A VoIP, also known as an IP phone, is a handset that instead of using traditional PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) uses VoIP (Voice over IP) technology allowing making and receiving of calls via an IP network.
You have probably used or seen such a handset without realizing it because they look much like traditional handsets with the difference coming in the technology applied in both. VoIP phones can provide phone features that are not available with the traditional handsets since the interface with the software of the VoIP system.
How it Works
The user is just required to plug into a LAN port. The phone automatically registers at the VoIP system.
The IP phone will always keep its number and will behave the same way irrespective of where you plug it.
Advantages of a VoIP Phone to a Company
The main advantages of this technology for business are:
- Increase in mobility and flexibility.
With internet telephony, business people can integrate programs like e-fax, email and e-conferencing through the telephone over the internet. This means that the user can multi-task using this technology.
- Increase in productivity
This is due to the ability of users to multi-task. It also saves on traditional telephone bills costs. The overall productivity is ultimately increased.
- Ease of installing, using and troubleshooting.
There is very little technical know-how involved in installing VoIP. It actually is less involving than the traditional phone installation.
Before Setting up Business VoIP
Once you decide to switch to a VoIP system, there are things you need to keep in mind:
- Network capacity
Is your network capacity able to handle the data increase? Can it sustain a smooth flow of network? Also, how proper is the LAN setup for the system? Without the necessary network capacity the infrastructure to use the services is unavailable. Have a network administrator over to check your network up so as to determine how capable it is.
- Internet connection
Every business has its own specific needs when it comes to network usage. It is important that a business person looking to switch to VoIP system evaluates their bandwidth. The current connection should be able to handle the new service alongside the current use of the internet.
- The calling habits
One of the main reasons to switch to VoIP should be to minimize costs. For a person who makes frequent international calls then this might be a suitable switch. However, if they limit themselves to local calls then the cost effectiveness of the system is reduced.
In case of and outage, what’s the back-up plan? One’s supposed to have a landline that acts as a back-up when there’s an outage or emergency.
- The premises
Whether you choose a hosted or premise-based PBX (Private Branch Exchange) will be determined by the number of users. A business with less than 15 users would rather use a hosted PBX.
- VoIP service
Just like any other service, there are numerous VoIP providers. One should carry out a lot of research to know which of the providers offers what their business truly needs.
- VoIP equipment
After determining the needs of the business then one should ensure that the tools they use are the most appropriate. The VoIP service provider should be able to advise on that.
It is not as obvious as it may seem when switching to a VoIP system. Take enough time to budget and consider the plan you need: upfront payment, monthly or installments. Also, keep in mind your ROI. If it’s good then go for it.