Yes, we know the "P" in VOIP really stands for "Protocol," and that doesn't mean diplomacy or manners, but the rules and standards that make any technical process widely usable. The internet Protocol (IP) is the procedural foundation for all of your company's internet, email, and web-based functions.

Last summer, Cincy Business published a story on office technology and communications ("One-Stop Shopping," June/July). Local experts were predicting wider use of the internet for all kinds of business communications, including the conversion of office "land line" phone systems.

VOIP is one of the communications buzzwords du jour. People are gradually becoming more familiar with the idea of home and personal VOIP through services like Vonage or Skype, and Time Warner Cable of Southwest Ohio is aggressively marketing combo packages of digital cable TV, internet access and VOIP for the home.

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