Virtual Phone Systems: A Guide to Maximising VoIP Efficiency
In a world driven by technology, it’s no surprise that businesses are turning to virtual phone systems such as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to manage their communications. VoIP is a cost-effective and efficient way to manage business phone calls, but it’s important to understand how to use it correctly in order to maximise its potential. This article is a short guide to utilising VoIP for your business’s phone system, so you can make the most of this innovative technology.
How Does VoIP Work?
VoIP works by converting an analogue voice signal into digital signals and sending them to the recipient via the internet. Once the digital signal is received, it is converted back into a voice signal. Of course, this happens at an extremely fast speed, which means that two or more people can converse easily when using a VoIP system.
When you use a VoIP phone to make or receive a call, the data is sent via the internet, which means you don’t need to use a traditional landline or even a standard mobile phone system. Instead, you can rely solely on your internet connection to facilitate VoIP calls.
Maximising VoIP Efficiency
Switching to a VoIP phone system offers a variety of benefits, but you’ll want to optimise your infrastructure to get the best performance. You can do this by:
Increasing Your Internet Speed
As VoIP relies on your internet connection to send and receive data, the maximum speed of your connection will have an impact on your phone systems VoIP call quality. A poor connection or very slow speed might cause latency issues when you’re making or receiving VoIP calls, for example.
Fortunately, most businesses have access to super-fast speeds, via either a broadband connection or mobile broadband. As a result, it’s easy to ensure that you have access to sufficient speeds if you want to use a VoIP phone system.
Make Sure Your Bandwidth is Up to Speed
In simple terms, bandwidth refers to how much data a network can send and receive at one time. If you switch from a traditional phone line to a VoIP system, your new phone system will be taking up more of your bandwidth, or internet connection, so an upgrade may be in order.
For businesses with hundreds of employees, for example, extra bandwidth may be required to ensure everyone can make and receive high-quality calls via VoIP.
Upgrade Your Hardware
VoIP calls can be made over a Wi-Fi connection but you may want to use cabling to connect your VoIP phones directly to your internet connection. This can deliver better performance and facilitates seamless VoIP communication, providing your cables are up to scratch.
Fibre optic cables are required for a fibre connection but, if you’re still using traditional cables, upgrading to Cat 6+ ethernet cables can improve the quality of your VoIP calls. Similarly, newer routers and switches can offer enhanced performance, so plan ahead and replace equipment to get the best performance.
Prioritise VoIP Data
Changing your Quality of Service (QoS) settings on routers and switches tells them which data to prioritise, so you’ll get the best performance on whichever part of your infrastructure you prioritise. By ensuring the VoIP data is prioritised using QoS settings, you can ensure that real-time calls and video meetings will always get the best connections.
Use a Separate Network
While smaller businesses can often access outstanding connectivity when using a single network for their VoIP system and other online activities, larger companies may benefit from having a separate, VoIP-dedicated network. This will mean that your VoIP system has designated resources and won’t have to share bandwidth with other functions. As a result, you can enhance the functionality of your VoIP phones and maximise the quality of your connections.
Why Use VoIP for Business?
VoIP is a great option for businesses that want to future proof their operations, reduce communication costs and improve the functionality of their infrastructure. Some of the benefits of VoIP systems include:
Traditional phone systems typically charge a monthly line rental, as well as a ‘per-minute’ call fee. For businesses that require multiple lines, this can quickly add up and eat into your budget. In contrast, a VoIP phone system utilises your existing internet connection to send and receive data, so you don’t pay per call. In fact, you can simply pay for the number of connections you require and have the cost of calls included.
With a VoIP phone, you can make and receive calls from any location, so it’s easy to run your business on the go or empower teams to work remotely. While you can use VoIP on most smartphones, you can also work with a telecoms solutions company, like DRC, to select new VoIP-compatible handsets for your employees.
A VoIP system is so much more than a way to make or receive calls. With additional features, like auto attendants, call parking, CRM integrations, voice-to-email transcripts, compliant call recording, screen-sharing and instant messaging, your VoIP system can enhance every aspect of your communications and simplify your operations.
Even though VoIP systems rely on internet connectivity to function, this doesn’t put your communications at risk. Most businesses have a failsafe in place so that they can still access the internet if their primary connection fails. Alternatively, your VoIP phone system can forward calls to other numbers, such as your mobile device, so that you’ll always be able to maintain communications.
Transitioning to a VoIP Phone System
With so many benefits on offer, transitioning to a VoIP system can be a step forward for your business. Whether you’re a start-up, SME or an enterprise company, VoIP can provide the flexibility and functionality you’re looking for.
Of course, getting the right support is critical to choosing the best VoIP solutions for your business and our team is always on hand to help guide you. To learn more about VoIP or business mobile solutions, fill out our Health Check form or contact DRC now on 01256 895895 or email us at [email protected].