Finally, you realized that using the old copper-wire phone service meant that your small business was missing out on the latest telecommunications innovations.
Traditional phone systems had a good run (outlasting counterparts like fax machines and dial-up Internet), but finally you can utilize something that’s better than the 20-plus-year old phone system in your office – VoIP.
With a VoIP phone system, your small business can utilize a multitude of features with cloud-based services and desktop applications. By upgrading, you get the same phone options as Fortune 1000 companies at a fraction of a cost.
What keeps the costs low for VoIP is that there is no requirement to purchase equipment, which means you don’t have to deal with costly upgrades. Also, cost savings are significant for businesses with dedicated 1-800- lines or high-call volumes.
VoIP should be on the radar of every small business at this point, but there are important considerations every business should make when planning to upgrade their business phone system. Here are the most important ones:
Common VoIP security concerns include phishing, man-in-the-middle attacks, and malware. Cyber criminals pose as legit institutions and conduct scams phishing via SMS, audio, or text. In case of man-in-the-middle attacks, they attempt to intercept VoIP calls and redirect them through infected servers, which is how they inject spyware and malware into the caller’s system. But such attacks are related to unsecured Wifi connections.
As VoIP technology is ever-evolving and responding to potential adversaries as security threats arise, small businesses should incorporate advanced Internet security measures with VoIP business systems to ensure protection. This should be done before the upgrade, as cyber-criminals act in advance to inject malware, which is activated once the new connection is established.
Back-End and Scalability
It’s unfortunately an issue for small businesses without enough technical know-how. They invest in new VoIP phone systems and then discover the existing infrastructure isn’t sufficient enough to run them. There’s a high chance that upgrading to a VoIP phone system will require a new network architecture or at least a new server, so small businesses should factor these into budgeting.
It’s also important to note that calls are carried via an IP data network, which means there are no line capacity caps. Therefore, you won’t need to pay for more phone lines, which will keep your per month installation rate down. You can downsize or grow a service easily, so you don’t need to pay for the best package upfront. It’s possible to downgrade in economic downturns and upgrade for seasonable peaks without any hassle.
Perhaps you plan to use existing WAN services. If that’s the case, you would need to look at WAN guidelines. Good quality voice calls would require speeds around 65kbps per call. You can record a speed test and then note the performance of your existing (or desired) router. You should also include details about your incumbent wide area network supplier to supplement the decision of the VoIP specialist regarding switch over/external options for location set up.
When doing this, also look at your future growth incentives; you should consider priority across your existing circuit capacity and sites. That’s because higher bandwidth is required for hosted voice solutions, and the minimum speed is 48kbps for hosted services. You’ll require a bigger circuit if you plan to integrate HD hosted voice solutions.