Tips for Preparing the Switch to VoIP

VoIP offers many large advantages over traditional phone systems.  The most significant of those being that VoIP allows for connecting your business on a global level as your employees to tap into your company’s phone system from virtually any location.

Because of this – and the large amount of money companies save on not only upfront costs but those over time – businesses all over the globe are making the switch to VoIP systems.

If you are one of these forward-thinking businesses, or tinkering with the idea, you are making a great decision! But how much will change will your company have to undergo to prepare for the switch?

Thankfully, not much.  However, there are a few things you can do to make switching to VoIP a smoother transition and start taking advantage of all VoIP systems have to offer sooner.

Make sure you have when you need

Another great perk of VoIP is that because it is entirely internet and cloud-based, very little equipment is require to make the switch.  However, there are a few basic considerations that a company investing in VoIP need to have available.

Luckily, they are all fairly basic items that you may already have available.  In addition, the shopping list pales in comparison to that of a traditional landline system requirements.

Just make sure you are prepared with the following:

  • A reliable broadband connection. A good rule of thumb is that your company will need enough broadband that one-third of your employees can simultaneously use the phones.
  • Direct Inward Dialing (DID) Numbers. A DIDs are virtual numbers that allow you to route calls to existing phone numbers. It may sound a little confusing, but don’t worry, your VoIP provider will provide you with one. Just make sure you have it on hand.
  • Ethernet and RJ11 cables. These are your typical phone and internet cables. There should be plenty lying around the office. If not, you can buy them on the cheap!
  • The right phone equipment. Before installing the VoIP, you must determine how you each employee will be connected. There are a variety choices in phone equipment from digital IP phones, soft phones, Wi-Fi phones and analog telephone adaptors.

Add any necessary hardware

There are a variety of VoIP phone services that will require different network hardware in order to utilize it. What hardware your business requires depends on your needs and the features you want.

For example, the hardware you purchase may depend on the type of firewall your network has. Some firewalls will block VoIP ports.

Find the right provider

The most important part of the transition is making sure you have chosen a provider that will be there every step of the way, like VoicePro. From our initial conversation, through the installation and even after your system is being utilized, VoicePro is at your disposal to answer any and all questions, help you understand all your options, offer advice and help resolve any issues that may appear.

National providers cannot offer the type of personalized service and care that VoicePro can.  If your current provider isn’t cutting it or you are ready to make the switch to all VoIP has to offer, contact us today!

voicepro_phoneuptosnuff_emailfooter

Hosted versus Premise Systems

Is your current phone technology obsolete, outdated, not supported or are you just looking to embrace the newest technology? It may be time for you to upgrade your business’ telecommunications system.

Technological advances in the industry have paved the way for faster, more reliable and more efficient phone systems. There really has not been a better time to upgrade! The first step is deciding what kind of system you want for your business.

You have two basic options: Hosted and Premise VoIP. Both have their pros and cons and one may be better suited for a setup than another.

Don’t know the difference? Don’t worry! It isn’t that complicated, and we will walk you through the basics you need to know before you make a decision.

Hosted VoIP

With hosted services, all your voice and multimedia communications are sent, received and stored in a cloud. Because of this, hosted VoIP is often referred to as Cloud VoIP. All equipment is stored and maintained off-site by the provider.

Premise VoIP

As you can probably imagine, premise VoIP is the exact opposite. A more traditional set-up, premise VoIP puts all components of the system within the office location. Internal lines are integrated within a LAN.

Cost

Because they come with little equipment to set up and install at your offices, hosted networks carry with them a smaller up-front cost. After installation, costs remain relatively low for hosted systems. Because they are monitored off-site, there is very little to no maintenance cost to keep equipment tip-top. All upgrades and extra features come at the cost to the customer, but you can pick and choose what you want or not. There are also slightly higher monthly costs as you pay the provider for their service.

Premise VoIP will cost you a greater bit to start as you are responsible for purchasing all equipment necessary and installation. Maintenance costs also run higher because that is another area you take on responsibility. On the plus side, monthly service charges are much lower after initial expenses since the equipment is in your care. For all further maintenance and installation, you will have to bring in a technician also.

Expansion

Adding a new line or expanding new locations with hosted systems can be done easily by simply adding new users to the cloud as needed for seamless integration. There may come at a slightly higher service charge each month. Downsizing your required number of lines is just as easy. Either way, you must ensure your bandwidth is large enough or adequate enough to handle the load since it is all online.

With premise VoIP, expanding locations or adding new lines must be done through purchasing a larger application and IP phones to accommodate the change. Although, like the up-front installation, this will not affect the monthly charges as much. If your size is in flux, you may be forced to eat some costs.

Other Features

Hosted providers have a lot more resources and knowledge at their fingertips when it comes to the tech side of it. This aspect helps you avoid confusion in installation, maintenance and installation of new features. And, although it is conducted over the web, the loss of internet is not catastrophic due to its ability to easily reroute calls.

Although you have to care for the equipment yourself, many services provide equipment and IT training and keep 24-hour troubleshooting. VoIP trunks can also be installed to help keep costs down and help secure calls in the event of internet loss or power outages.

There is a lot that goes into finding the right service for you, so don’t do it alone! VoicePro offers both hosted and premise systems and carries all the up-to-date services your business needs. Call today at (314) 426-8900 or schedule a free consultation online.