Everyone is doing it. Your peers are doing it. Your competition is doing it. And you are asking yourself, should I be doing it?
Taking your collaboration tools to the cloud doesn’t need to be a decision you make based on peer pressure. It’s one based on understanding what it is, how it works, and how it can impact your business.
So to help you, we’ve put together the top questions we are guessing that you are asking yourself as you consider your options.
What is VoIP?
Voice over Internet Protocol, more commonly referred to Voice over IP or VoIP, is a technology that allows users to make telephone calls anywhere, even outside the office. It works by transmitting voice signals over the Internet rather than traditional phone lines.
Instead of connecting those phone lines to costly phone system equipment (i.e. PBX or telephone switch), which is often stuffed in a closet or storage room, it’s your Internet connection that enables you to access phone features plus a host of new tools via the cloud.
Many VoIP offerings will continue to offer business phone features like voicemail and call transfer, but some will also offer new collaboration tools like instant messaging, online meeting rooms, screen sharing and more.
Best of all, you can transfer (port) your existing traditional phone line numbers to a VoIP service. Once a number is transferred to the cloud, you can set it up to ring simultaneously across multiple devices so you never miss a call.
How does VoIP work?
Because VoIP gets rid of your on-site PBX phone system, you need a strong Internet connection to access your cloud based features. In particular, your Internet bandwidth, whether it’s over a Wi-Fi or using your mobile Internet connection, will be one of the best determiners of your VoIP call quality.
The good news: service providers continue to enhance your bandwidth options so VoIP call quality has never been better. In addition to quality bandwidth, your on-site Internet hardware, like routers, data switches, and Wi-Fi access points also need to be assessed to ensure they aren’t bottlenecks either.
And finally, office employees, including those working remotely, simply require an IP-enabled phone set. Staff that travel frequently can also typically access all their VoIP services using a free app for their laptop, mobile device, and /or tablet.
What are the benefits to your business?
For a VoIP only system, your benefits are pretty straight forward:
lower overall monthly operating costs;
scalable across locations as you grow;
and all features can be easily configured via a web browser-based administrative system.
More comprehensive systems also provide other benefits:
All-in-one systems – provide SMS, team messaging, fax, and collaboration across all devices – tablet, mobile, and laptops;
Easy to administer – easy to make moves, adds or changes, manage multi-locations, and view QoS (Quality of Service) analytics;
How to choose a VoIP provider
Now that you’ve realized just how wonderful taking your phone system to the cloud can be, you’ll want to pick a provider that works for you. This is what we recommend you should look for:
Professional call quality
You can’t afford to settle when it’s your business, and so when choosing a VoIP provider make sure the quality of phone calls meets your company’s standards.
Choose a provider who has plans based on what your business needs. You don’t want to be “nickel and dimed” for a solution that is meant to help control your overall costs.
Because a VoIP system is reliant on your Internet connection, it’s important to have a contingency plan just in case your service goes down. Make sure your provider offers a wireless back-up solution.
Always listed last, but really the most important. Check that your provider offers a couple complimentary implementation calls that will help guide you through your configuration and customization. Or that they even offer options to have more support and assistance added based on your business’s needs.
Let us help you make the decision that is right for you and your business. TELUS has various options available, and we’d be happy to answer your questions and find a solution that will work best for your business.