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What you need to know about switching to a VoIP service in Elk Grove
Switching to a VoIP service used to be a risky undertaking for businesses. Even though it offered the possibility of substantial cost savings, in the business world, these could be offset by the consequences of poor call quality. Now, however, VoIP has matured as has the infrastructure needed to support it. It is not just viable for businesses, it is often the best choice for businesses. With that in mind, here is what you need to know about switching to a VoIP service in Elk Grove.
It’s advisable to start with replacing what you have
For most SMBs, the pragmatic way to switch to a VoIP service is to start by implementing it as a straightforward replacement for the existing telephone service. This will not only keep the project simpler but will also lower implementation costs. Once the initial project has been absorbed, you can look at ways to extend it, if you wish. These additional projects could be easier to finance if you are already achieving cost savings thanks to the initial implementation.
Take your time adding video-calling
Most SMBs are probably going to need (or just want) to implement support for video calling at some point. Some may have a compelling reason to implement it fairly quickly. Even if you do, it is usually best to treat the implementation of video-calling as a separate project from the implementation of VoIP for audio communications.
There are several reasons for this, but most of them revolve around the fact that video-calling is much more demanding than audio-calling in just about every way. It needs additional equipment (cameras). This means it needs more powerful hardware. It needs (a lot) more bandwidth. This also means it needs more powerful hardware plus it places more demands on your network management and security. Speaking of security, the visual element of video-calling opens up more opportunities for social engineering and hence increases the need for staff education.
Monitor your network’s performance
Unless you already have significant extra capacity on your network, you’re going to have to upgrade it to switch to a VoIP service. Raw bandwidth is, however, not the be-all and end-all of VoIP implementations (although it’s certainly important). In short, you need quality bandwidth, meaning low latency. Reducing latency is partly about the quality of your infrastructure itself and partly about how well you manage your traffic. You should be achieving reasonable quality standards before you proceed with upgrading and implementing VoIP.
Once you have made the switch to a VoIP service, you need a robust monitoring process in place to determine whether or not it is working as well in practice as it should in theory. Be prepared for it to indicate that you need to fine-tune your implementation before it really works how you’d like.
For example, you might have decided to implement VoIP over WiFi and using softphones. You may have determined that everything should work to perfection. When you implement it in reality, however, you discover that the call quality just isn’t what it should be so you need to make some adjustments. In this situation, the likeliest adjustment would be to swap out the softphones for VoIP handsets with decent hardware.
This is another argument in favor of starting small and building up your use of VoIP in stages. It gives you the chance to deal with issues while they still have a fairly low impact. This is vastly preferable to having to resolve them when they are business-critical.
Pay particular attention to your securit
There are essentially two ways your VoIP service could leave you open to compromise. The first is through the fact that it will increase your network traffic. This increases your exposure to cyberattacks. The second is through misuse of the service itself, either by your own employees or through accesses being compromised and used by third parties.
The solution to the first issue is to continue to implement the usual security precautions. Just make sure that you can do so on a greater scale. The solution to the second issue is a combination of monitoring and staff education.
Choose your VoIP service vendor with great care
Your VoIP service vendor should be seen as a business partner and stakeholder and chosen on that basis. In the real world, price will probably be a factor, but it’s dangerous to make it the only factor or even the deciding factor. Quite bluntly, any VoIP service vendor which can offer very low prices is almost certainly going to be cutting corners on call quality and/or security. This may be tolerable in the consumer world but it is not acceptable to businesses.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced VoIP service partner in Elk Grove, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.