Bigger is better, and that is the attitude that most small businesses go into a business VoIP migration with. While a positive and energetic mind set is the necessary in the competitive world, it is important for small businesses to remember that “if they want to play with the big dogs” they have to prepare. Especially if they wish to receive optimal results from their voice deployment.

Network Requirements: A fancy sports car quickly becomes nothing but a heap of useless parts without wheels to drive on. The same principal applies to voice over IP service operating on a poorly functioning network. If your business regularly sends or receives large signals, or a lot of Internet browsing is expected, it may be wise to set up a separate network to handle voice traffic. A worthy investment to ensure a high Quality of Service.

Internet Connection: The foremost cause of IP telephony issues has to do mainly with the corporate Internet connection. Businesses are so consumed with the idea of switching to voice over IP to reduce communications costs, that they forget that they may need to increase the capabilities of their existing Internet connection. A dial-up or low speed connection simply won’t suffice. Ask a voice over IP provider how large their voice packets are and then multiply that number by how many phones will be in use at the same time. This is the minimum number of bandwidth that the business Internet connection needs to support.

The Telephone Line: Is it removed completely? Is one line still kept open for emergencies or outages? Consider the costs associated with keeping an active line or having the system removed entirely.

Budget: Make certain to know the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) before implementation. How much money does the company have available to spend on not only the phone system itself, but also additional hardware. How will this be paid for? Upfront? Installments?

The Return on Investment: How soon the business will see a return on it’s investment is an important factor in today’s economic fluctuations. An easy way to calculate ROI is to calculate the total monthly cost savings by the total upfront costs. The result will provide you with the number of months necessary to break even on the initial investment.