Tired of expensive and out-of-date phone services from your provider? Chances are, you want to move into the 21st century and leave analogue behind. We've done it for plenty of other items in our home and office- television, music players and even our clocks. So why not our phones too? With the removal of overpriced technicians having to fix your problems, along with an increase in potential features, here are some thoughts you should consider when switching from traditional telephony services, to IP phones.
Firstly, it is important to understand how Internet telephones use bandwidth. Almost everyone with an Internet connection will now have broadband and be able to gain speeds of at least 10mbps for downloading. This should be adequate for small offices of just a few people, however in larger offices where there man be dozens of people on their phones at the same time, the use of bandwidth comes into play. Insufficient bandwidth can affect call quality; if you work in an office where bandwidth-sapping applications are used regularly, such as music and video streaming by a great many people, you may have to upgrade your Internet to be able to use VoIP to it's fullest potential.
A speed test should provide you with an idea of how fast your Internet is. Even if you're not the most technically-minded when it comes to technology you can still gain a good understanding of Internet performance, and taking into account the size of your team and office.
Another point to consider is smartphone integration. In some cases, VoIP phones allow phone twinning or call forwarding. This means if you can still receive phone calls from your office phone on your mobile. Although this isn't an industry standard, many VoIP providers will offer their own 'softphone' app which will be available for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. Try to think of opportunities and instances when this technology could be especially useful in your line of work. Sales reps who do a lot of travelling around the country may find plenty of opportunities to use softphones.
It may also be wise to consider a failover solution in case of technical or natural disasters. This concerns the ability to reroute traffic to a backup or secondary server just in case the primary server stops working and cannot be reached. This means all calls can be rerouted to another device if necessary, including a mobile phone, or indeed, a designated backup phone such as an old mobile phone.
Know What You're Paying For...
Ultimately, you need to be sure you know exactly what you're paying for. The amount of phone lines that your business currently uses should equate the number of SIP Trunks you will need to get started. You can add or remove any number of these as you see fit, meaning you only pay for what you need. If you're able to keep these factors in mind and not rush into upgrading, giving careful consideration to the exact deal you require, your transition from analogue to IP phones will be quick and easy.
Staveley Communications can help you make your decision with our free demo service. We supply telephony from world-leading brands such as Avaya, 3CX, Splicecom, 3CX and Kazoo. To get started, give us a call on 0333 011 0705 and we'll help you find the phone system that is perfect for you.