At VoIP Spear, we believe that VoIP is the next step in the development of telecommunications. Anything that is not moving toward VoIP - transitioning into using it as their main means of communication, or at least trying out the technology through free accounts - is missing out on immense benefits: savings, telecommunications convergence, and accessibility, among others. But there are many who do miss out, partly because of the notion that transitioning to VoIP is complicated.
This isn't really the case. Switching to VoIP can be quick and simple, even for businesses. Of course, there's a lot more investment necessary for those wanting corporate VoIP accounts. Still, the long term savings will make up for it. Here's a quick guide to help you transition to VoIP.
One of the first things that you need to have ready when you want to transition to VoIP is a good internet service. Getting good VoIP service is partly dependent on how good your network connections is. If your network service provides enough speed and bandwidth for additional data packets - this time, voice packets - then you're halfway to being VoIP-ready. If you are setting up VoIP for your home, you should at least be on DSL service. If this is for a corporate VoIP account, being on a T1 line is necessary.
Then, of course, you need to get a VoIP service account. Your VoIP service provider can be from practically anywhere. But, it's always better to get with a provider that has a good reputation among your peers and colleagues, and is readily accessible to you in case you need technical or billing support. They should ensure an uptime of at least 99.99%. And, it's also good to know if they implement service quality monitoring, perhaps through VoIP Spear's call quality monitoring service. Ask them about how they monitor their service.
Next, you should consider what gear you'll use with your VoIP service.
Homes or personal-use VoIP accounts have several options. You can opt to go with a softphone, installed either on your computer or smartphone. This is a no-frills approach to switching to VoIP since you are likely to already have the gear you need. You just need to download a softphone software. There are free softphones. Paid ones come packed with extra features. Another option is to either buy a SIP phone for home use or an ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) to use with your analog phone.
For businesses, it can be a bit more complicated. First of all, the assumption is that the VoIP account/s will be for several corporate users. In typical business setups, the office uses a legacy PBX to service all these lines. If you want a gradual transition, perhaps to consider your budget, you can buy a gateway to use with your legacy PBX. If budget is a little bigger, you can replace your legacy PBX all together with an IP-PBX system. Then, you will need to replace your analog phones with SIP phones - necessary when you want to take advantage of telecommunications convergence.
The title above is not a grammatical mistake. In telecommunications, DID stands for Direct Inward Dialing. Your DID numbers need to be transferred to your new telecommunications service providers.
For small accounts, such as those for home or personal use, service providers will do the transfer. For bigger accounts that comes with a series of DID numbers, you will need to work with your phone company. This is a standard procedure though so it shouldn't take long for them to help you out.
For many, switching to VoIP is an investment toward more affordable communication. It then becomes important that you protect your investment. This way, you can make the most of it, and really experience all that it can do for you.
Of course, getting an account with VoIP Spear ranks on top of what you need to do to make the most of your VoIP service. VoIP Spear tests and monitors your service's quality. It graphs performance using Mean Opinion Score (MOS), which is the industry standard in grading VoIP QoS, based on factors, such as latency, jitter and packet delay.
When you do this for your VoIP service, regardless of whether you have a personal or business account, you ensure that you're on top of how your VoIP performs. Problems are spotted right away, before these negatively affect your business or personal communications. You also know immediately how to address VoIP problems, or if you should call your administrator for support.
Backup power is also a good thing to have. This could be in the form of a generator, backup batteries or a UPS system. This ensures that you continue to be reachable even in a power outage.
You're sure to make the most of your VoIP service when you've addressed all these needs.