It is common knowledge that voice over IP allows businesses to save a bundle on their regular telephone expenses. In fact, some businesses operating on a hosted PBX VoIP platform, report savings upwards of nearly 80%, with the average amount of savings falling in the 40 – 60% range. A common misconception, however, is that there is no initial upfront investment required. While this is true for home users, who simply need to download a soft phone application and contact a VoIP residential service provider, business owners must pay extra attention to their unique requirements to ensure that they reap the best return from their IP telephony investment.
In order to ensure optimal quality, businesses must first make certain that their existing Internet connection maintains a speed and bandwidth rate capable of housing voice over IP requirements. Unlike home voice over IP users, a dial up Internet connection simply won’t suffice in the corporate world. Anything short of high speed cable Internet will lead to problems with voice quality and result in conversations resembling a garbled mess of unrecognizable data. Another important factor to bare in mind, is the dynamic capabilities of bandwidth allocation. While most recommend no less than 256 kbps, this may not be enough for businesses with multiple phone lines. The bandwidth must be sufficient enough to support both the upload and the download, while still having room left over for extra functions and operations. There are numerous programs available to test bandwidth capabilities.
For the majority of businesses, electing to continue utilizing existing hardware proves to be the most cost effective method of migrating to voice over IP. However, simply switching to a VoIP platform and expecting that regular analog phones to continue to work as usual will only lead to disappointment. Unlike conventional analog phone service, voice over IP relies on digital transmissions in order to send and receive voice communications. For all intents and purposes, continuing to use pre-existing telephony hardware for the functions of VoIP requires the purchase of special ATA adapters; technologically advanced devices designed to convert analog signals to data packets.
Since voice over IP is reliant upon an active network connection, in order to carry out it’s most basic functions, a strong network router proves to be a sound investment – particularly for businesses wishing to deploy wireless IP telephony. Routers often vary in price, ranging from $50 to several hundred. It is important to remember that the most expensive router is not always the best in terms of hardware. Investing in a high quality router not only aids in providing superior quality, but it also helps to ensure active network security. That being said, prior to the purchase of a network router, wireless or otherwise, make certain that the technical specifications are compatible with firewall software and other business network security credentials.
Businesses wishing to see the best return on their communications investment will take the time to research the options available to them. An experienced and qualified hosted voice over IP provider, like Nextiva, has the technical knowledge and expertise to assist consumers in making choices suitable for their business.
When considering voice over IP migration it is best not make a decision based solely on the amount of money that will be spent to implement the solution, but rather based on the overall return on investment offered. To learn more about the options available and to receive a quote for a new hosted phone system, visit http://www.nextiva.com.