VoIP Glossary

Not sure about a particular term or concept while learning about VoIP or UCaaS? Let the experts at NUSO help with our alphabetical glossary explaining the major components of VoIP telephony.

Analog Phone
Also known as POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) uses electric signals carried across copper wires.

API – Application Programming Interface
A set of specifications and protocols that help developers build applications. APIs enable communication and data sharing between different operating systems and platforms.

Appointment Reminder
Appointment reminders are sent to a customer through SMS or email to confirm, cancel, or reschedule their appointment.

Auto Attendant
Also known as Interactive voice response (IVR). An automated phone feature that greets callers and routes them directly to employees or department depending on the caller’s dialpad or voice input. A common example is “Thank you for calling Bob Turner Insurance. For customer service, press #1. For a quote, press #2. To speak directly to your agent, press #3. Also known as virtual receptionist.

ATA – Analog Telephone Adaptor
A piece of equipment that converts audio, video, and other data into Internet Protocol (IP) packets that can be transferred over the Internet. ATAs are used to connect a conventional telephone to a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone.

Measured in 1000 bits per second (kbps), it is the amount of data that can be carried from one point to another in a given time period.

Busy Lamp Field
A VoIP phone feature that shows which other lines in your office are available or busy. This features informs you which team members are available.

Cloud Forwarding
This feature lets you move or “forward” a call from one telephone number to a different.

Call Parking
This feature allows users to “park” a specific call at a temporary extension until another user can pick up the call. The parked caller hears the standard hold music or business announcements while on hold. Call parking is beneficial when an employee is not at their desk.

Call Transfer
A call transfer happens as one person sends a call to a different line. There are two different types of call transfers: cold and warm. A cold transfer is when you send a call without an introduction (also known as a blind transfer). A warm transfer allows you to speak to the person you’re sending the call before transferring the call.

Call Recording
Also known as phone recording, voice logging, or call monitoring. This VoIP phone feature records a telephone call and stores it for later playback as an audio file.

CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service)
A scalable solution giving businesses access to easily connect the separate components of a traditional call center including Voice, Chat/IM, SMS Texting, Email into one hub. This reduces the cost for on-premise technology and support.

Cloud Communications
Internet-based communication including voice, conferencing, email, and chat. Services and maintenance are hosted by a third-party through the cloud and delivered through software or internet applications.

Cloud Telephony
Also known as Hosted Telephony,Hosted VoIP, or Internet Phone Service. Phone communications delivered through the cloud by a third party host. Cloud telephony replaces conventional telephone systems such as PBX.

Also known as a coder-decoder, this software program converts voice (audio) signals into a digital format for transmission, then back decompresses the audio signal for replay.

Allows teams to chat/IM, video call, conference and share screens to ensure they always are on the same page.

CPaaS (Communication Platform as a Service)
This solution lets developers integrate Voice, SMS Texting, Chat, or other communication channels into applications for businesses.

DaaS (Device as a Service)
Combines hardware leasing with equipment management services into a simple monthly contract.

In general terms, data is used interchangeably for information. But in network technology terms, data is all other traffic other than voice.

Enhanced 911, E911 or E-911 is a North American telecommunications system that automatically associates a physical address with the caller’s phone number in order to route the call to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Portal.

eFax (Electronic Fax)
With eFax, your documents are digitally converted and sent via the Internet to your email address. Also known as internet fax.

Find Me / Follow Me
This VoIP phone feature rings multiple phones, including your desk phone and cell phone, regardless of where you are traveling.

Geo-Redundant Platforms
NUSO uses geo-redundant platforms to ensure business continuity. Our network is designed to maintain and store data backups in multiple geographical locations in case one system fails for any reason.

Hosted PBX
A Hosted PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is a service where the call technology and PBX features are hosted by the service provider. This VoIP solution can save businesses money in terms of equipment and maintenance costs.

Hunt Group
A hunt group directs an incoming call to a specific group of office extensions, allowing any available employee to take that call if another worker is busy.

Hybrid Cloud
Best of both worlds for cloud computing. A hybrid cloud combines on-location systems (private cloud) with online public resources (public cloud) to blend the benefits of both. For example, an organization could use a public cloud software such as email while hosting private, sensitive information on-site servers.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
IaaS provides scalable network infrastructure by replacing physical resources with virtual solutions. Typically this includes outsourcing hardware, servers, and network components.

IP Address
IP (Internet Protocol) are a series of numbers separated by dots such as An IP Address establishes how data packets are moved between the source and destination. Similar to street address that let us find places, IP addresses let us recognize internet devices and send/receive data to them.

IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
Also known as Auto Attendant. Automated telephone system built to interact directly with incoming callers allowing them to verbally answer prompts or use the touch-tone keypad to make selections.

Separate, secure cloud environments allow multiple users to use services at the same time.

Number Porting
This process is also known as phone number transferring. Phone carriers take an existing phone number and moves it to another provider.

Online Whiteboard
This feature allows you to share screens and documents with other users in real-time. NUSO’s share-screen interface is designed for real-time collaboration and allows users to edit documents directly. Whiteboarding tools are available with our Team Collaboration solution.

PBX (Private Branch Exchange)
An on-premise phone system allowing multiple phones to share a regular landline within a private telephone network.

Presence Status
With this VoIP Feature, users can set their online status and view the status of other users “Available”, “On a phone call”, “Busy”, or “Offline” on their phone and instant messaging accounts.

Private Cloud
A fully dedicated cloud system for a specific business or organization. Government agencies, financial groups, and healthcare organizations use private cloud for its greater control options.

Public Cloud
A cloud system owned and managed by a 3rd party cloud provider and delivered over the internet. The 3rd party provider maintains servers at their location so the client doesn’t have to worry about housing equipment in their office. Public cloud platforms are a great option for small to medium sized businesses. Some examples include Amazon Elastic ComputeCloud, IBM’s Blue Cloud, Sun Cloud, Google AppEngine and Windows Azure Services Platform.

Screen Sharing
This Collaboration features allows a person from a different location to view another’s computer screen in real-time. This feature is useful for sharing presentations, videos, or files across different locations.

SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) Trunking
SIP Trunking is a digital version of a traditional analog phone line. With SIP Trunking, you can connect multiple lines to your PBX and expand your UCaaS capabilities.

Soft Phone
A softphone acts like your standard office desktop phone. With software installed on your computer or smartphone, your devices performs the functions of a normal office phone. Softphones allow you to place and receive calls from your computer using an Internet or data connection. Softphones can act as a replacement for office desk phones.

SMS Texting
SMS stands for Short Message Service. SMS Texting is a messaging solution for mobile phones. Can be used by businesses to communicate directly to customers. NUSO’s Business SMS Texting solution is great for appointment reminders, mass announcements and safety alerts.

Time-Based Routing
A VoIP Phone feature allowing you to create an intuitive flow for your call routing based on business hours, holidays, etc. For example, a banking business has two different call scripts depending if someone calls during business hours or after hours.

UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service)
Also known as Hosted PBX/VoIP and Cloud UC. UCaaS is an all-in-one solution that includes Voice, Mobility, Messaging, Presence, Conferencing, and Collaboration.

Virtual Queuing
Virtual queuing holds the callers’ place in line virtually when all other call agents are busy. The callers are called back in the order their call was received. This helps reduce abandoned calls.

Video Conferencing
An online program where users host live meetings through video to collaborate on projects. Users can also share screens and files during the conference. Participants call in with their phones and/or use video software to join the meeting. Also known as web or online meetings/conferencing.

Voicemail to Email Transcription
Voicemail messages are recorded, then transcribed into an email. This is a convenient option to stay updated on calls even when you can’t take them.

VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)
VoIP converts analog voice signals into digital for transmission through the Internet instead of traditional circuits through landlines.

99.999% Uptime
A measure of service reliability expressed as a percentage. In other words, the amount of time a network is available. “The Five 9’s” are the optimum degree of uptime. NUSO’s service platform is designed for 99.999% service uptime and reliability.