Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has been with us for a number of years now, with most consumers recognising the name Skype. Today, largely due to the familiarity such home systems have provided though, the technology is increasingly used in the business world.
With many more benefits to be had from integrated communications in addition to voice systems, the future looks incredibly bright for its application. Many small businesses are particularly seeing the benefits, with reduced overheads leading the charge.
However, an announcement from Gulf Air this month suggests the technology could reach even greater heights, quite literally, where even the sky is no longer the limit.
Taking delivery of an A330-200 aeroplane, the Bahrain flag carrier announced that it had been retrofitted with a cutting edge communications solution. Supplied by Panasonic Avionics, it is an ambitious first step, which could revolutionise business travel.
The Global Communications Suite, provides completely integrated broadband, which not only provides high speed internet and Wi-Fi, but through that, VoIP.
This in itself will slash the cost of inflight business calls and improve the sound and date quality. More than this though, business travellers will also be able to access their Virtual Private Network (VPN). Being able to carry on working whilst flying from meeting to meeting, no matter where in the world, is now truly possible as a result.
The service will also allow for live TV programming to be viewed in flight for the first time. Providing the ability to video conference, email, and keep an eye on the news and stock markets at the same time, the concept of blue sky thinking is clearly not just marketing jargon any more.
Back on terra firma, things may not be quite so glamorous of course, but increasing customer service, whilst reducing costs, still makes business VoIP systems an extremely attractive proposition for IT managers and company directors.