What kind of VoIP equipment should I still invest in?
What Kind Of VoIP Equipment Should I Still Invest In?
Nowadays, should we still invest in VoIP equipment since everything is going to cloud? With rapidly changing technology every day, communication and information technology are taking massive leaps. Now, businesspeople have a completely changed perspective of viewing their communication medium. Whether be it in the office or at home, communication has never been smoother. The best part is, with time it only seems to get better!
One such leap in information technology is internet protocol. Internet protocol relates to PBX phone systems. This mainly enables the internal and external communication system of a workplace via the internet. Users, as in the employees and employers, can communicate with each other by using the internet.
Among the many advantages this brings about, one evident advantage is the reduction in costs. This system is much cheaper than the traditional phone system. Not much hardware is required which results in lower installing and maintenance costs.
What is VoIP Equipment?
A more specialized area of this sort of phone system is the VoIP system. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. This essentially enables the user to make phone calls over the internet. The introduction of such communication technology is slowly banishing the use of traditional phone systems at the workplace.
For instance, this method is much more feasible and reduces substantial costs. For another, it is easier to use and hassle-free from long wires cluttering your desk providing greater mobility. Other than that, it offers scope for better productivity and efficiency.
The VoIP phone network is a wireless and seamless form of communication. Once you, being a VoIP user make a call, it is not necessary that the receiver on the other end is also a VoIP user. The recipient can be an ordinary landline user or another VoIP network user. It can also be a desktop computer user and can answer calls using a headset.
In technical terms anyhow, the voice is digitized into little packs of information. These little packs are then routed to the receiver via the use of the internet. It only involves the use of three objects. A wireless internet router and two pieces of communication hardware; one for the sender and one for the receiver.
The Initial Cost Of VoIP Hardware
One thing to consider is the initial costs of installing VoIP equipment is not very low. Some hardware and software costs are involved initially. However, as time passes these costs are eventually covered. Thus, you start seeing the actual effect and reduction in costs after a while.
So all that being said, when you opt for VoIP equipment, there are many options. Which one should you choose? There are some aspects that you must look out for, and some factors that you must ensure has a tick mark on them. This checklist will help you attain the best VoIP equipment suited to your needs.
Factors to consider before choosing the VoIP Equipment:
With a VoIP, the entire communication system of your organization will be dependent on the internet. Thus, as important as it is to communicate, it is also of paramount importance to purchase a VoIP with sufficient bandwidth and throughput time. Any problems will lead to delays in the process and miscommunication.
If there isn’t sufficient bandwidth to support the needs of your organization, then your entire investment will go to waste. In the end, it will have to be changed. Therefore, before purchasing a router and installing a VoIP, make sure to double check the network and bandwidth speed. We suggest selecting a company that offers a free trial. In that way, you can know what suits your needs best at the lowest cost.
In VoIP, the IP standards deliver messages using the IP network. As a result, it is vulnerable to the same security issues as is the rest of your IP based systems. These include servers, routers, switches, firewalls, and databases. The internal communication process has deep links to the internal security issues of the business organization. Thus, you should maintain a strong security system.
It is also possible that some malicious hacker enters your communication channel and is procuring your information. To be aware of such issues, ensure a strong security system is present before making your purchase. If you cannot find a suitable VoIP system, then you might as well get one additionally installed if you can. Either way, a strong security system is necessary.
Unlike traditional handsets that get their inline power from POTS, VoIP phone systems cannot. This is because VoIP and the Ethernet are connected and require other means for connection. A simple solution is to use an adapter. You can then plug the phones to a standard power outlet. However, with this option, there is always the risk of power outages that will disrupt your telephone lines.
Instead, you can use POE (Power over Ethernet). These will not cause any power disruption because UPS (uninterruptible power supply) can back them up. A steady supply of power is integral in maintaining a massive communication system using the internet. If the power fails, the whole system fails.
Failover and Back Up
Even if you take the necessary precautions and do your best to prevent failures, there is still a minuscule chance that there will be one. You must also take preventive measures just in case there is an occurrence of a failure. Most often, the option of failover comes with a VoIP provider. When a primary server stops functioning, the call is often routed to a secondary source.
If that is not possible, then usually the call is diverted to another phone. Either way, is used, but it is vital that there is a continuous source of internet for an uninterrupted connection. Especially for service businesses, attending calls 24/7 is very important. With growing competition everywhere, missed calls can also mean missed customers.
Quality and Mobility
These are two basic things that you must always double check before purchasing or installing a VoIP system. Not all service providers give the same level of quality or mobility. Before purchasing, you must have in-depth knowledge and discussion with the company about the quality and mobility they are providing.
Sometimes, VoIP offerings use the public internet to carry on the system. This will not do the task smoothly for your office where hundreds of people are communicating on a daily basis. You should know precisely about their QoS that minimizes packet loss, jitter, and latency. As for mobility, with a VoIP system, you can use the phones anywhere as long as there is an internet connection.
You should asses your long term and short-term mobility plans before opting for a VoIP connection. Not all providers will be able to meet your demands. Let the providers know about your plans and hopes for scalability. Chances are they will help you find the perfect VoIP you need.
Location of Privacy
The privacy of your location is different from the internal privacy of the VoIP. Sometimes, in case of emergency calls, such as the fire service, ambulance or simply 911, location is required. These services track your location through the call so they can reach you quickly in such a crucial situation.
However, with a VoIP, there is no fixed location detection because the internet operates the entire system. In some places, regulations have been set that these services should register themselves at a particular location. Although to some extent this is useful and justifiable, many companies do not want this. They would rather maintain their privacy and use other means to make calls, enabling emergency services to know their locations.
Therefore, this is another important factor to consider before purchasing and installing VoIP offerings. Discuss with your VoIP provider beforehand what they can do for you regarding this issue.
The different types of VoIP Equipment
Now that you are familiar with the checklist of qualities you should search for in a VoIP, it is time to know that there are many different types of VoIP you can choose from. They are:
This stands for “bring your own device.” Not all VoIP service vendors provide the same options or freedom for the use of the device. However, some providers will allow you to bring your own device. In this way, you will not have to buy any new equipment. Therefore, saving purchasing hardware and switching costs.
However, most vendors do not just allow you to use any device as VoIP. Normally, they have a fixed list of specific products. Your VoIP vendor will allow you to choose any SIP-enabled phone. Keep in mind that if you are choosing the device according to your will, the VoIP service provider will most likely not provide you with technical support.
It is not possible for all technicians to know about every single device or telephone in the market. That is why they have a selected list! So if you are opting for this choice, make sure you have means to fix it if there is a breakdown.
You can connect VoIP with your traditional phone. Traditional phones work with the VoIP with the help of ATA. ATA are devices that translate the sender’s voice into data. When the data reaches the recipient, the data changes back to voice. ATAs are something that most VoIP service providers provide. In some cases, they will also provide you with a special device that you have to use in order to get these services.
Wireless IP Phones
Wireless IP phones work simply by connecting to a Wi-Fi connection. You can also establish a connection using the hotspot. These involve lesser additional costs because they are already ready for use with your VoIP account. The best part about these phones is that they are wireless. It works by built-in Wi-Fi or DECT transceiver unit. This connects the mobile device to an access point or base station. Once a connection is established, you are free to roam around anywhere with your phone and communicate.
As the name suggests, these phones use software to run. This is installed into your desktop or laptop computer. This then allows you to complete phone calls from your PC. The advantage of these phones is that as they are software that is built in your device, there are lesser chances of jitters. If you maintain your devices properly, your phone system will remain okay. In addition, these are very inexpensive. Typically, road workers, mobile professionals, and call centers use these sort of phone systems.
Video and Conference Phones
With great need comes great innovation and these phones strongly back up this statement. A videophone is a type of IP Phone that has the ability to capture videos. A small camera attached to the unit that does the work. After the introduction of these, the use of face-to-face meetings has greatly decreased.
Another similar technology would be conference phones. This has substantially helped replace office conferences. The phones use VoIP and enable multiparty phones calls. This means that just like in a conference meeting, using conference phones many people can talk over the phone at the same time.
Should you rent or buy a VoIP equipment?
When it comes to VoIP equipment, you have an option to rent or buy. With renting, comes many benefits. For example, there is no high initial cost of purchasing hardware. You can use it as a “paid trial period.” This means that, if after using the product you realize it is not fit for purpose, you can stop renting it and switch to something else.
On the other hand, if you are planning to buy the VoIP equipment, then there will be high costs initially. However, in the long term, these will be spread out over time. Eventually, the benefits will outweigh the costs. If you plan to buy, then look for a vendor that provides trial options. In that way, your money will not go to waste. So as a final word of advice, opt for buying it if you plan to use it for a long-term period.