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Finding a cheap VoIP service in Woodland
VoIP opens up all kinds of technical possibilities. Most companies, however, especially SMBs, are mainly interested in the possibility of reduced calling costs. VoIP is excellent for this, but it’s important to ensure that you still maintain an appropriate level of service quality. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to finding a cheap VoIP service in Woodland.
Start by figuring out where you are now
Hopefully, you should already have clear records of all your calling (and faxing) infrastructure. If so, now is the time to double-check them to be sure that they are accurate. If not, now is the time to get to grips with figuring it out.Envision how you’d like your telephone infrastructure to look
Given that you’re going to be overhauling your infrastructure anyway, it’s a good idea to think about how you see your ideal communications landscape. VoIP offers much more flexibility than the traditional telephone network. For example, VoIP makes it easy to share numbers between employees and to implement “hunt groups” (where unanswered calls are forwarded to people with a similar skill-set instead of being diverted to voicemail).
Think about what VoIP services you’ll need
Your aim should usually be to keep the initial VoIP service implementation as simple as possible. This keeps it as quick and painless as it can be, which also helps to reduce costs. Once the change has become “business as usual” and you have recouped your initial outlay, then you can think about whether or not you want to develop your VoIP service any further.
For the most part, therefore, your aim should be to make a fairly close copy of what you have now. You can, however, adapt it if it is obviously beneficial to do so. For example, if it’s clear that one of your current call-management services is completely unused, then it’s unlikely to start being used just because it’s on VoIP. Similarly, even though you want to keep the initial VoIP implementation as pared-back as possible, you can include “value-add” services which have the clear potential to reduce your business costs.
The three value-add services which stand out are conference-calling, video-calling, and call-recording. Conference-calling has so many potential uses it can be justified in almost any VoIP service implementation. Video-calling is much more resource-intensive than audio-calling but is often still worth the investment if it can be used to reduce business travel. As well as being more cost-effective, it’s generally more convenient and a lot safer.
Call-recording is fast becoming a necessity, but it’s also fraught with legal sensitivities. These increase if you need to store the calls, which most companies probably do. It’s therefore essential to make sure that you’re working with a VoIP service vendor who can keep you on the right side of the law.
Decide if you need Fax over IP
The real question here is whether or not you still need a fax service. If you do, then Fax over IP (efax) is really the only way to go. It allows you to eliminate the last of your old telephone lines, is secure, reliable, and cost-effective, plus it opens up office space for other purposes. Even though Fax over IP is, strictly speaking, different from VoIP, most VoIP service vendors support it. If you want to work with one who doesn’t, you can plug the gap with a vendor who specializes in Fax over IP.
Calculate your bandwidth requirements
Once you know your users and your services, you’ll be able to calculate your bandwidth requirements. Your next step is to decide how to implement that bandwidth. In principle, you can put in the necessary infrastructure yourself. In practice, it’s unlikely that many SMBs will want to handle either the upfront costs or the responsibility, let alone both. This means that, in practical terms, your options are either to organize managed hosting plus a separate VoIP service contract or to look for a VoIP service vendor who can also handle hosting.
Decide what equipment you need and how to pay for it
If you want to use softphones, then you will usually get them from your VoIP service vendor for free (or for very low cost). You will, however, probably want at least some VoIP handsets, if only for conference calls. If so, you can either buy these independently or try to have them bundled as part of your VoIP service contract. Buying them independently may get you a better deal, but having them bundled with your contract allows you to spread the cost.
If you’d like to speak to one of the best cheap VoIP service partners in Woodland, please click here now to contact Salient IT.