Once you have made the decision to upgrade your telephony system to embrace VoIP, what should your next steps be?
- Establish your needs and explore your options
VoIP is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It is important to know what you need, so think about factors like the type of infrastructure you want to opt for (such as on-premise versus hosted PBX), what equipment you want, what you will need in terms of internet connections, and what physical space you will need. It’s worth contacting your current telephony provider to see if they are able to upgrade you to a VoIP-based system.
- Make sure your existing network can handle VoIP
VoIP relies entirely on an internet connection. The key to high-quality and reliable VoIP calls is to have a fast broadband connection and sufficient bandwidth on your network. Make sure that your broadband connection is quick enough – upgrading it if necessary – and establish a way of ensuring there is sufficient bandwidth for VoIP.
Some organizations may opt for a dedicated connection purely for VoIP. For example, a 5 Mbps connection should be able to handle approximately 58 VoIP calls if solely dedicated to that purpose.
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- Contact various providers
It is definitely worth shopping around to find the provider who offers the package that best suits your needs. Look at who provides the best value for money as opposed to just the lowest price. This means considering factors such as reliability and whether or not you will have a dedicated account manager. You should also ask about backups and security protocols. This exercise should help you narrow your list down to one or two possibilities, at which point you can speak to existing customers to get references and make a final decision.
- Set up training
Once you have decided which provider to go with and have a “go life” date, you should look at arranging some training for your employees who will be using the system. They will need to know how to use the basic functions and how to deal with any teething problems.