Network Security



THE VOIP PUZZLE



TAYLOR HAYWARD CAPM, MCP



S
omething I’m being asked about more frequently is the process of transitioning to a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) system to replace traditional phone systems, and if it’s worth it for the small to medium size businesses. For anybody that doesn’t know what VOIP is, it allows your phone system to run on your businesses network and internet connection, rather than on the more traditional phone lines. Let’s take a moment to look at the requirements of running a business on VOIP.

Since a VOIP system relies solely on your network infrastructure and your internet connection, it should be easily understood that these must be in great shape if you are to have a successful VOIP system. Think of it as driving a Ferrari on a dirt road; it just doesn’t work well. Your VOIP system is the vehicle and your network, the road. In order to get the most out of your VOIP system you need to make sure you have a smoothly paved surface without a lot of congestion.

Is your internet connection strong enough to handle the additional load of all the phone calls you will be making and receiving? Sure, a VOIP system might save you money, but you may have to increase the internet package to accommodate this.

Always remember, size matters. If you’re a small business, your system will look different than a larger business as your needs are different. It might be better for you to consider a hosted VOIP service rather than an on premise solution.

VOIP offers great savings for those that place lots of long distance calls, but if you’re not calling further than down the street very often, VOIP might not be for you. As you are researching your options, you will also need to consider whether your business is better off paying a flat monthly rate or paying a per minute rate.

As you can tell there are lots of pieces to the VOIP jigsaw puzzle. Like a jigsaw puzzle, VOIP can be challenging and fun and a successful implementation in your business could mean great savings. But if you wander down the path of a VOIP system without first having found all your puzzle pieces, you will end up frustrated wondering what piece of the puzzle you are missing! BL

 

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