There are a lot of acronyms in this business. They certainly quench our desire to simplify things, but it’s also a bit intimidating for the novice to our industry. So, let’s take a closer look at two of them. The first is an established technology and the second is an up-and-coming one. VoIP: Voice over Internet Protocol VoIP is the technology that allows audio and video communications over the internet. The first mass-market internet based phone services began in 2004. Skype is a perfect example. Skype uses a broadband (internet) connection as the common link to all its users. Skype is only available via the internet. Cloud PBX (private branch exchange) systems use the internet rather than phone lines, as well. These are growing in popularity for many reasons, including lower prices and the ability to customize. You will also see terms such as internet telephony and broadband telephony used to describe the process of using the internet for these communication services. The Sentence: I’m being forced to rethink my office phone system because of modern technology, specifically the flexibility and ability to customize VoIP technology. OTT: Over-the-Top There is OTT content and OTT messaging. OTT refers to the applications you use with the internet as the delivery channel. There are some that are free and others that are paid. Netflix and Hulu are two prime examples of OTT applications that we pay for. The majority of free or low-priced apps are considered OTT messaging apps. These include WhatsApp, WeChat and Snapchat (which seems to be taking the world by storm, if our office is any indication). The beauty of these apps is that there is usually no advertising. They are making money from the purchase price, which is usually under $20. The other beauty of these apps is the end around your cell phone data plan. The Sentence: I’m saving a ton of money by using my OTT app, WhatsApp, in place of regular texting, thus reducing the burden on my cell phone data plan.