Small businesses using outdated phone technology should consider upgrading to voice over IP (VoIP) systems to not only boost functionality, but lower operating costs as well. PC World's Brad Chacos recently suggested several ways these companies can choose VoIP solutions that fit their needs.
"Make sure that your internal network – including your routers and switches – can handle the load, too," Chacos suggested. "Most providers suggest using a router with configurable quality of service settings and assigning VoIP traffic high priority to maximize quality."
The writer explained that depending on a company's size and current IT infrastructure, implementing a VoIP platform could be an inexpensive endeavor or require significant upfront costs. VoIP, however, requires bandwidth to support users and the more employees utilizing the platform, the greater the bandwidth needs.
When choosing a VoIP service provider, small businesses should also consider if vendors have a cap on bandwidth. According to Chacos, the ideal solution will allow a large number of users to communicate without fear of going over such limits.
"Finally, even if you subscribe to a cloud-based hosted VoIP service, you'll need to make sure your phones can communicate over VoIP," Chacos wrote. "Most VoIP systems use session-initiation protocol technology to assign each phone or VoIP software client a specific address; that's how the IP-PBX routes calls to specific lines."
VoIP the ideal phone system for small businesses
Other industry experts have highlighted the advantages of VoIP phone systems over older technologies. Daniel Wang, an owner of a VoIP vendor in the Chicago area, recently indicated that some companies are still hesitant to adopt VoIP because they do not want to migrate from previous solutions.
Even though implementing new systems can be overwhelming for some small businesses, organizations should not let this roadblock get in their way, according to Wang. VoIP offers companies increased cost savings and greater overall productivity. By integrating VoIP with technologies like the cloud, small businesses with remote offices in multiple locations can allow employees to connect through a unified platform.
Wang added that VoIP has also made major strides in recent years, especially regarding its maturity and technological support.
Small businesses may not have the IT resources of larger companies, but innovative solutions like VoIP and the cloud make it possible for these organizations to compete with rival firms regardless of size.