Glossary Terms for Telecom Equipment

It is important to understand the elements that comprise the life-line of communications with your customers. When I consult with Clients regarding purchasing new equipment, it is essential that they understand the basics in what is a major aspect of creating customer-driven enterprise. Communication equipment, and its configuration, can make or break many opportunities for a business owner. Understanding the basics leads to better decision-making when purchasing or upgrading equipment.

ACD – Automatic Call Distribution, used in the process of evenly distributing calls to individual extensions or groups of extensions and for queuing callers if all extensions are busy

CTI – Computer Telephone Integration – merging of traditional telecommunications (PBX) equipment with computers and computer applications. The use of Caller ID to automatically retrieve customer information from a database is an example of a CTI application.

Hunt Group – Used to distribute calls to individual extensions in a specific sequence such as first to last.

IVR – Integrated Voice Response – used to describe systems that provide information in the form of recorded messages over telephone lines in response to user input in the form of spoken words or more commonly DTMF signaling.

PBX – Private Branch Exchange, a private telephone network used within an enterprise. The system is comprised of traditional Digital or Analog type telephones. Users of the PBX share a certain number of outside lines for making telephone calls external to the PBX.

IP- PBX – Internet Protocol – Private Branch Exchange, this is an Internet Protocol type of PBX using VoIP type telephones. Similar to PBX described above but sharing the data network to supply voice communications throughout the enterprise.

TDM – Time Division Multiplexing digital signaling used in traditional PBX for connection of Digital telephones.

SIP – Session Initiation Protocol. A standards based protocol for IP phones. In the world of VoIP, SIP is a call setup protocol that operates at the application layer.

VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol, allows you to make telephone calls using a computer network, over a data network like the Internet. VoIP converts the voice signal from your telephone into a digital signal that travels over the internet then converts it back at the other end.

UM – Unified Messaging, the ability to have Voice Mail messages delivered to your email client software typically using Microsoft Outlook.