VoIP or Voice over IP (the Internet) can provide you and your business a wide range of benefits including reduced line rental and call costs, through to flexible working arrangements and increased productivity while using a VoIP enabled Phone System.
We've put together a tidy Infographic on Getting Started with VoIP to make your move a little easier to understand!
1. Have a good internet connection
The most important factor when deciding if VoIP is right for your and your business is ensuring that you have a good and reliable internet service. Unfortunately, it is often found that while your business might have forked out for an internet with fantastic theoretical speeds (think NBN top tier plans), they are often not reliable services. A reliable internet service is one that has minimal packet loss (minor and sometimes frequent drop-outs). Selecting an internet service which is symmetrical (Ethernet over Copper [EoC] / Ethernet over Fibre [EoF]) is essential to ensure that you have enough bandwidth for the upstream (audio out) and downstream (audio in).
2. Choose a reliable VoIP Provider
This is an important step to ensure that your business calls do not suffer, many VoIP providers are simply white-label Carrier Service Providers (CSP's) meaning they sell the service of another carrier as their own. Picking a while-labelled provider has its pros and cons, they often have certain guarantees around quality and up-time, however troubleshooting can often take a while as the issues often have to be escalated above their basic support teams. SproutTel hosts and manages its own VoIP infrastructure and is backed by a knowledgeable team along with providing a robust SLA agreement to all of its customers.
3. Choose a Plan that best meets your needs
Now that you've shortlisted your preferred VoIP providers, it's time to look at what plans they have on offer and possibly get in touch with them to see how they can help. Key things to look at are low (or reasonable) call rates, and their inclusions - features such as Disaster Recovery (what happens to your calls if your equipment fails or cannot be reached), Voice Mail, Caller ID Display and how many phone numbers (DIDs) your plan includes. You can view the VoIP plans offered by SproutTel here, and if you're using 3CX, you can view the 3CX VoIP Plans here.
4. If you need one, pick a cloud hosted PBX (Phone System) or an On-Premise PBX
With your VoIP provider and plan selected, it is now time to make sure you reap the other benefits of VoIP beyond the cost savings. Selecting the right VoIP enabled Phone System (PBX) will help you and your business achieve a greater level of productivity, flexibility and control over your interactions with your clients. Depending on the quality of your internet connection, you may opt for a Cloud Hosted Phone System, or an on-premise phone system - each of which have their pros and cons, so it's always best to speak to a specialist regarding your requirements. SproutTel offer both Cloud hosted and On-Premise phone systems, you can view our Cloud Hosted 3CX plans here, or if you need an on-premise solution, or if you are unsure you can you can contact us here and we can help you decide what best suits your needs.
5. Port (move) your number across to the new provider or get a new one!
Moving your fixed line services across between providers used to be a difficult solution with limitations around where you could move your numbers to (numbers used to be linked to a particular exchange/local area), however, with VoIP you can move premise and take your number anywhere you might be (even overseas). With your provider, plan and phone system decided upon, your selected provider will provider you with Porting Authority forms in order to move your number to their platform. Be mindful though, depending on your current carrier and type of service, this might require a complex port and can take a few weeks to achieve. If you would like to find out more about number portability, speak to one of our friendly customer service representatives to day by calling 1300 1 TELCO (83520) or by getting in contact with us here.