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What you need to know to switch to a VoIP service in Placerville
Switching to a VoIP service can save your business money and open up all kinds of opportunities to improve the way you work. If you’re thinking about giving up your traditional phone lines, here is what you need to know to switch to a VoIP service in Placerville.
You’re replacing one set of infrastructure with another
One of the most visible signs that a business has switched to VoIP is that a whole pile of old infrastructure disappears from a building. This change is even more noticeable if a business chooses to implement VoIP through software rather than using VoIP handsets. The key point to note, however, is that the need for hardware is not eliminated, it’s just changed. Instead of phones being plugged into traditional phone lines, they’re now going to be plugged into your network.
This means that you are almost certainly going to need to upgrade your network infrastructure and everything which goes along with it. For example, in addition to upgrading your standard connection, you’re going to have to think about what happens if there is an outage. Can your existing backup connection cope or do you have to upgrade that too?
Similarly, you’ll probably need to up your security game as your VoIP traffic will be exposed to the same threats as your regular internet traffic. As a result, your level of exposure will effectively be increased.
The benefits are likely to be felt incrementally
There are basically two ways a VoIP service can lower your costs. The obvious one is by making calls more affordable. The less obvious one is by allowing you to improve your business process in a way that leads to further cost-savings. Call-savings are likely to be felt immediately, but in some companies, these may not amount to a great deal by themselves. Basically, it depends on your usage.
What is very likely to happen is that your staff initially get used to using the VoIP service as a like-for-like alternative to the old telephone network and only once they are comfortable with that will they start to make use of its more advanced capabilities. If you’re eager to push ahead with making the most of VoIP, then you could try speeding up this process by encouraging your staff to make use of what’s on offer, but you need to be careful to avoid overloading them, otherwise, you could end up creating user resistance.
Think carefully about choosing between softphones, VoIP handsets or both
Softphones are basically phone apps which run on regular computers and/or mobile devices. A lot of companies, especially SMBs, are likely to gravitate towards them for the simple reason that they clear space on a physical desktop. This is perfectly valid, but it’s important to think about the practicalities of using them.
First of all, you’re going to need to ensure that the device on which they are installed has suitable hardware specifications. In the real world, you’re probably going to want these to be somewhat better than the purported minimum specifications. In the business world, this is unlikely to be an issue with regular computers but could get tricky with mobile devices, especially if your softphone client will only function with certain versions of Android or iOS.
On that note, if support for mobile devices is important to your business plans, it’s advisable to test mobile clients thoroughly before committing as their quality can be variable, to put it mildly.
Secondly, you’re going to need to ensure that there is a workable process in place for dealing with swap-outs of equipment, particularly mobile devices. Regular computers are usually upgraded on a schedule. Even they, however, may fail between times and if they are taken out of the office then they become vulnerable to theft, loss, and breakage. Mobile devices are extremely vulnerable and hence are more likely to need to be swapped out unexpectedly.
Thirdly, you may run across staff who have always had a phone and who would therefore vastly prefer to have something which looks and feels like what they already know. Given that VoIP handsets start at prices even SMBs can usually comfortably afford, you may well wish to accommodate this to smooth over the adoption process.
It’s usually best to choose your vendor before you choose your calling package
Your VoIP service vendor is going to be your source of support and security and as such will play a key role in the success of your VoIP service and hence your business. It is therefore usually best to choose a vendor first (or at least a shortlist of vendors) and then look for a suitable call plan.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced VoIP service partner in Placerville, please click here now to contact Salient IT.