Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) has undoubtedly become the main player in business communications, edging ahead of many other traditional landline systems by offering marked increases in flexibility and efficiency.
VoIP has proved particularly popular for smaller businesses, with lower running costs and a host of added features helping firms propel their status within their respective industry in a way that may have otherwise not be possible.
Implementing VoIP has the potential to be one of the best decisions a company can make, but it is certainly not something that can be rushed into.
Consider your budget
Like with any project, it is imperative that you do not spend over the odds when putting a new technology into place.
Introducing VoIP is no different, so take a moment to truly consider what financial impact such measures will have on your company.
Considerations that need to be made include how many handsets your company needs, how long will staff numbers remain at their current levels, and what impact the introduction of VoIP will have on any future plans for expansion.
On-site or off-site?
A large number of VoIP providers will offer an offsite service, meaning there is no need for any additional on-site hardware aside from the physical handsets.
Offsite solutions often utilise the cloud to host services, meaning that maintenance for the system is handled by the provider, taking away any extra expenses that may arise through regular use.
Many hosted VoIP solutions therefore boast a low upfront cost along with a monthly fee, which attracts many firms looking to keep a hold of the balance sheet. However, there may be some cases where an on-site solution actually works out cheaper, despite commanding a higher upfront overhead cost.
While many companies like the idea of handing the control of their system over to a provider, others will find themselves benefiting from the greater level of control handed to them by an onsite system.
Above all else, the key to a successful VoIP service is a good internet connection, which in turn cannot be compromised in any way.
It is therefore essential to consider how many simultaneous users are likely to be using your system at any one time as this will help to work out how much bandwidth will be required.
It is important to ensure your internal network can cope with the pressure too, including routers and switches.
Many VoIP providers clearly outline the system requirements for their services, with a majority recommending the use of a router with configurable Quality of Service settings, which prioritises VoIP traffic to maximise quality.
Data caps from your service provider will also need to be considered.
Once you have a plan of action ready, the only thing left to do is to purchase the right hardware. Comtec has a whole range of products suited to your telephony needs, with experts on hand to dish out their own pieces of valuable advice.