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What you need to know to implement a VoIP service in Folsom
Up until relatively recently, businesses need a justification for abandoning the safety of traditional telephone lines in favor of VoIP. Now, businesses are increasingly starting to feel like they need a business justification to stick with traditional telephone lines instead of moving to VoIP. A VoIP service not only offers better call prices but also makes it possible for SMBs to implement what used to be enterprise-class features. Here is a quick guide to what you need to know to implement a VoIP service in Folsom.
The success of a VoIP service rests mostly on bandwidth
Bandwidth isn’t the only factor that contributes to a successful VoIP implementation, but it’s far and away the most important factor. For audio-only VoIP, you need a reliable speed of at least 0.1Mbps per line and for video, you need anything from 0.3Mbps (basic, low-quality webcam) to 1.2Mpbs (HD video) per line. Those are upstream and downstream speeds, so if you have an asynchronous connection (e.g. DSL), you need to make a point of checking your upstream speed as this can be significantly slower than your downstream speed.
Ideally, you should be looking to hit these speeds while only using a maximum of 80% of your available bandwidth. For completeness, this means the bandwidth you use for everything, not just VoIP (unless you’re going to implement a dedicated VoIP network, which would be highly unusual). This should ensure the quality of the connection, meaning minimal latency, jitter, and packet loss. It’s also strongly recommended to prioritize VoIP over all other network traffic.
A note on video-calling
Implementing VoIP will allow you to move to video-calling. Just because you can, however, it doesn’t mean that you should and certainly note as standard, even for internal calls. To begin with, the easiest way to implement a VoIP service is usually to start by implementing a like-for-like replacement of your existing telephone service. Once you have this running comfortably, you can then add on extra functionality as your needs, wants and budget allow.
If you’d really like to have video-calling for certain activities, such as specific conferences, then you might want to consider buying any necessary extras (such as cameras and microphones) and scheduling video-calls when you expect your network to be quiet (i.e. able to cope with the traffic). It’s usually very much advisable to hold off implementing video-calling until you’ve clearly established that your infrastructure is up to audio-calling.
It’s important to choose the right VoIP service vendor
In short, you’re looking for a high-quality, reputable, business-grade VoIP service vendor in Folsom. A consumer-grade VoIP service is highly unlikely to be suitable for use in a business environment, not even if you just want basic calling services without any other functionality. The reason for this is that consumer-grade vendors tend to prioritize keeping costs low over achieving the highest call quality (and the best security). This is usually perfectly acceptable for consumers but totally unacceptable for businesses.
This means that you are looking for a VoIP service partner who is prepared to commit to a certain quality of service (including security) which are clearly defined and measured objectively. They should also offer a high standard of customer service and technical support because the chances are that you will need quite a bit of both, especially in the beginning.
Security needs to be a high consideration
While you want a VoIP service vendor with robust security, you also need to think of security considerations at your side. VoIP doesn’t exactly change your networking security requirements, it does, however, increase the demand on your security infrastructure. This means that you will probably need to increase your security resources.
You’re also going to need to think about the “human” aspect of IT security. This means educating your staff on what is expected of them and monitoring them to ensure that they comply with those expectations. If you’re implementing video calling, then you also need to educate staff to make sure that they keep anything sensitive out of range of their camera. Ideally, video calls should be made against a completely blank backdrop, which gives no information about anyone on the call.
Try to trial softphones versus VoIP handsets before you commit to either
Softphones can sound great in theory and they often work very well in practice, but their quality can be variable, particularly on mobile devices. Also, you need enough screen space to see both the softphone and any other apps you need to use. VoIP handsets, by contrast, are a bit more expensive and take up physical desktop space, but sometimes they actually work out to be more effective and convenient.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced VoIP service partner in Folsom, please click here now to contact Salient IT.