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Choosing a cheap VoIP service partner in Placerville
It’s probably fair to say that most SMBs are interested in VoIP because it offers the possibility of saving a lot of money on calling costs. This means that it is more important to find the best possible deal on price than to find a VoIP service vendor who supports enterprise-grade functionality. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to choosing a cheap VoIP service partner in Placerville.
Check your historic, current and predicted usage
As a minimum, you want to know your maximum call volume and what percentage of your calls are internal, local, domestic, and international. For international calls, you want a breakdown of what countries your staff is calling. Ideally, you also want to know if they are calling landlines or cell phones and if the latter why they are using the more expensive option.
You should do this for all your phones, both landlines, and cell. You’re unlikely to be able to get rid of the latter completely but any traffic, especially voice traffic, you can move onto your VoIP network could result in useful savings.
With this as a baseline, think about whether there is anything in the pipeline which could change your usage pattern. When doing this, remember to take human nature into account. For example, if your staff routinely calls branches in other parts of the country (or world), then you might find these calls become more frequent and/or longer when they become “free”. This can actually be a good sign for your business and certainly for good intra-company relations, but you will need to be able to handle the extra traffic.
Choose which VoIP services to implement
If you’re looking to keep costs down, then you want to minimize the number of VoIP services you implement. It’s a good idea to inform yourself about VoIP services in general and decide what ones you need/want to implement before you start looking at individual VoIP service vendors in detail. This is partly so you can be sure that a potential VoIP service vendor can support what you need. Mostly, however, it’s to avoid being tempted to add in extra services just because they look good and are affordably priced.
In general, you usually want to implement a close copy of your existing telephone system with a few free/low-cost enhancements such as better call-logging and, hence, usage reporting. There are, however, a few value-add VoIP services from which many SMBs could potentially benefit. These are conference-calling, video-calling, and call-recording. Conference calling is so straightforward and potentially useful that it should almost always be included. Video-calling and call recording may need a little more consideration.
Video-calling gobbles up bandwidth and hence needs either significant extra infrastructure or careful scheduling and management (or a combination of both). This, of course, generates a cost. The reason why video-calling is so popular despite this extra cost is that it can be an excellent substitute for business travel. It’s not only, usually, more affordable than sending employees long distances, but it’s often massively more convenient and, if implemented properly (and with appropriate staff-training) a whole lot safer.
Call-recording is fast becoming a necessity or at least a high-priority want. The good news is that technically, call-recording with VoIP is fairly straightforward, much more so than it is with the traditional telephone network. The bad news is that there are all sorts of legalities to consider, particularly if you want to store the call-recordings, which most companies will want to do. This is because most calls will include some personal data (if only names) and hence will be covered by data-protection laws.
Decide if you need to implement Fax over IP
Although Fax over IP (efax) is, technically, different from VoIP, most VoIP service vendors will support it. If not, some vendors specialize in Fax over IP.
Detail your hardware requirements and how they will be purchased
Hardware for VoIP implementations is basically front-end and back-end. In terms of front-end hardware, you need to choose between softphones (and headsets) and VoIP handsets (possibly also with headsets). Most other hardware choices will come from your choice of services. You then have to decide if you’re going to buy your hardware yourself or get it bundled with your VoIP service contract (or a combination of both).
For your back-end hardware, your options are to buy it yourself, have a managed hosting arrangement plus a separate VoIP service contract, or look for a VoIP service provider who can handle hosting.
If you’d like to speak to one of the best cheap VoIP service partners in Placerville, please click here now to contact Salient IT.