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What you need to know to switch to a VoIP service in Lodi
VoIP has been around for decades now, but for most of that time, it was only really suitable for consumer use. Now, however, it’s not just viable for business, it’s becoming a must-have for businesses. With that in mind, here is what you need to know to switch to a VoIP service in Lodi.
You need to allocate resources before you see results
Probably the single, biggest reason why VoIP has become so popular with businesses (and consumers) is that it offers the opportunity for massive cost savings. In the business world, however, you often have to make a significant up-front investment before you get the benefit of those cost savings. The bigger the scope of the project, the more it tends to cost. This is fine as long as you have the necessary resources but may come as a nasty shock if you don’t.
Overall, the most sensible approach for SMBs is to start by implementing a replica of their existing telephone service. Scope, schedule, and budget this project carefully, leaving yourself room to maneuver. Once it has been successfully implemented, and you are starting to benefit from the cost-savings, then decide if you want to upgrade your VoIP service to expand its functionality.
You are probably going to need to upgrade your network
The reason why businesses usually need to make significant up-front investments before they see any cost-savings is that most businesses have to upgrade their IT infrastructure to meet the necessary standards for consistent, reliable, high-quality VoIP.
Assuming you are implementing VoIP purely for audio (i.e. not including video-calling) you’ll need about 0.1Mbs per line. As is often the case, however, the headline figures only tell part of the story.
First of all, if you’re using an asynchronous DSL connection, then you’re going to need to look specifically at the upstream speed, which is usually noticeably lower than the downstream speed. Secondly, you’re going to need to think about how the necessary security monitoring is going to impact the performance of your network.
Thirdly, you’re going to have to think about the overall reliability of your network and, in particular, latency, jitter, and packet loss. Latency is the time it takes for a data packet to travel between endpoints. Jitter is the time lapse between consecutive data packets. Packet loss is exactly what the name suggests.
Ideally, you want latency and jitter to be a maximum of 20ms and packet loss to be a maximum of 1%. In the real world, latency and jitter of up to 70ms (one way) and packet loss of up to 2.5% is likely to be tolerable. You may, however, run into problems if the caller also has issues at their end. If you go above this, then your call quality is really going to suffer.
Define your quality standards and corresponding SLAs/OLAs
You need to have measures for success, which, in this case, will be quality standards. When issues occur, which they inevitably will, you need to have a process for addressing them, complete with relevant time-scales, or at least targets. Defining these early in the proceedings can help to keep people focussed and can go a long way towards simplifying the vendor-selection process.
You’ll also need to think about monitoring systems. These should cover both performance and usage. They matter not just because of their role in business intelligence but also because they feed into your overall security, especially your network security.
Choose a reputable VoIP service partner
In the world of consumer VoIP, vendors generally compete on cost and sometimes coverage (much in the same way as traditional telcos). In the business world, however, it’s advisable to make quality and security your main considerations and see cost-savings as a (very) nice bonus. It’s a good idea to double-check that your vendor can port in your existing numbers (most can) and that they can support any future plans you have or potentially have, such as integrating VoIP with other systems.
Test your implementation thoroughly before you sign it off
Thoroughly test your implementation in the real world before you declare it a success. Make sure that all functions are working as they should and that the call quality is what you expect.
Train and support your users
The introduction of any new system brings a need for training. Even though the nature of basic VoIP means that this will probably be fairly minimal, you still need to be ready to offer it, if only on an “on-request” basis. It’s also a good idea to alert staff to any noticeable differences between the two systems, for example, voicemails being sent to email, to avoid staff being startled by them.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced VoIP service partner in Lodi, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.