Salient IT Services › Cheap VoIP Service Sacramento
Finding the best, cheap VoIP service in Sacramento
For many companies, especially SMBs, the main driver behind the switch to VoIP is the possibility to lower costs, particularly calling costs. While this is completely understandable, companies have to be careful not to make false economies and end up with a service of unacceptable quality. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to finding the best, cheap VoIP service in Sacramento.
Start by looking at what you have now
Most SMBs are likely to have a combination of landline phones and cell phones, some will have fax machines as well. Landline phones can usually be completely replaced with VoIP. Cell phones often have to stay, but if you can move some of their traffic onto VoIP, especially their calling traffic, you could potentially make big savings.
Faxes technically use Fax over IP (efax) rather than VoIP but they’re a natural partnership so vendors who support VoIP will generally also support Fax over IP. If not, there are still vendors who specialize in Fax over IP. Given that fax machines use the landline phone lines you presumably want to remove, it often makes sense to implement Fax over IP at the same time as VoIP. Also, Fax over IP increases security, reduces calling costs, reduces printing costs, and frees up office space.
Decide what you need now and in the foreseeable future
As the old saying goes, “start with the end in mind”. In other words, decide what you want to implement at first pass and if there’s anything you know already you’re going to want on top of that. This will let you see what equipment you are going to need and what your bandwidth requirements are likely to be.
Choose the right equipment and think about the costs
When it comes to end-user equipment, the big decision is whether to use softphones or VoIP handsets. As a rule of thumb, you want to use softphones when you can as these tend to be the more affordable option as well as saving space. That said, most softphones generally only work effectively if users have a headset so remember to account for that in your considerations (both of money and of space).
Softphones may, however, not be the best solution for everyone. They need a decent amount of screen space to work effectively, otherwise, they can just get “lost” amongst other apps. You may only find this out when you use them in real-world conditions. This is why it makes sense to test them thoroughly before you commit to a purchase.
If softphones aren’t for you (or at least not for all users) then you’ll need to look at budget-friendly VoIP handsets. Remember that the key to a successful VoIP implementation is maintaining call quality. This means that decent, basic hardware specifications are far more important than impressive-sounding functionality.
You’ll also need to think about how you’re going to pay for your VoIP handsets. You can buy them independently or ask for them to be bundled as part of your VoIP service contract. The former may get you a better deal, but the latter will allow you to spread the cost. Just remember, to think about what suits you best rather than what a VoIP service vendor is most interested in selling you.
If you’re implementing video-calling, then you’ll need cameras (and possibly additional microphones). Remember that higher video quality means more bandwidth. You, therefore, need to think about what level of video quality will achieve the results you need without overburdening your network.
If you’re implementing Fax over IP then your vendor will supply a soft client (getting rid of physical machines is one of the major benefits of Fax over IP). The nature of faxes means that people can generally work them if not at their leisure then at least under less pressure than with phones so it’s less important that they are immediately visible.
Organize your bandwidth
By this point, you should be at least reasonably clear on what you are going to implement and when and hence what your bandwidth requirements will be. You then need to decide how you are going to organize them. Unless you are running your own data center, your options will be to take out (or upgrade an existing) managed hosting contract and take out a separate contract for VoIP service, or look for a VoIP service vendor who can also manage your hosting.
The former may give you a bit of a better deal as well as more control, but sometimes it’s worth paying for the convenience of the latter.
If you’d like to speak to one of the best cheap VoIP service partners in Sacramento, please click here now to contact Salient IT.