A VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone service uses the internet instead of a traditional phone line to communicate with the phone network. Your internet connection can be used to make any phone call worldwide using VoIP technology.
For Australian businesses, VoIP will become the primary technology to communicate over the phone as the NBN is rolled out. With traditional phone lines being cut off within 18 months of roll-out, VoIP is necessary to continue to make and receive calls.
Even for areas still connected to traditional phone lines, there are a multitude of benefits to switch to VoIP, including reduced costs, greater flexibility, and increased reliability.
Whether or not your your business already has VoIP, it’s important to understand some of the key set up requirements.
Business level VoIP set up is not the same as residential
Residential users can set up VoIP themselves, but small and medium sized businesses require more complex setups using a business-level internet connection, and also ongoing support.
Some small businesses take a DIY approach to set up their VoIP phone, but a VoIP set up over a residential level connection is not adequate for business.
Handsets make a difference
Do you have the right handsets for your business, or just basic models without full capabilities? A phone handset with limitations can hinder your business operations, especially if there is a need to regularly route and transfer calls internally.
At Comsource, we recommend Yealink handsets, the market leaders in Cloud PBX. Their range includes the T48 flagship colour screen unit, which gives more information to the user about who in their workplace is on the phone, more speed dial keys, phone book etc.
Are you paying too much?
Without the need for traditional phone lines coming into your office premises, the cost of a VoIP phone service is considerably less.
In today’s competitive marketplace, business customers who simply choose a provider because they’re the biggest or best known can pay much more than they need to.
It’s still important to work with an expert small business telco, but your business can generally find a much lower rate for your VoIP phone service and calls by looking outside of the major players.
The level of support you receive is critical
Your business relies on communication via phone and internet, and when something goes wrong, it needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
Many of the larger telcos rely on offshore support, which can come with delays to reach a technician, language barriers, and sometimes a low level of training. There’s nothing worse than getting the runaround when your connection is down.
If your provider puts you on hold for a long time before answering your call, has offshore support that results in language difficulties, or takes a long time to understand and resolve your issues – even if you have explained them before – this is costing your business both time and money.
Using a 100% owned and operated phone and internet supplier, such as Comsource, where your business deals with the same account manager and support staff each time, simplifies handling any inevitable issues as they arise.
Are you harnessing today’s technology to meet your needs?
VoIP brings with it an array of technology to benefit your business – all of which can be set up remotely in the cloud by an expert provider. There is no longer the need to engage a technician each time your phone service requires extra features.
Some of the technology we commonly see small businesses overlooking includes:
- Cloud softphone, which lets you take your desk phone with you wherever you go
- 4G backup to avoid network interruptions if your primary broadband fails
- IVRs and music on hold that can be changed seasonally
- Call routing that adapts as your business grows
- Automated menus that help direct the caller straight to the intended desk
- Simultaneous or sequential rings to a group of staff one-by-one or at the same time
- ‘Never busy’ phone lines
Improve VoIP quality with a dual-band router
Your router carries a lot of traffic – voice calls, desktop internet, and data transmission for devices like EFTPOS and HICAPS.
If you experience problems with voice quality with VoIP, a dual-band router can provide significant improvements, by transmitting traffic on different frequencies at the same time.
This allows you to put all voice traffic on one channel, all desktop traffic on another channel, and devices like Eftpos or Hicaps on another.