VoIP (Voice over internet protocol) is the capacity to use the Internet to make phone calls, video calls, and more. It is reliable, affordable, and higher quality than traditional phone networks and services. Now, enough with the grandstanding. VoIP is useful, but there are some things that you should have in order before moving forward with a VoIP service.
- Check your network/LAN. Your network needs to be buttoned up tight. Security is immensely important in an exponentially connected world. A large portion of your company’s data is either on the cloud or will be soon. Ensuring that you have a firm grasp on the security of your data, and the outlets and channels through which it travels, will enable you to adopt further cloud-based services much, much more quickly and safely.
- Bandwidth isn’t the only metric for quality. The consistency of the connection is equally important to the download and upload speeds needed. Depending on your needs, appropriate bandwidth is available, and reputable providers are transparent about the reliability of their services. Ensuring maximum uptime for your business is just as crucial as the bandwidth provided. Make sure to regularly test the quality of your ISP with speedtest.net or others
- Test the distance between you and your provider’s switch. It’s important to know the number of ‘jumps’ between you and your provider’s switch. This is how many routers are needed to complete a connection. Less is more here, but there are always exceptions. As usual, a potential VoIP provider will be transparent about their services.
- Don’t always go for the lowest hanging fruit. A low quote isn’t always the best quote. When NASA builds spaceships, we hope they do not go for the lowest quoted contractor. The same is true for VoIP services. A reputable provider will be transparent about the services and pricing options available, and work to fit your needs. There have been recent adjustments to E911 and Federal regulatory fees that are often ‘hidden,’ be sure to ask about them
- Pick a service based on the features you need. Not all providers are created equal and will offer differing features. Some will be jack-of-all-trade providers, while others will be specific in their available functionalities. There is market density so you have options. You want and need to pick the right tool for the job, and a provider who understand and work with you to accomplish your goals
In conclusion whatever your needs are for a new phone system, if you determine VoIP to be an option, the above 5 tips are a very good place to start refining your goals and search.