When people began discovering the concept of making a VOIP call it was a bit of a novelty that was mainly utilized by “computer geeks” in the comfort of their own homes and in those early days business owners had a lot of very valid reasons to be more than a little leery about the concept of switching their traditional telephone system for a VOIP based one. Maintaining an open line of communication at all times is crucial for any business and those early VOIP solutions were just not able to match the reliability and call quality that the local phone company could offer.
Like any other new technology VOIP has grown and evolved though and today’s VOIP solutions offer clarity and reliability that stacks up very well against PSTN. There are the obvious disadvantages to VOIP service; if your Internet goes down the phones will not work and the same is true of a power outage. On the other hand when a traditional phone line goes down business owners usually have to wait for hours, if not days, for the telephone company tech to arrive and fix the problem whereas a VOIP based system can be up and running again in a minute as soon as the lights come back on or the Internet connection resumes.
For a business there are limits to PSTN service that simply do not exist with VOIP. For example a traditional T1 business phone line can support, at most, 23 simultaneous phone calls. That means that if you have 25 busy salespeople 2 of them will have to be busying themselves with something other than phone calls at all times – that is unless the business feels like investing in a second T1 phone line, an expensive option that can also take days, or weeks to install.
VOIP has no such limitations. Your 25 salespeople can talk away all day as long as you have the bandwidth and the amount of bandwidth you will need for your business is a very simple decision you can make with your business VOIP provider when the service is set up and can also be varied easily.
The biggest advantages of business VOIP service over traditional telephone service for businesses ranging in size from a tiny start up to a huge corporation are the costs and the savings are so extensive in many cases business VOIP is something that no business can really afford not to at least look into.
Setting Up VOIP for a Small Business – What are the Options?
Anyone who has ever been around when a new business telephone system is installed knows it can be a real pain. Making the switch to VOIP does not have to be that hard though as long as you have thought out up front exactly what your business needs and have discussed those needs with a good VOIP provider.
One of the things you will have to ensure is that your Internet connection has the bandwidth to handle a VOIP system. If yours is a very small business with just a few employees this is unlikely to be too much of an issue but if you want to have a larger number of phones connected into the system you may have to look into increasing your bandwidth before you make the switch to VOIP.
It is possible for companies to purchase their own, in house IP PBX system which takes the place of the PBX you may already have. This can be a great solution for a larger business with heavy phone needs but for a small business a hosted VOIP solution is probably a better bet. A hosted VOIP solution means that all the equipment required for your new VOIP system to function is located at your providers facility not yours and they take care of any and all maintenance issues, you are not left waiting days for a repair person to show up on your doorstep, something most business owners have been through at least once with a traditional PSTN service in place.
In terms of the equipment needed it is perfectly possible to continue to use the phones you already own with the assistance of a small device called an ATA, which is an analog to digital converter. Installing an ATA is easy. All you really have to do is plug the wire from your conventional phone into the ATA socket and then plug the ATA into your router. Its a great solution if you will only be adding VOIP services to a couple of phones and using an ATA allows you to keep the phone you are used to, often meaning because the quality of a VOIP call and the quality of a PSTN placed call are so similar these days you and your employees may quickly forget that you have a “new” phone service at all.
If you are adding more phones than just a few, or you were ready for an equipment upgrade anyway special VOIP phones cost just about the same as a traditional phone and because they are especially designed for use with a VOIP system they do usually offer easier access to some of the extra services that VOIP offers over a PSTN based service like the really useful video conferencing services VOIP makes a reality, even for the smallest of businesses.
Calling Features of a Business VOIP System
If you currently get your phone service from a traditional phone company via PSTN then you probably have some extra services like caller ID, call waiting, voice conference calling (sometimes still called 3 way calling) and voice mail. And you are probably charged extra fees by your phone company in order to have those services. That is not the case with a business VOIP system. All of these extras, as well as others like multi mailbox voice mail and video conferencing are almost always included free of charge.
There is also a big advantage to businesses of all sizes, but especially a smaller one that wherever you go you can take your VOIP phone number with you and answer those important calls. By connecting to your VOIP service from pretty much anywhere where you can access an Internet connection you can answer calls in real time – no having to return to the office to a slew of voice mails.
Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-730-3468 for immediate tech support in Montclair, CA.