Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems are rapidly becoming the telephone system of choice for small businesses. VoIP connects phone calls via the internet. The service is cheaper and more reliable, and it offers more features than traditional phone systems.
Here are some tips to help you choose the right VoIP plan for your business.
What do you need for your business?
In order to maximise savings and get the most from your VoIP system, it's important to choose the right package for your business. You need to take into account how many staff will be using the system during the working day, and you'll need to carry out an audit of the telephony equipment you already have in your offices.
If you have a small business that makes a modest number of calls each month, you won't want to pay for an unlimited plan that would be better suited to a larger organisation. A cheaper plan with limited minutes might be more applicable. Understanding your business needs is critical to choosing the most appropriate phone solution.
Is your internet connection robust enough to accommodate VoIP?
For a VoIP system to function at maximum efficiency you will need a reliable high-speed broadband connection. If you try to run VoIP over a slower internet service that already has to cope with employees' devices, the connection will be poor and unstable. A good internet connection will ensure that your VoIP calls have crystal clear quality, and don't drop out mid-conversation.
Is on-site or hosted PBX the best option?
A PBX (Private Branch Exchange) manages and connects multiple phone lines and extensions. Incoming calls are directed to the appropriate department, and outbound calls are paired with open phone lines. This functionality ensures that clients trying to contact the business never receive an 'engaged' signal when they call.
Your PBX can be hosted off-site by the VoIP provider or can exist on-site within your office. The installation of an on-site PBX system is costly, and requires ongoing maintenance by an expert. If you don't already have an on-site PBX, the best option is usually the hosted version.
How much should you spend on hardware?
Many companies opting for the VoIP route immediately dispose of all their old phones and replace them with new IP phones. In fact, this is not necessary as you can use the equipment you already have. All you need are analogue-to-digital converters to interpret any data coming through a standard phone so that it can be used by VoIP.
VoIP could mean a much smaller phone bill each month for your business. Be clear on what your business needs, and research VoIP providers to find the right balance between functionality, ease of use and price to get the most from this exciting new technology. For more information, contact a company like ICOM Solutions.