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What you need to know about finding the best VoIP service partner in Lodi
Implementing a VoIP service can significantly reduce your costs without compromising on quality, but only if you do it properly. Getting the right VoIP service partner on your side is a key part of making this happen. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to what you need to know about finding the best VoIP service partner in Lodi.
Start by deciding what VoIP services you really need as soon as possible
A basic implementation of VoIP is essentially a like-for-like replacement of your existing telephone service, generally with a bit of extra, value-add functionality. This may not sound like much, but it will give you access to the low calling (and faxing) costs which are the headline attraction of VoIP. You can then upgrade incrementally, watching your bandwidth as you go.
The need to maintain quality of service is the main reason for moving forward slowly. In short, the more VoIP services you use, the more VoIP traffic you generate, and the more bandwidth you need to be able to handle it. This is particularly true if you want to implement video-calling, at least on a major scale. Video-calling needs anything from between three times and twelve times the bandwidth of audio-calling depending on the quality of the video.
Decide if you need Fax over IP as well
Technically Fax over IP (efax) is not a VoIP service but it’s a close relative and if a company is still using fax machines, then it is often parceled in with a VoIP implementation. Fax over IP is now a reliable and secure technology, which can generally be used even in regulated industries. It saves on calling costs, printing costs, and office space so it’s becoming increasingly popular.
Think about how to manage your need for bandwidth
It’s practically guaranteed that you’re going to need to upgrade your network to deal with the extra bandwidth generated by VoIP traffic. For most SMBs that’s going to mean either a managed-hosting arrangement plus a separate VoIP service agreement or a VoIP service agreement which also includes hosting.
If you already have a managed-hosting agreement in place and are happy with it, you might want to stick with your current provider. It may, however, be worth at least taking a look at the option of having your VoIP service partner handle your VoIP traffic. They will have extensive experience in judging how much bandwidth to allocate for any given service package they offer. If you’re in the public cloud then simply having your VoIP service partner deal with the necessary hosting arrangements would almost certainly be the most practical option.
Select equipment for end-users and decide how you would prefer to pay for it
Your main decision is whether you want to use softphones or buy standalone VoIP handsets. Softphones are usually made available with VoIP service contracts and tend to be free (or very low-cost). VoIP handsets can either be bought independently or bundled with contracts. If you would prefer the latter then you would need to check what a potential VoIP service provider could offer and at what cost.
Softphones can sound very appealing because they clear the physical clutter from desks. The key point to remember, however, is that they add to the visual clutter on screens. This means that they can literally get lost amongst all the other apps most people have open most of the time. What’s more, the quality of softphone user interfaces can be variable, to put it mildly as can their support for mobile devices. Last but not least, softphones generally require headsets to work effectively.
VoIP handsets, by contrast, do take up desk space but this means that they are going to be seen no matter what a user is doing with their main screen. It also means that they can be answered without having to “find” an app and then choose the right button to accept the call. On the other hand, they do mean that staff members have an extra device to manage rather than having everything streamlined through one endpoint.
In short, there is no “right” or “wrong” solution for all users, just what works best in your situation and it may take some trial and error to work this out. It’s advisable to go through a thorough testing process before committing to a bulk purchase (or implementation) and perhaps to be open to the idea that you may need to implement a combination of softphones and VoIP handsets to accommodate different working styles.
If you’d like to speak to one of the best VoIP service partners in Lodi, please click here now to contact Salient IT.