Many industries and services are embracing the idea of cloud-first – VoIP is clearly no different.
Cloud-first is simply the idea that if a service is able to be hosted in the cloud, it should.
A cloud based VoIP phone system has a number of benefits for businesses of all sizes, however it can be easy to get lost in the amount of options and wide range of price points.
Which one is right for your business?
What else will be impacted if you move from a traditional phone system to cloud VoIP?
This isn’t the first time we’ve written about the considerations one must face when deciding whether to host 3CX or another VoIP suite in the cloud. We figure this is an important step and you should have all the information you can to ensure you have the best possible experience.
Reusing Traditional Phones
When a company moves from PSTN to VoIP, often the first thing they will do is throw out their old phones and buy up new IP phones.
To be honest – there are a lot of good reasons to do this.
If a physical phone is necessary to your business (for whatever reason), the features and reliability of the modern phones coming out are second to none and can improve the ease of the transition in many cases.
Thinking realistically though – it isn’t always possible for a company to replace all phones.
Thankfully, it isn’t often necessary.
Old analogue phones can be used with VoIP with the VoIP ATA (Analogue Telephone Adapter). VoIP routers are also available, providing an all-in-one solution in one neat box.
Employees & Bandwidth
We have found that companys may often underestimate the bandwidth they will need – more specifically the requirement for high upload speeds.
The number of employees you have will greatly impact the amount of bandwidth you will require.
As a point of reference – a 10Mbps upload speed can comfortably support 22 VoIP lines.
This is fairly standard for the low range business internet connections, and most business plans will comfortably handle VoIP without impacting the quality of other services.
Should you have a lower bandwith plan, or connected by ADSL/2+ or satellite – you will likely end up running into issues without extra planning.
A major benefit of VoIP is that regardless of where in the world your employees are, you can still work together almost as easily as if you were face-to-face.
It is often also the case that international calls over VoIP will end up cheaper than mobile calls within Australia, making it a pretty attractive idea for companies crossing country borders.
It’s worth noting that there are still some countries around the world that don’t allow VoIP to be used. While there are ways around this, if you do business in these countries you may find that quality of the call will suffer.
It’s easy to get carried away with the amount of features offered at different price points and different providers.
You hear of an innovative approach to something and your mind rushes with all the ways your business can use this to your advantage.
I’d like to take a moment to say – if you’re currently in this phase… slow down.
One of the most important benefits to VoIP is that scalability and changing is often very simple.
The IP PBX 3CX has a large number of features that can be configured within the management console and allows you to pick and choose what to use, what to restrict and what to turn off altogether.
Having the freedom and ability to make these changes should be a major thing you look at when deciding how you are going to go about making the change to VoIP.
VoIP and Unified Communications suites have many benefits, and most of them are infinitely more cost-effective than their traditional counterparts.
Having said that, there are a number of pitfalls that people find themselves falling into, most of which come from not preparing themselves with the questions noted above.
This is by no way an exhaustive list of things to think about – but let this be a starting point for your research.
The move to cloud VoIP is a large one, and is not withut risks. However, with a trusted provider and solid research behind you – you can expect to have a great experience and a great amount of savings.