Effective communication is essential for the success and growth of any business. For decades, legacy phone systems have been the primary communication tool in organizational settings. However, times are changing, and traditional analog landlines can no longer keep up with the modern workplace demands.
Limited mobility, fragmented applications, and outdated features create operational issues that can frustrate users, decrease productivity, and hinder innovation. Many businesses are turning to a fairly new technology known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to help them grow and scale.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about VoIP. You’ll learn what VoIP is, how to get started, and how to find the right VoIP solution for your business. The goal is to help you understand how this technology can save you money and help you grow your business.
What Is Business VoIP?
You may never have heard the term before, but you’ve probably used VoIP many times before. It’s one of those technologies that you use more than you realize. You are already familiar with VoIP if you’ve ever used any of the following:
- Xbox Live
VoIP is a phone technology that allows you to make low-cost phone calls over the internet. Instead of transmitting through traditional phone lines, voice data is digitized and sent over the internet. All you need is a VoIP platform and an internet connection to make a phone call.
Developed in 1995, VoIP became more stable and reliable with the growth of broadband and is now the go-to solution for modern corporate communications. Back when VoIP was first introduced, people used to complain that the sound quality wasn’t as good on VoIP as it was on a landline. That is not a problem anymore.
How to Get Started
VoIP makes business communications easy and more efficient. Now that you are aware of VoIP’s benefits to your business, the next logical step is to at least give it a try. Here’s a step-by-step guide to supplement your transition when you are finally ready to make the shift to VoIP.
1. Identify Your Business Communication Needs
To get started with VoIP, you first need to figure out your business’s communication needs. What exactly does your team need from a VoIP system? VoIP systems vary significantly in terms of features they offer.
Depending on your business needs, you may choose to go with a VoIP system that only provides basic calling and texting options or a more sophisticated service that offers more collaboration tools such as:
- File sharing
- Team messaging
- Video conferencing
You need to make sure that your VoIP solution has all the communications tools you need for business.
2. Work Out Your Budget for a VoIP System
Price is an imperative consideration when getting started with business VoIP. After figuring out what you need from a VoIP system, the next step is to determine the available budget for VoIP. It’s important to ask yourself how much you’re willing to spend on your business VoIP system, so you can gain a realistic understanding of what would be best for your company.
How much are you willing to spend on your business VoIP system? In most cases, VoIP providers charge per user per month for their services. Keep in mind that add-ons will cost extra. When you work out how much you can spend on a VoIP system, you can now choose a plan and a provider that doesn’t strain your finances.
3. Choose the Type of VoIP Service
There are several types of VoIP services and solutions on the market. These include:
- Hardware-based VoIP services
- Software-based VoIP Services
- Mobile VoIP services
The type of VoIP service you choose will depend on your communication needs. Choosing the right type of VoIP service will help you use the technology optimally for lower costs and other important benefits.
4. Get Your VoIP Equipment
What equipment do you need for business VoIP? The equipment you need varies depending on the type of VoIP. In most cases, the only hardware required is headsets and speakers for PC-to-PC communication. You might need a variety of VoIP headsets and call monitoring features if your employees spend most of their time on the phone.
Keep in mind that when it comes to VoIP, the most important thing you need is a reliable internet connection. For business VoIP, you can use Ethernet or Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) connection. You need a connection that can handle the bandwidth requirements of both inbound and outbound calls, team messaging, and video conferencing.
5. Choose a VoIP Provider
You need to subscribe to a VoIP provider to be able to place and receive calls over the internet. With so many options out there, choosing the right VoIP provider can seem like a daunting task. However, if you know what you’re looking for in terms of must-have features and the type of VoIP service you want, choosing a provider is not that hard.
Review your business’s identified communication needs and ensure that the prospective provider is a good fit. Be sure to choose a provider that offers a free trial period or money-back guarantee for a risk-free test drive for your new VoIP system.
VoIP is a phone technology that delivers voice communications over the internet. With VoIP, calling is easy and inexpensive. If you’re looking to upgrade your landline phones, setting up an internet phone system is the way to go. It’s incredibly easy to get started with VoIP, and our professionals at Integrated Communications can help you out.
Contact us for more information on how to get started with VoIP and how you can use internet calling to drive your business into the future.