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In today’s digital world, the traditional landline is quickly becoming outdated. Instead, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones are becoming increasingly popular, particularly within businesses.
There are lots of reasons for this, some of the biggest being lower costs, increased accessibility and higher scalability.
However, despite the many benefits of using VoIP, changing your business phone service can still feel like a daunting task. After all, you don’t want to get this wrong or cost your business money, even in the short term.
But it’s important to remember that your business needs to move with the times if you hope to remain competitive, and part of this includes updating your tech.
So, if you’re ready to swap your landline for a VoIP phone, we can help. In this guide, we’ll take you through the following steps for setting up a VoIP phone this year.
Read on to find out how.
The first thing you need to do is take some time to do some research and get a plan together before you buy. It would help if you got to grips with what a VoIP phone does, the current services available and the average cost of these phones. It can also be helpful to take notes along the way to refer back to.
The more information you can gather at this stage, the easier it will be to make a decision further down the line. You’ll also increase your chances of finding the best service for the best price.
Now you have a better idea of what’s on the market, the next step is to identify your business requirements.
At this stage, it’s important to consider the following:
If you’re concerned about any of the above when choosing your VoIP service, it’s best to speak with providers directly to ask questions. You should also do some more thorough research before committing to any one provider.
All VoIP phone systems come with a range of different features, which means you’ll have access to lots of tools. The problem is some of these systems can be so packed with the latest features and updates that it can feel a little overwhelming.
As such, it’s a good idea to make a list of the must-have features you want for your VoIP phone.
Decide which features will benefit your business the most, which are a nice-to-have and which you don’t need (unless they come as part of the package, of course).
Some of the most common features to think about include:
There are often far more features available, but these are some of the most important for your business functions. Therefore, you need to look back over your research and determine which you’ll need to meet your specific requirements.
Because VoIP phone systems are delivered through the internet, they rely on a strong connection. So, when planning your upgrade, you need to make sure you test your connection to ensure that you have the bandwidth and strength to support a VoIP phone system.
There are websites you can use to test your connection. Alternatively, you can get in touch with your broadband provider. If you’re going to have multiple people using the VoIP phone system, it might be best to get a separate connection just for the phones to ensure that when computers are being used, the quality of your calls doesn’t suffer.
If your internet connection is very weak, you might also want to consider upgrading to a better broadband provider or perhaps consider a business package to give you more bandwidth. Again, do some research to find out who offers the best speeds in your area.
When you were doing your research, you probably noticed there are two types of IP phone systems. There are those that are located on the premises, be this your home or office. Then there are those hosted by a third-party data centre.
Those that are on-site are typically best for those working in one place, so typically the office. In contrast, hosted systems are better if you have workers who operate remotely, either all or some of the time. These cloud-hosted systems are becoming increasingly popular as they offer a lot more flexibility.
Hosted systems are also better for smaller businesses as these give you access to features that might only be offered with larger on-site packages.
But either way, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of both and determine which is going to be most beneficial for your business. Once you’ve done this, you can go ahead with your chosen provider and prepare the necessary hardware or software.
You’re almost ready to go!
It’s worth pointing out at this stage that you don’t actually need a new phone(s) to use a VoIP phone system. Most systems will have Android and iOS apps along with both Windows and Mac software so you can use these instead of a handset - but we’ll look at this in more detail shortly.
However, in a busy office with lots of people operating phones and transferring calls, it might be best to invest in traditional handsets. Look out for handsets that are compatible with VoIP phone systems and your chosen provider.
Finally, you need to get everything set up. If you’re using VoIP phones, you will need to get these all plugged in and connected to your internet router.
You might also need a private branch exchange (PBX), but you can decide this depending on how many phones you have in the office. A PBX connects all office desk phones to the same network and, therefore, needs to be connected to your network in order to work. Your phones must be connected to the same server as your BPX using an ethernet cable in order to work properly.
If you’re using a third-party system rather than an on-site one, things are even easier. Once you’ve signed up with your chosen service provider, all you need to do is install the relevant software from your VoIP provider. If you’re stuck at this stage, you can ask for help or assistance from their customer service team.
Then, you are ready to make and receive phone calls or voicemails via your chosen computer or device.
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