You are in the process of streamlining certain processes in your company and maximizing your resources. The internet, for instance, enables you to make and take calls.
This flexibility is personified by VoIP for business communication. This technology sounds complicated from the get-go. But if you’re interested in improving and simplifying how you communicate with your customers and your team, this article about setting up an office VoIP system is a start.
What, Why VOIP for Your Business?
You may have used VoIP or voice over internet protocol at some point. These online calls expand your existing office equipment’s functionalities and eliminate long-distance and per-minute calling costs.
As an owner or manager, you can look into a myriad of VoIP services for your small business or home office. These include call forwarding, videoconferencing, and integrations with other programs/applications.
Look into these pointers when setting up your office VoIP system.
Do a Head Count
How many are or will be using the service in the office? It’s a simple question that gives you a good idea of which bases to cover for your office VoIP, including the internet speed, the hardware required, features needed or wanted, and the cost or at least an estimate of the overall setup. Some of these points are further discussed below.
The question also warrants whether you are buying individual lines or opting for extensions. As it is, the subscription price of VoIP packages is often tied to the number of users.
Assess Your Internet
How many calls do you get every day? Can your internet connection handle voice and video calls? The bandwidth affects the calls’ quality and volume. In assessing the internet speed, you also have to factor in existing usage such as browsing, downloading, and uploading content.
Before you set up a VoIP system, run a test on your internet’s speed. You can then decide if there’s a need to upgrade it to accommodate more or better calls or cut down on the usage, as applicable.
Shop for VoIP Services
When signing up for a VoIP plan, look into the value it can provide to your business:
- Jot down the suite of services needed, such as setting up the phone system with local phone numbers for business, call forwarding, online meeting, and video conferencing.
- Make a wish list of add-ons, like voicemail to text, instant messaging, analytics, and call recording. You can look into more features as you go.
- Look up known VoIP service providers and their plans. You can request for a quote. Also, read reviews to gauge customer support.
Shop within your budget. They say pricing is not everything as you may miss out on services that are costly upfront but will be cost-effective in the long run. That’s where your list comes in, and when you have a budget, it makes for better spending.
Ready Your Office Hardware
The VoIP setup acts as a virtual phone system that can be cloud-hosted. It’s a marked departure from traditional telephony with its charges and on-site hardware. Thus, you have your voice, data, and audio communication without the usual costs.
As for setting up the office, you may need any of the following:
- VoIP phones are a perfect choice. You can use analog phones that have specialized adapters to make the relevant calls.
- Computers like laptops, personal computers, or tablets facilitate calls and videoconferences via proprietary applications.
- Mobile phones with VoIP apps enable you to pick up or make calls on the go.
- A web camera is required for video collaborations and presentations. This camera with the Cisco TelePresence SX80 platform provides high-definition video and audio capabilities with H.323/SIP/VOIP protocol support.
Don’t forget headsets and monitors for a complete conference room experience.
Set Up a Call Management Process
Develop a process for handling calls to go along with your VoIP system. Come up with the details for the following:
- Routing calls for specific concerns (e.g., who gets to answer what)
- Recording the calls
- Managing calls during peak hours
- Allowing employees to take and make business calls outside the office.
Are you ready to make a switch to VoIP for your office? Let us know in the comments section.