Cheap VoIP Service West Sacramento
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A quick guide to choosing the best cheap VoIP service in West Sacramento
VoIP allows SMBs to access what were once enterprise-grade features. In the real world, however, many SMBs simply want VoIP as a low-cost alternative to the traditional telephone service. If this sounds like you, then here is a quick guide to choosing the best cheap VoIP service in West Sacramento.
Start by defining your minimum service standards
You want to pare back costs as far as you can without compromising on the quality of the service, or its security. It’s also advisable to look for VoIP service providers which also have decent standards in customer service and technical support. You’re probably going to need both, especially in the early days.
For completeness, service standards only mean anything when they are backed by a contractual guarantee. Contractual guarantees only mean anything when they are backed by effective real-world enforcement. This is a strong argument in favor of sticking with VoIP service vendors in West Sacramento (or at least the Sacramento area), even if they charge a bit more than VoIP service vendors from further afield.
Analyze your historic and current telephone usage patterns
There are three reasons for looking at your telephone usage. The first is to see what specific VoIP services you need to implement. The second is to get an idea of what equipment you will need. The third is to see what sort of traffic you can expect. Your current telephone traffic will inform not only your bandwidth requirements but also your choice of calling plan.
Choosing your VoIP services
Many SMBs are perfectly happy just to implement a basic communications network. That means calling, possibly texting, and possibly faxing. Strictly speaking, Fax over IP (efax) is separate from VoIP. It is, however, supported as standard by VoIP service providers. This is presumably because it uses the telephone lines you want to replace with VoIP so it generally makes sense to implement both services at the same time (assuming you need both).
For completeness, efax is now considered at least as reliable as traditional fax and is now held to be more secure because it eliminates the need to print faxes by default. Changing to efax can offer major savings on calling costs and printing costs (and reduce the burden on the environment), plus it can free up office space for other purposes.
Most VoIP service vendors will offer some level of advanced functionality as standard (for example detailed call-logging). If you’re looking to keep costs to an absolute minimum, this may be all you need. There are, however, a couple of other services you might want to consider. These are call-recording and video-calling.
Call-recording is fairly straightforward from a technical perspective, but there are a lot of legalities to consider. That said, in some localities and industries, not having it could also potentially leave you legally-exposed. In short, if there is a business case for having call-recording, then it is generally much more cost-effective to implement it through a VoIP system than through the regular telephone system.
Video-calling is also fairly straightforward to implement, but it does require huge amounts of bandwidth. If you aim to keep costs low, it’s best to limit its use to times when the network is quiet to avoid raising your overall requirement for connectivity. When used astutely, however, video-calling can help to reduce costs, for example, by reducing the need for work-related travel.
Decide what equipment you need and how you’d like to pay for it
Your main decision is whether you’re going to use softphones or VoIP handsets (or a combination of both). If you’re using VoIP handsets, are you going to buy them independently or look for them to be bundled as part of your VoIP service contract. Most of your other equipment needs will come logically from the choices you have already made. For example, if you’re using softphones, you’ll probably need headsets. If you’re using video-calling, you’ll need webcams and so on.
Calculate your bandwidth requirements and decide how you want to manage them
If you’re running your own data center, then managing the network infrastructure will be entirely on you. If you’re in the public cloud then choosing a VoIP service vendor who also offers hosting is usually the only sensible option. If, however, you currently use managed hosting then you can choose between upgrading your managed hosting arrangement and organizing a separate VoIP service contract or using a VoIP service vendor who also offers hosting.
Think about what you need in a calling plan
You usually want subscription pricing to cover your core needs plus reasonable ad hoc pricing for the inevitable extras.
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