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A quick guide to choosing the best VoIP service in Folsom
VoIP is now recognized as offering many advantages over the traditional telephone network. One of those advantages is that there is massively more competition for your business. In general, that’s good but it can also be confusing. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to choosing the best VoIP service in Folsom.
Start by analyzing your current usage
Like most network-based services, VoIP is very flexible and scalable. This means that for most SMBs the sensible approach to implementing it is to start with a close copy of your existing system. You’ll probably find that it’s easy enough to add some “quick wins” in terms of value-add calling functionality (for example better call-logging). For the most part, however, the priority will probably be to get access to the lower calling costs, which are the headline attraction of VoIP.
When analyzing your current usage, remember to look at your cell phone usage and also consider whether or not now would be a good time to replace any fax machines you still have. Although you’re probably going to have to keep your cell phones, anything you can do to transfer traffic to a VoIP service can result in even bigger savings than it does for landline calls.
Fax over IP (efax) is, technically, different from VoIP, but it’s practically guaranteed that a VoIP vendor will support it (and if not there are a few vendors still specialize in Fax over IP on its own). When implemented properly, Fax over IP is reliable and secure to the point where it can generally be used for business-critical purposes, even in regulated industries. It saves on call costs, printing costs (making it a better choice for the environment too), and office space.
Decide if you need/want any additional VoIP services and, if so, at what point?
Although you’ll generally want to keep the initial implementation as small as possible, if you really need a particular VoIP service, then it needs to be included in the implementation project or at least added very shortly thereafter. The key point, however, is to be clear about what are needs and what are wants, especially with services which have special implications such as video-calling and call-recording.
Video-calling requires massive amounts of bandwidth, as in anything between three and twelve times the amount of bandwidth needed depending on the quality of the video. Because of this, unless you have significant budget, it can be best to hold off implementing video-calling or, at the very least, to place limits on its use to avoid placing too much of a strain on your network.
Call-recording, by contrast, is fairly straightforward technically, but, these days, just the act of recording a call has several legal implications. If calls contain personal data, which they almost invariably do since personal data includes names, then further laws come into play. It is vital to adhere to these otherwise companies risk expensive (and embarrassing) sanctions.
If you do want additional services, then it’s helpful to have an idea of when you would like them to be implemented as this may influence your choice of VoIP service vendor. For example, you may find that the best deal currently available is from a vendor who can support your current needs but not your future ones. In that case, you’ll need to decide whether to accept it and change later or to pass on the deal and go with a vendor who can support everything you want to implement.
Think about how to manage your bandwidth requirements
One of the main reasons for thinking so carefully about how you intend to use your VoIP service is because it will determine your bandwidth requirements. Most SMBs are going to need to upgrade their network significantly to implement VoIP. For many, this will mean either using managed hosting plus a separate VoIP service contract or looking for a VoIP service vendor who can also take care of hosting their VoIP service.
Even if you already have a managed hosting arrangement with which you are happy, it can be worth considering putting all your VoIP needs together and handing them over to a specialist. You may give up a bit of control, but the payback is greater convenience and potentially the ability to negotiate a better, overall deal with your VoIP service partner.
Define your minimum service standards
Your minimum service standards should cover both service quality and security and compliance. These should be incorporated into a legally-enforceable contract. It’s also very much advisable to look at a potential VoIP service vendor’s standards for customer service and support.
If you’d like to speak to one of the best VoIP service partners in Folsom, please click here now to contact Salient IT.