By 2025, BT plans to shut down their traditional telephone lines in favour of IP systems. The switch to VoIP couldn’t be more imminent but moving your telephony is simple. In fact, it can be done in five easy steps.
1. Determine what kind of calls your business will make
Before setting out to acquire a VoIP system, we recommend having a think about how your business makes calls. Mostly inbound or outbound calls? Do you have remote workers? Does your business require IP or cordless phones? These are all important questions that you need to consider which will make it easier when it comes to choosing features, additional hardware and most importantly the provider.
2. Start your research
It’s important to conduct research into what type of system you require. Find VoIP providers that specialise in your field, sector or size of business to offer the best solution.
There is A LOT of jargon involved with VoIP systems, familiarise yourself with terms and different hardware phones. When researching potential providers, consider what training and support are available to customers, additional charges regarding specialist features and the length of contracts for new customers.
There are a lot of providers out there so make sure you’re aware of terms and any price hikes. Things like inbound phone calls should always be unlimited and free.
3. Check your broadband network
VoIP systems rely entirely on the internet or 4G mobile connection. It is important to check that your internet connection is fast enough and strong enough to successfully carry your calls. The aim of a business phone system, whether VoIP or otherwise, is to have clear calls. Routers can prioritise voice traffic over data by changing the quality of service settings and assigning ‘highest’ priority to your VoIP applications. The recommended broadband bandwidth for VoIP calls is 0.512 Mbps.
4. Choose your supplier and make a migration plan
Once you have selected your VoIP service provider it’s beneficial to map out a plan for migration in collaboration with them. For example, considering any downtime you may experience, setting up phones and configuring the system itself for your business needs. This is a crucial step to make sure your business is up and running fast.
Another important step to consider is porting your existing business number or acquiring a new local number. Some providers offer new local numbers for free whereas porting your number can come with a fee. We recommend opting for porting since this guarantees business continuity and less time spent updating customers.
IP networks tend to be very reliable with data centres across the UK but It’s also important to know of any recovery plans in case of a network failure. For example, some IP phones carry a fail-safe which allows calls to be wired back to traditional telephone lines.
In reality most VoIP phone systems these days have the same features and similar pricing, so it's best to choose a provider based on strengths and how they will support your business in the future. If they are servicing larger enterprises will they value a smaller account?
5. Setup training for your employees
Finally, when your business switches to a VoIP system, a basic level of training will be required for your employees that will be using the system.
All users should know how to use the basic functions such as a walk through of the dashboard, how to make and receive calls. By doing this, your employees will feel more comfortable and minimise any downtime.
Finding a VoIP supplier checklist
As long as the top tips outlined above, this short checklist will highlight and remind you of the key points to consider to make sure your business is suited for a switch to VoIP.
Things for you to check
|Reliable broadband||Is your connection sufficient? A major factor in the voice quality of VoIP calls is a reliable broadband connection.|
|Business router||Even the best broadband connection won’t provide an adequate connection for VoIP without a reliable router.*Tip: we offer three reliable and strong connectivity products. Ask us about our solutions!*|
|Compatible hardware||Moving to VoIP will allow you to use mobiles and laptops as fully functioning business phones, but you may need to update your desk phones if still required to IP phones.|
|List of features||Compile a list of must-have features to ensure you get what you want out of your VoIP system.|
Things to check with your VoIP supplier
|Costs & packages|
|Onboarding & support|
|Trusted provider||Ensure your provider is trusted among similar businesses and look for industry and third party ratings like Top 5 VoIP Providers, etc.|
|Market specialisation||Most providers are better prepared to deal with certain areas of the market, finding one that specialises in your industry or even business size ensures they understand how to service your business correctly.|
|Lengthy contracts||Moving to VoIP can save costs but be sure to ask about any contract lengths upfront as this usually affects the price.|
How we can help
First time with VoIP? We’re the leading VoIP provider for UK small businesses. Switching to VoIP is easy with us with free onboarding and support with the lowest price guaranteed!
To find out more speak to our VoIP experts on 0203 697 4166.