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What you need to know about switching to a VoIP service in Folsom
At this point, the question is not so much if traditional phones will disappear entirely, but when it will happen. Consumers have long since started moving to a combination of cell phones and VoIP, now businesses are following suit. With that in mind, here is what you need to know about switching to a VoIP service in Folsom.
A VoIP service gives you full control and full responsibility
With traditional telephone networks, the telco is in control of everything. Even the most expensive of traditional phones is essentially nothing more than a dumb terminal. Rather ironically, the same is true of so-called smartphones, at least when they are used as phones. To be fair, smartphones have lots of additional functionality, hence the name.
With VoIP, the user is in charge of everything. This means that you can set up the functionality exactly how you want it. It also means that you are completely responsible for making sure that everything stays functional.
Your network connection is (almost) everything
There are basically three elements to a VoIP service. They are the network connection, the SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), and the choice of softphone and accessories/VoIP handset. Of these three elements, the network connection has by far the biggest impact.
You want reliable speed (at least 0.1Mps per line for audio) with minimal latency, jitter, and packet loss. The key word in that sentence is “reliable”. If you’re planning on using VoIP for business, you need to be completely certain that you can at least meet, if not exceed, the minimum necessary standards from the moment the first members of staff arrive to the moment the last members of staff clock off for the day.
You will need to be able to handle peaks in traffic and that means traffic in general, not just VoIP traffic. For example, if you let your staff watch YouTube during their lunch breaks, then your traffic is going to spike during that period because video is very bandwidth-intensive. Last but definitely not least, you need to maintain the speed and quality of your bandwidth while also undertaking rigorous security checks.
The importance of your SIP
After your network connection, the SIP is the second most important factor in determining the quality of your VoIP service. Essentially, the SIP is responsible for making sure that your VoIP service can connect with any other telephone service be it VoIP, regular landline or cellular, regardless of where you are located in the world and regardless of where in the world you are calling.
There are various ways the SIP can go about this task, but ultimately they boil down to a choice between prioritizing cost and prioritizing quality. In the consumer world, cost is usually the deciding factor, but in the consumer world, most VoIP calls are social ones so people are often prepared to tolerate low-quality connections as long as they can see the savings. In the business world, by contrast, quality has to be the priority. It’s fine to make savings, indeed, this is a large part of the attraction of VoIP, but quality cannot be compromised.
It is therefore very much recommended to define criteria for measuring quality of service and ensure that any potential VoIP service partner can support them. This will quickly eliminate any VoIP service vendors which are effectively offering consumer-grade services to business customers.
Think carefully about your choice of softphones and VoIP handsets (or both
Softphones are basically apps which run on regular computers or mobile devices. VoIP handsets look and feel like regular phones but use the internet instead of the regular phone network (landline or cellular).
Many companies love softphones because of their space-saving versatility. Install them on equipment you were going to use anyway and you clear some valuable (physical) desktop real estate. This can be a major win, just remember that it only works in practice if people can see the softphone alongside any apps they need to use with it. For example, if you’re using a softphone plus a CRM tool, then there needs to be enough monitor real estate for both to be visible and easy to work.
Similarly, if you’re using a softphone on a mobile device, then you need to think not only about the size of the screen but also its responsiveness. This depends largely on the quality of the underlying hardware.
VoIP handsets have a cost attached and take up desktop real estate, but they are simple, all-in-one solutions and you can buy cordless ones for use on the move.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced VoIP service partner in Folsom, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.