VoIP systems have many features that make them a cost-effective alternative to the traditional PSTN (public-switched telephone network). For example, they do not require additional telephone lines, and they utilize an existing broadband network to convert voice streams into data packets. The data is sent over the Internet to their destination, which can reduce how much money is spent on voice related communication.
Choosing a VoIP system for your business requires thought and research, and implementing the right IP phone system can vastly improve quality and lower costs. The following post details best practices for implementing a VoIP phone system once you have decided it’s right for your business.
Have a Backup Broadband Connection
Enterprises today rely heavily on their broadband connection, so it’s important to implement a backup connection in the event your primary access goes. This will ensure you do not see any downtime with your VoIP phone system should you experience a connection outage.
Understand Your Network
VoIP traffic will significantly increase the load carried on your broadband network, and understanding the terms related to your network will give you a leg up in preparing your IT for the additional load.
VoIP traffic should be given a higher priority over data traffic to prevent any delays, unclear communication, or dropped calls. You can conduct site surveys and performance tests to determine if you need more bandwidth to implement VoIP. After implementing your VoIP phone system, you should continue to survey your network to measure traffic flow and survey switches for bottlenecks.
Implement Quality-of-Service Metrics and Consistently Analyze Communication
Quality-of-service (QoS) implementation is a mechanism that ranks data traffic, so that higher priority data packets reach their destination within a set time. Data packets carrying voice streams have a higher priority and without QoS, calls may have a static sounding quality, may be jittery, or may be dropped.
Poor call quality will lead to dissatisfaction in both your customers and employees. QoS can provide reliable network services by supporting dedicated bandwidth, improving the packet loss characteristics, mitigating network congestion, and can shape network traffic and priorities across the network.
Secure Your Network
You need to be familiar with the potential security threats to telecom business systems using VoIP technology as most IP-based hacks come from outside the company. Setting up a security network will prevent hackers from gaining access. While some VoIP systems use firewalls to prevent outside attacks, most firewalls only operate between data encryption, switching, and transportation between hosts.
A VoIP system, on the other hand, works through seven layers, including applications, which is the user-facing level and where most QoS services are managed. Instead, deploy a Session Board Controller (SBC) so that you can secure all layers of your enterprise across different platforms. An additional benefit is that employees do not have to be at the physical location of the SBC to receive real-time alerts regarding security.
Choose the Right SIP Solution Partner
VoIP phone systems hand off the IP call to the PSTN via a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunk, which allows for the best, most cost-effective voice traffic. There are many options available, including least-cost routing providers who may offer attractive SIP trunk pricing. But consider your voice traffic needs before contracting as call quality may be impacted by LCR practices as different carriers are selected to transport calls.
VoIP phone systems are a simple and cost-saving business solution for your voice traffic, but have specific considerations for implementation. VoIP has a proven track record as an enterprise business solution, and developing a VoIP implementation strategy that optimizes your network while remaining secure can bring real value to your business.