What to Do When Adopting Hosted VoIP
Switching from traditional telephony to VoIP can be an exciting transition. VoIP systems are often a great way to save money while adding flexibility to the way your company communicates. However, not all VoIP solutions are the same: most solutions take completely different approaches to fees, call quality, and even security. We'll discuss some of the key factors you should watch out for when choosing a hosted VoIP solution.
Consider Your Options
Cloud based, Hosted VoIP is one of the more popular options for businesses, but it’s certainly not the only one. Many businesses choose instead to manage their own VoIP using an on-premise solution. On-premise VoIP is more expensive, partly because of the cost of hardware and infrastructure, but it has the benefit of giving you full control over your VoIP system. On the other hand, hosted VoIP has little to no upfront cost, but the quality, reliability, and integrity of your service depends entirely on your service provider.
While VoIP can be a cost-saving investment, some providers will try to make up the difference through fees and add-ons. For instance, almost all providers offer E-911, but there may be a per-instance or ongoing fee to use it. Others include activation fees, fees for faxes, and fees if you exceed an allotted number of minutes. When choosing a VoIP provider, be sure to read the fine print.
VoIP systems often include auto-attendants. Auto-attendants are extremely effective at handling several calls simultaneously without the need for employee intervention. A well-configured auto-attendant should be able to field most customer requests and route customers to the right extensions without issues. This has the ultimate effect of reducing call times, reducing bandwidth, and improving productivity.
Review Your Infrastructure
VoIP acts as a full replacement for traditional landline phone systems, using your existing Ethernet network in place of copper wiring. Most modern devices and endpoints can be used with a VoIP solution without the use of additional hardware. Even still, landline-based phones, faxes, computers, and network devices can be modified to work over a VoIP network using an adapter or converter. VoIP also opens up the ability to use devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets as part of the same system.
Search for Simple Solutions
Not every problem has to be an expensive problem. If you experience poor quality with your VoIP solution, look into some of the simpler, more readily-available solutions. Reserve calls for when bandwidth use is low, replace old or cheap Ethernet cables with higher quality cables, or use Quality of Service (QoS) rules to prioritize VoIP data over regular data.
Hosted VoIP has a lot to offer over traditional phone networks. It can save your business money while adding a slew of features and functionality. However, not all hosting services are the same. Read the fine print, and make sure your organization is prepared before making the jump.
If there's one thing we know and do well, here at Layer Seven, it's Hosted VoIP. Give us a call at 619-473-5600 or contact us to discuss!