Cheap VoIP Service Woodland
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Finding a cheap VoIP service in Woodland
VoIP can be used to allow SMBs to implement what was once strictly enterprise-grade functionality. For many businesses, however, especially SMBs, the main reason for implementing VoIP is to get access to cheaper calls. If you’re looking for a cheap VoIP service in Woodland, here is how to find one.
Start by working out what needs to be replaced
VoIP stands for Voice over IP, so it will replace your standard telephones. This means that any call-management functions your staff use will need to be replicated (or replaced) in your new VoIP system. If you have fax machines, then they will also run on the old telephone lines so you need to decide if you’re going to keep some telephone lines just for fax machines or if you’re going to move to Fax over IP (efax). The latter is almost always the better option.
For completeness, technically Fax over IP is different from VoIP but most VoIP service vendors will support it.
Decide if there are any value-add functions worth including
If you’re aiming to minimize costs, then, realistically, you’re also going to have to limit functionality. For the most part, you’ll be implementing what you have now, but on VoIP (or Fax over IP). The more value-add services you include in your initial implementation, the more upfront costs you’ll have, and the longer it will be before you can recoup your upfront expenses and start enjoying cost savings.
That said, you can certainly make a case for including some value-add services if they can help you to cut back on costs. For example, conference-calling and video-calling could be used to reduce the need for business travel. This can not only save money but also increase convenience and reduce risk.
Define your minimum service standards
Once you know what VoIP services you’ll need, you’ll be able to define minimum service standards. It’s recommended to do this before you start looking at what’s available. This will help you to avoid the temptation of making a compromise too far so you get the very lowest prices. You cannot afford to compromise on service quality nor can you afford to take a chance on whether or not a VoIP service vendor knows their way around the necessary laws.
It’s inadvisable to gamble on a VoIP service vendor’s attitude towards customer service and support. There may be some room for compromise. For example, these days, many VoIP service vendors do offer a wide range of self-service options. At the end of the day, however, it’s reassuring to be confident that if you do have an issue, your VoIP service vendor will give you the service and support you need to resolve it.
Calculate your traffic volumes
Your current traffic volumes should give you a decent indication of your bandwidth requirements. Be prepared for these to be higher than you might have expected. VoIP demands a good connection (both upstream and downstream) and the more VoIP services you add, the more bandwidth you need to deal with the traffic. This is even more true if you want to implement video-calling as it uses anything between three and twelve times the bandwidth of regular audio calling.
If you’re running your own data center, you’ll probably need a project to upgrade your network infrastructure. If you’re not, then you need to decide between organizing managed hosting and a separate VoIP service contract and looking for a VoIP service vendor who can manage your hosting for you.
Decide what equipment you’ll need and how to pay for it
The most budget-friendly option is to use softphones as much as you can. These are supplied by a VoIP service vendor and are generally free (or very low cost). They are particularly useful if your headcount varies throughout your business cycle. With softphones, you can just lease extra computers when you need them, install the softphone client, and have your new staff member ready to go. There is no need to get a VoIP handset out of storage and connected and then put it back into storage when they leave.
That said, you will probably need some hardware such as headsets for softphones, some VoIP handsets (for example for conference-calling), and some webcams (for video-calling). You’ll need to choose between buying these independently or having them bundled as part of your contract (or a combination of both).
Think about what you need from a VoIP calling plan
Define your needs and key wants before you even look at a VoIP service vendor’s offering. Stay focussed on your core usage and ignore extra services even if they are low-cost.
If you’d like to speak to one of the best cheap VoIP service partners in Woodland, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.