdated components.  Your PBX’s hard drive never gets errors.  Your power supply never overheats.  And your processor never gets too old.  After 5, 10, or 20 years, the phone server doesn’t need to be replaced, because it is regularly upgraded in the cloud without any loss of service to you and your business.

Also, power outages, lightning strikes, and power surges never take your phone server offline.  So that’s a plus!

Deciding between on-site and hosted.

It can be tough to choose between on-site and hosted VoIP.  Typically, we recommend a cloud hosted VoIP like ours; but not all businesses are a good fit for its benefits.  If you’d like help choosing between the two, please feel free to contact us or call us anytime.  Thanks, and have a great day!