So, you want to turn to VoIP for your business communications. You’ve heard about the benefits business VoIP can offer, including the cost savings and quality. However, those cost savings can quickly be left behind and surpassed with more bills if you don’t look at VoIP the right way – not all companies benefit immediately from VoIP and some spend more money just trying to implement new plans and new IP phones.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of what VoIP can offer, and what to consider before making a decision.
Know What You Need:
How many employees will be making phone calls? What software and hardware already exists? Can that equipment integrate with other providers, plans and connections? You’ve heard that VoIP offers benefits, but you still need to figure out exactly what you’re trying to solve and do your research. After evaluating your work environment, a great place to start looking for providers and plans is with online resources like GetVoIP.com (News - Alert), which offers customer reviews, VoIP provider comparisons and other resources to help you make the most informed decision about implementing VoIP.
Quality Internet connection = quality phone calls:
If you adopt VoIP and are experiencing choppy connections, it may not be the provider’s fault. For business VoIP to function, a high-speed broadband Internet connection is necessary. VoIP calls will not slow down the Internet by an appreciable amount, but they do need access to an unclogged network. One of the resources GetVoIP.com offers is its VoIP Speed Testing Tool, which offers a comprehensive analysis of the quality and performance of your current Internet connection and speed. The speed test gives users a detailed scan in real-time on packet loss, jitter, latency and other factors that impact the quality of VoIP calls. Following the completion of the test, you'll be provided with a complete report, indicating where (if at all) the particular network you utilize might need a boost or modification prior to powering VoIP communications.
Hosted or On-Premise PBX (News - Alert)?
Just as important as your Internet connection is having reliable infrastructure to ensure proper operation. In selecting the right infrastructure, businesses really have two choices: hosted or on-premise VoIP. There is no one-size-fits-all, as communications are just too important within the business. Instead, decision-makers need to examine the ins and outs of both and select the one that makes the most sense within their environment.
A Private Branch Exchange (PBX) connects and manages multiple phone lines with multiple extensions. When an incoming call comes in, the PBX provides the automated attendant that asks which department the caller would like to reach, and when the appropriate number is selected, the call goes to the appropriate department. Outbound calls are also managed through the PBX so that they are paired with open phone lines. This ensures that customers making calls will almost never have to deal with a busy signal. A hosted PBX is hosted off-premises by the business VoIP provider, while an on-premise PBX is directly located within the office.
Look at What You Already Have:
Just because you are implementing VoIP doesn’t mean you need to throw out all of your old phones. There are several options for gradually moving toward VoIP without having to make an initial investment in an entirely new set of telecommunications equipment. The four leading ways are computer-to-computer connections, computer-to-any-phone connections, mobile softphones and apps and landline phones using an analog telephone adapter. Analog-to-digital converts the data coming through the standard telephone so it can be usable by VoIP programs. There are also PBX converters so companies can still enjoy cheap VoIP prices with existing PBX hardware.
VoIP can definitely be a game changer for your bills, business communication quality and user experiences. If you’ve taken a look at what you need VoIP to help solve, what kind of Internet connection and infrastructure you have and want to take the next step to implement VoIP, be sure to visit GetVoIP.com to make the most informed decision on selecting a business VoIP provider.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson