Is Your Business Ready For VoIP?

Assessing the Factors You Need for VoIP Adoption

Wireless LAN
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If your organization uses phone communication a lot, changing from PBX to VoIP will surely bring down your communication cost by a considerable amount. But how much cheaper will it be? Will finally be worth the move? It will all depend on how prepared your company is.

There are a certain number of questions you need to ask yourself while assessing your company’s readiness to welcome VoIP.

How efficient?

Before investing on VoIP service and hardware, ask yourself about how efficient this will be for your business.

What impact will it have, if any, on existing levels of service to which your users are accustomed? It might be that voice traffic added to the once-data-only network affects other applications’ performance adversely. Consider that too.

How about productivity?

Assess the degree to which your company’s productivity will increase with the introduction of VoIP, and whether this increase is worth the investment. In other words, ask yourself questions like: Will your call-center or help-desk have better throughput? Will there be more phone calls per user? Will there finally be more returns on calls, and therefore more sales or prospects?

Can I pay for it?

Concerning cost readiness, the question is simple: Do you have enough money to invest on VoIP?

Make a long-term cost estimate. If you don’t have enough money now, you can still implement the plan step by step, thus spreading the cost over time.

You may, for example, start with a VoIP service provider with a service including only dial-tone for a legacy system, and then adding a soft PBX and IP Phones later on.

You can also lease telephony servers and phones instead of purchasing them. Don’t forget to use your bargaining power to negotiate discounts.

Make sure you contract service with a provider which can assure you the proper use of your existing PBX hardware, like PSTN phone sets. You invested money on them and you don’t want them to be useless now.

If your company is large enough to have many departments, then it might not be necessary to deploy VoIP in all the departments. Make a study of your departments and see which ones can be crossed out of your VoIP implementation plan. This will save you from wasting many dollars. Speaking about departments, figure out the return on investment per user time frame for a VoIP conversion. Prioritize those departments with a quick return on investment.

Is my network environment ready?

Your company’s LAN will be the main backbone for the deployment of VoIP in your company, if you want it to be something structured and if your company is large enough. If it is small and you think you can get away with one or two phones, then you can have VoIP service set up as it normally is for a house.

If you need a LAN and already have one, then you have already saved a lot. However, there are some more considerations. If your LAN works on anything else than Ethernet 10/100 Mbps, then you should consider changing. There are known problems with other protocols like Token Ring or 10Base2.

If you use hubs or repeaters in your LAN, you should think of replacing them by switches or routers. Hubs and repeaters are not optimized for high-traffic VoIP transmission.

Power

You will need to think about getting a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) if you are not using one yet. If your power supply fails, one or more phones can still operate, at least to call for support.