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What you need to know about implementing a VoIP service in Sacramento
Sometimes you only really appreciate what a difference something can make once you actually experience it for yourself. That’s often the case with VoIP services. Implementing a VoIP service isn’t just about getting an economical alternative to regular phone lines, although that’s certainly a major advantage. It can unlock all sorts of other possibilities which can really drive your business forward. With that in mind, here’s a quick guide to what you need to know about implementing a VoIP service in Sacramento.
Your phone calls will only be as good as your network infrastructure
With traditional phones, your service provider takes care of all infrastructure. On the one hand, this does save you a task. On the other hand, it means that, ultimately, you get what they give you and if you don’t like it, your only recourse is to try to find another provider and hope they offer a better service. With VoIP, however, you’re in control, although you can hire an IT services provider to take care of your network for you.
When considering what kind of resources you’ll need, think carefully about how you’ll use your VoIP system. Be realistic about what are needs and what are wants, particularly when it comes to video-calling. This is not just bandwidth-hogging, but also raises security issues. There are times when it can be necessary, for example, if you plan to use video-conferencing for training, but more often than not, it’s just a nicety.
You’ll need to ensure that your network infrastructure is maintained in good order
This is really picking up from the previous point, but it’s important enough to be worth highlighting on its own. IT network infrastructure is not just “set and forget”. As a minimum, it needs to be continually monitored for security and performance to ensure that it meets basic standards for both. These may be legal standards as well as operational ones.
Ideally, you should be looking for ways to optimize existing IT resources and to upgrade them when there is a business case for doing so, to make sure that you are always getting the maximum benefit from your business assets. For many SMBs, the most practical way to achieve this is to use IT services vendors to deal with the “hands-on” side and to have an in-house resource to deal with the management side.
Thoroughly research the functionality you need and want
To be clear, in this context “you” means everyone in your organization, not just your management team. This means that you may end up picking different packages for different (sets of) users which may or may not come from the same vendor. When assessing your users’ needs and wants, there are three key points you should consider.
This is a huge topic, so it’s worth breaking down further into three areas.
Softphones versus VoIP handsets
Softphones are basically apps that work on another device, usually a computer or a mobile device. This means that they only function when the other device is powered on but this is unlikely to be an issue, especially not if they are used on cell phones, which are usually left on all the time in any case. VoIP handsets look and feel much the same as regular phones, but they can have a whole lot more functionality. Using a stand-alone handset can allow for more flexible use, but they do take up budget and desk space.
You do not need a VoIP system to use call-management functions, but it certainly helps, especially if you are on a budget. Many VoIP services can offer a whole plethora of features and it’s certainly worth looking at how the various options could enhance your business. In particular, it’s advisable to think about whether or not you need (or want) to implement call recording and, if so, to look at the legalities as well as the practicalities.
Again, you do not need a VoIP system to use call reporting, but it helps. VoIP service providers tend to be very well aware that their ability to offer useful data in a user-friendly format is a major selling point for their services as compared to the traditional phone system.
Although VoIP systems can be, and often are, used as like-for-like replacements of traditional telephone systems, they do make it possible for companies to get creative with their use of telephone numbers. In particular, they support the use of dynamic telephone numbers, which can be extremely useful both for tracking leads and segmenting calls.
Although this is mentioned last, it is likely to be a significant consideration for most businesses, especially SMBs.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced VoIP service partner in Sacramento, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.