If you have researched the benefits of VoIP, and are ready to take your business to the next level of telephony, then there is just one more thing to consider. Is your current network up to the task? For most businesses the answer will be yes. And even if you need to upgrade your services, the savings incurred with a VoIP system will likely offset any additional expense.
Here is a checklist to make sure you are ready for the switch.
Required Network Bandwidth
How much bandwidth will you need for a VoIP system? This will change from company to company. It depends on how many phone lines you need to be able to use simultaneously. For example, if you regularly have 100 incoming and outgoing calls going on at once during busy times of the day, you will need a 10Mbps connection to maintain that kind of volume. Most businesses are not going to see that level of call volume. Five busy lines at a time need only 500Kbps. Your phone will use up only a small portion of your bandwidth, but you want to make sure you can use it for other things too, like required downloads and updates being performed by the IT department.
Call Quality Considerations
One of the benefits of VoIP is HD-quality sound. Of course, your network quality will determine if you actually get this benefit. Speed will be one factor, especially if you have certain times of the day when the network is busy, and thus slows down. But you also need to think about latency. Latency higher than 300ms is likely to cause a noticeable delay (think satellite internet). Also, packet loss and jitter can also affect call quality. You want jitter under 50ms, and latency to be as low as possible.
You also need to consider the hardware being used. The right VoIP phones will ensure that you fully benefit from your service. You also need the right router, otherwise you may have problems making calls when far away from the router.
Remember that the goal of any business is to expand, so don’t just plan for what you need today or next month. Consider the future goals of the company, and be sure that your network and VoIP service can expand as your organization does.