To achieve success in today’s competitive marketplace, it is essential for businesses to themselves update with the latest technologies. Whether a small business or a large enterprise, technological advancement helps businesses improve their efficiency and productivity and deliver better customer experiences. VoIP is one such technological advancement in communication that has emerged as a robust phone system. It comprises assorted features and functionalities. Moreover, it is much more cost-effective and efficient as compared to traditional phone systems. This is the key reason why so many businesses are switching to a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system. However, when it comes to VoIP configuration, many businesses get confused about what to do for a successful VoIP implementation.
It is vital to note that there are numerous configuration options available when considering installing the VoIP system. Here are a few dos and don’ts for businesses to keep in mind when upgrading their phone system. Have a look:
Do’s of VoIP Configuration Process
- Determine your VoIP needs: Before implementing a VoIP system, it is necessary to evaluate your VoIP needs. You must consider various things like the number of phone lines you will use in a year, business phone lines that you will utilize consistently, the number of calls your office handles at the same time, do you have multiple locations. Many other things such as these will help you plan effectively.
- Perform tests and check latency: You may require additional hardware based on which VoIP service provider you choose. You can ask your service provider for an IP address that your network specialists can test. Many service providers have their servers very far from the business, making it quite long for the data to reach there and come back. Many worldwide VoIP providers only have one or two servers in any particular country. Or the nearest server might be thousands of miles away. Therefore, it is recommended to check the latency rate before finalizing the service provider. Also, perform a VoIP speed test during a busy day to get a realistic network performance benchmark.
- Prefer wired network over Wi-Fi: Choosing wired phones have rare chances of outside interference. The audio quality of calls is also good. Besides, with wired phones, the connection to the internet is usually stable and considerably faster. If you want to use a Wi-Fi connection, then a robust Wi-Fi signal with additional wireless access points such as mesh Wi-Fi or WDS for your workplace will be the best. It will also allow agents to utilize a VoIP softphone on their computers.
- Estimate network hardware and accessories: It is also important to have a detailed understanding of your local network. This might help you in incorporating a new VoIP service swiftly into your business environment. Some businesses prefer using rented routers and gateways from Internet Service Providers (ISPs). However, these usually provide very few VoIP configuration options. By replacing that network device with an individual modem and a separate router can provide better control and environment for VoIP calls. You can use Power over Ethernet (PoE). These are the network switches that reduce the number of power cords when using desk phones. Moreover, if it’s a busy office, you can consider using headsets with noise cancellation features.
- Set up data prioritization / QoS: Understanding your bandwidth usage is essential to control and maintain a superior quality VoIP connection. Even a little setback is noticeable; thus, every bit of speed matters. To regulate and maintain the flow of voice and data traffic via your network, you must use configuring data prioritization or Quality of Service (QoS) methods. QoS is generally managed within the router to prioritize voice data over other types of data. It is equally important to prioritize VoIP devices on your switches to ensure that the network works with full efficiency. Utilizing a Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) tagging to part your voice and data can help form a QoS configuration network-wide.
- Check your phone number portability: Before selecting a VoIP service provider, it is vital to note that not all service providers can handle all phone numbers. Service providers can either be carriers or peer with carriers to manage and offer connectivity to phone numbers. When choosing a cloud phone service provider, make sure to ask them to verify the portability of your business phone number.
- Know your VoIP phone system dashboard: Whenever you need any kind of assistance regarding performing any changes in your system, you can call your service provider to do so. However, the entire process of calling someone to perform the job can be very time-consuming. However, if you know your VoIP phone system dashboard, you can easily perform various simple tasks like adjusting call forwarding, resetting passwords, changing voicemail PINs, and more. This way, you can easily manage your entire account. The ability to manage your business phone account online can save a lot of time as well as money.
- Plan your phone extensions: The VoIP system allows businesses to define everyone’s phone extension and the extension for advanced features. However, it may sometimes get confusing when allocating the extensions. Therefore, it is better to create an organized system for creating extensions. An organized allocation of phone extensions will give an idea about the particular group and staff under that extension number.
- Consider the security of your VoIP system: It is very important to implement all the key ways to assure the VoIP system’s complete security. The administrators and the users of this system must have strong passwords that are hard to crack. Also, it is advisable to prevent sharing logins and passwords with every staff member as these can be misplaced or mishandled by the wrong hands. Keep changing your passwords within a specific period of time. In addition, keep the Network Address Translation (NAT) updated as these updates will help enhance the performance and security of the phone system.
Keeping all the above-mentioned VoIP configuration-related points in mind can help you successfully set up a VoIP phone system for your business.