Thinking about switching to VOIP

An important strength of a VoIP infrastructure is that it converges with existing data networks, so that cabling and implementation costs can be dramatically reduced, and the management of back-office systems, greatly enhanced. VoIP-based telephone systems thereby integrate with existing email and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms to deliver an optimum unified communication experience directly to the end user.

With an onslaught of competitive broadband packages on the market and huge advancements in VoIP technology, there has never been a better time for businesses to take the leap into VoIP.  Simply by replacing their fixed ISDN lines with an Internet VoIP trunk would help save a business thousands of pounds every year.

But what should businesses be asking when they want to implement VoIP? What should they be looking for? And what should they be doing? Here’s a quick guide to the “Do’s & Don’ts” of VoIP implementation.

DO NOT

  • Be talked into a hosted telephony solution until you have researched/have been made aware of all the alternatives.
  • Use peer-to-peer (Torrent) applications within your office environment. These will cause disruption to your voice calls.
  • Sign up with VoIP providers who insist on a 12 month contract or higher. If your VoIP solution is not fulfilling your expectations, then you don’t want to be penalised for it.
  • Port your number over to a VoIP provider, UNTIL you are confident of the service being offered. Porting a number can take up to three weeks – so it is advisable to get it right first time.

DO

  • Ensure your LAN is capable of carrying VoIP traffic.
  • Insist on a free trial to ensure that you are happy with the provider and the level of service offered.
  • Use an established provider. They will carry substantially more experience in delivering VoIP effectively as well as debugging problems.
  • Be dubious about companies offering ‘one size fits all’ solutions – there is no such thing!
  • Ask for reference customers which are roughly the same size as your requirement.
  • Check call rates to your most commonly dialled destinations. Low monthly fees may mean higher than expected call rates.

Get a separate broadband connection for your VoIP lines – preferably from your VoIP provider. If you do not have the budget for this then make sure you choose a router capable of prioritising VoIP traffic.

Check that your provider adheres to a code of conduct and is a member of a reputable industry association such as ITSPA.

Don’t be left behind – look into VoIP now and benefit from price-busting mobile and landline packages that can reduce call costs by up to 80 per cent. There has never been a better time to start VoIPing!!

Get a separate broadband connection for your VoIP lines – preferably from your hosted voip provider. If you do not have the budget for this then make sure you choose a router capable of prioritizing VoIP traffic.

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