IP telephony is becoming a viable service for small businesses around the world. The simple reason is that data networks can now support large voice and video data to provide a smooth calling experience. Organizations are utilizing VoIP technology to reduce their communication costs. Earlier, companies used to have a telephony service, provided by telecom partner, with a private branch exchange (PBX) system. It allowed companies to interconnect with its employees and with the rest of the world. Similarly, for broadband, they used to have a separate connection if the telecom company did not offer internet service.
Both the systems were very costly. The telecom company even charged for calls within the company. It was also inefficient in making conference calls. Moreover, with a separate connection for internet, more maintenance overheads were introduced.
With innovations in the technology behind the Internet, internet protocol (IP) came into existence. It allowed multiple devices to send and receive data packets. Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) uses internet protocol to provide a more flexible and cost-efficient solution to traditional telephony service.
5 simple steps to integrate VoIP into your organization:
We have made the transition easy for you in 5 simple steps :
Decide how many connections you need:
A transition to IP telephony will be successful if you plan things carefully. First, determine how many employees or users will need a connection. Buying unnecessary connections will simply waste your money. Also, check out how many of your existing headsets can support IP telephony. This information will help you to determine the need to upgrade your internet connectivity. Also, it will help you to set out the minimum budget requirement to make a successful transition to VoIP.
Upgrade your internet connection to meet the requirements:
It is important to know that the voice packets will consume more bandwidth than the data packets. And, after the transition, you will definitely not want poor quality calls. Your existing internet connection might not be fast enough to support all the VoIP calls. At worst, you may have to discard the purchased VoIP service simply because your internet connection was unable to support it. Therefore, you need to assess the performance of your internet connectivity. You can simply upgrade your connection before making the transition.
Decide features that suit your budget:
VoIP technology has many advantages over traditional telephony service. Conference calls, voice mailbox, call assistance and call queuing are a few of its features. VoIP has a lot to offer than you actually need. Mesmerized by its advanced features, you will end up exceeding your maximum budget. Therefore, it is advised to assess your requirements so that you can decide on a budget beforehand. Make a list of features that you expect from a VoIP service. Also, specify how they will be beneficial for your company. Doing so, will not only prevent over costs but will also give you the best return on investment (ROI).
Choose the right service provider:
After assessing your requirements, it’s time to select your VoIP technology. You have 2 options to choose from.
- A Hosted Service:
You can choose a cloud-based VoIP service. Hosted VoIP service can be seen as traditional telephony service. You only pay for the connectivity. All the maintenance is done by the service provider. The advantage is that you can easily scale your VoIP network by switching between vendors. Or discard one if it does not provide high-quality calling experience.
- A business managed VoIP:
With this option, you will need to manage your own VoIP service. You will have to buy the necessary equipment, configure the software on each device and maintain it for long-term use. This option is generally less expensive. But, you should consider it only if you have sufficient technical knowledge.
Then, carry out a research of VoIP service providers and choose one that satisfies the following parameters:
- Cost efficient
- Supports features that you require
- Easy to integrate
- Provides 24/7 customer support
- Available in your city
- Requires less maintenance
Integrate the VoIP service:
Integrating the service in your existing infrastructure is the trickiest part. You need to configure each IP device to support the firewall. The entire process can fail because of a failed step like a misconfigured IP private branch exchange system (IP PBX). By working with an IT partner, you can easily focus on your core business operations. A trusted partner will ensure that you get the right solution to fit your business needs. He will assess your requirements and come up with a right vendor that can deliver the service without any overheads.
VoIP is not limited to only making voice calls. You can use it to send other multimedia packets over the IP, like video data. With so many advantages over traditional telephony, it is a good time for every company to switch to a VoIP solution.