Six Keys for Successful Business VoIP Phone Service
Business VoIP phone service offers the potential to improve upon traditional phone service and greatly reduce costs for businesses worldwide. Yet, many small and medium business owners remain wary of VoIP technology. This is possibly due to past bad experiences with early and inferior versions of the systems, or because of bad press related to those same reasons. The good news is, VoIP systems have evolved and now offer business solutions that are both reliable and effective.
Before the 1990's, most phone companies employed analog copper lines, known as "POTS" lines (Plain Old Telephone Service). Since then, those lines can also be used for DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) services to provide Internet and IP networking along side traditional voice service. You may not have realized it, but yesterday's "POTS" lines have become VoIP delivery systems.
If you are thinking of using VoIP for your business' phone and data services, here are six important items to consider:
1) Install a Second Internet Connection
Many businesses have backup electrical generators in order to keep things running in the case of a power outage. This is the same concept behind having a secondary internet connection. If your primary network goes offline, the backup will go into action, keeping your voice and data services up and running without interruption.
If possible, have these two connections provided by different companies, and make sure the connection mediums are dissimilar as well.
2) Choose a Reliable SIP Provider
VoIP Companies use SIP as it has become the de facto standard. This allows calls to pass through global networks and the PSTN (Public Switching Telephone Network). These SIP systems are the reasons behind VoIP's lowered costs for voice communications, digital texts and faxing services.
Be cautious with SIP providers who use a technology called Least-Cost Routing (LCR). While routing your data and calls through the lowest cost provider sounds good, it often results in the lowest quality communication and data transfers.
3) Utilize a Quality-of-Service (QoS) System
Data travels across the internet in the form of digital packets of information. The information contained within your business' packets is not all of equal priority, and a Quality-of-Service system will ensure the high-priority packets arrive at their destinations within set time protocols.
If your network lacks QoS, your phone call quality (which is high priority) will have to compete with every other digital packet, and sometimes it will win in the race, while other times it will not. This is why the voice quality of VoIP phone calls over systems without QoS are substandard, or they just drop out.
This will result in inferior communications within your network and with clients, which will leave a negative impression of your brand. This is one of the main reasons that VoIP acquired a bad reputation from some.
It nearly impossible to have QoS outside your local network. If you are using a VoIP provider then testing your equipment with the VoIP provider is important
for good call quality. Often a dedicated Internet connection is used for VoIP.
4) Provide Security for Your VoIP Setup
Every VoIP system should have IT security that will prevent cyber-criminals from gaining unauthorized access to your business network. You certainly do not want your company's systems hacked into and costly, unauthorized calls being made long before anyone even becomes aware of it.
7) Measure with MOS
MOS (Mean Opinion Score) has been used by telephone companies for years to measure the voice quality of a phone call over their networks. A MOS score of 5 is equal to the voice quality of having a face-to-face conversation. A score of 1, of course represents a completely incomprehensible experience.
VoIP phone systems are quickly becoming the standard means of communication for businesses internationally. An informed VoIP implementation strategy can offer your business great value, while providing secure and reliable communication.
Simply contact us if you have any questions about VoIP system management. We are here to provide you with the best business telephone solutions available.