Enterprise VoIP Phone Systems
Compare enterprise VoIP phone systems and enterprise VoIP providers using the comparison table below:
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The Benefits of Enterprise VoIP
Business runs at a different speed than everyday life. The larger the business, the higher the demand for communication and communication devices. Enterprise VoIP represents premium voice over IP services. This level of service has been specifically crafted to meet the requirements of large organizations. One of the immediate benefits of Enterprise VoIP systems is their scalability. Clients can add or remove the services they need or phone lines they need without the extensive wait and cost associated with traditional telephone services. In order to help large businesses keep the lines of communication they need in order to function, Enterprise VoIP offers things such as state-of-the-art call forwarding, mobile phone clients, and call analytics.
Business thrives on options. Enterprise VoIP systems allow businesses the option of having a cloud service provider, an on-site system, or a mix of the two. Businesses have the ability to customize their VoIP system to meet their requirements. This can be done for approximately 20 percent of the cost of large-scale traditional phone services.
Finding the Right Enterprise VoIP Provider
As the individual responsible for the communication needs of a large enterprise, you understand the pros and cons of scaling up your telephone system. If things grow very rapidly, you spend money you don't need to spend. However, upscaling too slow may hamstring your business, leading to missed opportunities. Enterprise VoIP systems allow you to select services that meet your company's current needs and then seamlessly scale up or scale down as needed. The following are four things you will want to keep in mind when looking for an enterprise phone system.
Define Your Future Communications Budget
As with any shift in service, you should expect startup costs. When switching to a VoIP system, the startup costs may include upgrading your telephones, modems, and routers. In some cases, there is an expense linked to keeping the same number. While these startup costs may seem overwhelming, it's important to view it when compared to what it will cost to maintain your currently installed equipment.
It's good to think about opportunities that could be lost if you don't make the needed change. It takes money to keep old equipment running. Old/traditional phone service does not have the same services and flexibility that enterprise VoIP providers can offer you. These additional services allow you to save time and increase profitability. Making the initial switch to an enterprise VoIP system may require a minor investment, but once you make the switch, you'll have increased profits on a monthly basis.
Confirm That Your Current Bandwidth Is Sufficient
VoIP communication systems may require a large amount of bandwidth. Bandwidth is a term used to define how much information can be uploaded or downloaded simultaneously. Most large businesses have a premium Internet plan with their Internet service provider. That being said, it is imperative that your business has the proper equipment to get the job done. This includes a QoS router that gives priority to real-time data, such as live video chats or live phone calls as opposed to non-real-time data like surfing the net or reading email. To get the most out of your enterprise VoIP system you will need to have both the hardware and the Internet bandwidth.
Here's a good rule of thumb, 10 VoIP phone calls happening at the same time in high-quality HD sound requires between five and 10 MB per second up and down. That being said, if your business is making 100 simultaneous calls, you'll need somewhere between 500 MB per second and 1 GB per second. Granted, just because you have 100 phones this does not mean that you're going to be simultaneously making 100 phone calls. Additionally, you want to make sure that your ISP is giving you the same upstream speed as downstream. Most ISPs give you faster download than upload speeds.
The VoIP provider you choose is going to recommend how much bandwidth you're going to need based on the number of lines are going to have installed, your equipment configuration, and the model or type of router you purchase. Most enterprise VoIP providers give you the option for some type of Internet service with the VoIP package they offer. This allows the provider to make sure that their network is used as opposed to solely relying on public Internet.
What Is the Difference Between: On-Premise Hybrid Cloud Hosted?
Most VoIP providers use a cloud-based or hosted server. This means that the service provider has a data center, that they are responsible for maintaining and keeping up to date. These providers offer services to thousands, and in some cases tens of thousands, of companies of various sizes. Because of the volume they work in, they're able to offer services at a competitive price. That being said, it is good for you to have your own team of professionals checking over your security needs, energy needs, as well as storage and redundancy needs.
The idea of a hosted service is something that just about everybody understands because of email. You hop on Gmail and you're using a service that's hosted on Google's international network of server farms. In the same way, many VoIP providers have servers connected with switches to public Internet as well as legacy phone networks. This means that a VoIP phone has the same flexibility in calling land lines, other VoIP phones, as well as cell phones all over the world that a traditional phone will.
An on-premise server, as implied by the name, means that your server or servers are on your property. If you opt for on-premise IP PBX, you'll need to buy your own equipment. While buying the equipment is an expense, over time, you'll are cheaper to operate. Additionally, since your own team is managing the service, you have complete control over the security as long as the work done on the server is performed by trustworthy individuals.
When you own your IP PBX, you have the complete capability to connect the outside world. You can simply add new users or change users by buying new IP phones. Many VoIP providers provide flexible payment plans that include what is referred to as burst pricing. This means that if all of the sudden the volume of calls you need to make increases, you can keep up with the increase in demand and be charged for it later, as opposed to not being unable to make the needed calls. This means that you can keep an economical plan for the majority of the year and only pay more money when there are increases in call volume.
Hybrid services mix premise and hosted services. The service works great for businesses that already have a TDM infrastructure that's relatively new, or has years of life left. The analog lines that already exist are integrated to work with the VoIP system. Any future buildings built or as well as mobile telephones will have unfettered access to the cloud.
This is a great option for antiquated buildings that are not equipped with Ethernet plugs in all offices. This is also great for businesses that are so large that replacing their existing phones with Internet protocol phones is impractical. Some enterprises in this circumstance will maintain internal communications using the legacy PBX they have but use VoIP to connect to outside locations. This is especially beneficial if an enterprise has offices in multiple countries.
Things to Consider When Selecting an Enterprise VoIP Service Provider
1. What Sets Your Selection Apart from Another Option?
Many VoIP service providers offer similar services. They are going to give you similar features, the price range is going to be relatively close, and most of them can get you up and running without a lengthy discussion with customer service. But that one percent difference between choice A and choice B can make all the difference in the world. Option A may have exclusive features, a unique GUI, or a special app that sets them apart.
2. What Features Will You Use During the First Two Weeks?
When you have a new VoIP service installed, it�s easily overwhelmed with all the bells and whistles you�re being offered. For the first couple weeks or the first month, focus on learning the basics, then you can do research on YouTube or other places to learn advanced features. Get a firm grasp on things like voicemail and auto attendant immediately as they may function differently in your new system than they did in your previous system.
3. Take the Time to Learn Advanced Enterprise Class Features
You are paying for enterprise class features, so it is a good idea to take some time to learn what these features offer. These features could include things like conference calls, they may work with popular CRM, or they may integrate with social media. In most cases, there will be a lot of features so be prepared to spend some time doing thisreview.
4. What Are the Recovery Plans, and is the Service Reliable?
The VoIP provider you choose should have backups for their backups. They should be able to handle any situation without you losing service. Natural disasters or even attacks against your provider can be crippling. Before you select a provider, find out what steps they have in place to respond to these unforeseen circumstances. Do your due diligence and research social media sites to learn how the company you�re considering selecting has dealt with outages in the past.
5. Find out What Works and What Will Not Work When You Switch to VoIP
When you make the switch to enterprise VoIP, some of the equipment you have or some of the services that you have in your building may no longer be compatible. For example, VoIP does not work with fax machines. However, your existing alarm system or your existing overhead paging system might be compatible. See what will work and understand what won�t work with the goal of making changes to adapt to your new system.
The Primary Benefits of an Enterprise VoIP Phone System
- Completely Scalable. Enterprise VoIP systems are completely scalable. If you need to hire a bunch of people or lay off a bunch of people, your VoIP system can be scaled up or down on demand by simply clicking a button. You�ll never worry about paying for something you�re not using or not having the service when there�s a spike in demand.
- Manage and Empower Remote Workers. Enterprise VoIP services allow apps and IP phones to connect to the same phone service you would use in your office. You have the same features regardless of where you�re located. This means remote workers will never be out of touch.
- Advanced Call Routing. Sometimes going uninterrupted is exactly what you want. VoIP systems have features that allow you to focus on the work in front of you. By setting do not disturb modes, by automatically routing certain calls to colleagues while others go to voicemail, and by only selecting a few calls to get through, you have complete control over when you�re disturbed and by whom.
- Integrate with Other Systems. VoIP systems use the Internet to communicate. This means that it�s easy to integrate with other Internet/cloud-based systems. These include things like CRM services, accounting services, recruitment services, social media, and email.
Glossary of Important Enterprise VoIP Terms
- Concurrent: Refers to doing something at the same time, which in this sense means the number of simultaneous phone calls that can be made. If you have 15 phones, but you only make two calls at a time, you only need two channels.
- ISP: Internet Service Provider. Your ISP is a company that gives you your Internet service, your cable service, and in many instances your phone service.
- Upstream: This is the speed with which information goes from you as the client to the server.
- Downstream: This is the speed that information goes from the server to your computer. The faster the speed, the larger the amount of information you can download. For example, a video streaming service is going to require a large amount of dominance.
- Symmetric/Asymmetric: This refers to a side-by-side comparison of your upstream and downstream speed. If they�re both the same, then they are symmetric. However, if one has a faster speed than the other, they are asymmetric. In order to have the highest quality video and audio, you need symmetric speeds.
- IVR or Auto Attendant: In layman�s terms, it�s referred to as a phone tree. It is what computers use to route incoming phone calls to the right individual.
- Redundancy: In layperson�s terms, this could be called a backup. It means having multiple copies of something on file in different data centers. For example, you�ll often hear the term bicoastal redundancy in connection with VoIP. This means that there is a server farm situated on the eastern coast and another one on the western coast. This way, if a disaster strikes on one coast, the farm on the other coast is safe.