2014 draws near as VoIP continues to make headway into telecommunications, practically taking over chunks of what used to be wireline companies' market. VoIP technologies and services have greatly improved through the years. Costs have remained consistent, if not lower. And network support is better than ever. It is a great time to make that big VoIP switch. But before you take the next step, switching to VoIP may not be for everyone -- at least not yet.
Ask yourself three questions:
VoIP can help streamline work flow, making your office function more effectively and become more productive. Communications is converged under one platform. Access to information is then easier horizontally and vertically through the organization. Cooperation among remote offices/ branches is faster. Plus, you are able to do so much more with your data, especially since it's already in digital format.
There are downsides to all this, of course. A major consideration is the increase in data traffic. If your setup is not built to take this much traffic, you will experience dips in network and system performance. This may make your operations less efficient than prior to switching to VoIP.
Of course, you have to consider the capacity of your current network before you switch to VoIP. Expect your bandwidth usage to at least quadruple with normal VoIP phone usage. If all you've been doing online is surf and share files, the increased traffic might affect how you experience the internet. And, if your network is not built for this or you don't have enough bandwidth allotment, you will definitely experience online problems.
The capacity of your network shouldn't stop you from considering VoIP as your main means of telecommunication. Worst case scenario is that you just need to upgrade your current network service.
VoIP is the cheaper and more efficient communications alternative. Switching now can save you a bundle in your future phone bills. However, converting an entire office to use it requires a sizable budget at the start. You will need to equip each station with a SIP phone or an ATA box. You will need to switch to an IP PBX system or equip your current PBX with a VoIP gateway. Definitely, your budget has to be planned around your VoIP switch at the start. Not to worry though because you will experience some savings soon enough.
If you're decided on switching to VoIP, treat it as an investment in savings and increased productivity. Protect your investment by implementing safeguards that ensure peak VoIP performance 99% of the time. Set up an account with VoIP Spear so you can consistently monitor your service and pinpoint problem areas before these affect your day-to-day operation. Have a plan for backup power in case of power outages. Either have an emergency power source dedicated to your VoIP phone system or configure calls to forward to mobile or wireline accounts in case of power loss. The idea is to really make the most of your VoIP investment.