Should we try to setup Hosted VoIP on our own? If you're a Los Angeles small business, consider a professional.
Modern day cloud hosted VoIP providers have made it possible for small business owners or employees to setup a complete phone system on their own. It wasn't that long ago that phone systems were extremely expensive and complex, even VoIP systems. So why would you consider hiring a professional to help anymore? The reason is there's a myriad of hosted VoIP providers, hardware choices, configuration options, and problems a company can run into along the way. If your phone system is a key way you do business, consider working with a professional.
One reason you might not want to use a managed services provider to implement your hosted VoIP system could be cost, but consider the alternative costs of choosing the wrong systems, having a poor implementation, or worse. One bad phone connection could be a lost customer...
What System Should You Choose?
There are a lot of cloud VoIP providers out there. Our preferred and favorite Hosted VoIP Provider is Jive Communications for many reasons. The streamlined interface, extensive features, and affordability make it a great choice for a lot of our clients. That being said, there's not a one-shop-fits-all. While Jive meets most of our clients' needs incredibly well, we will work with you to choose the right provider for the right reasons at the right price.
Common VoIP System Failures
You might think installing a VoIP is simple, and in some respects it is. But there are a number of key areas that require careful planning to be setup well to start working with a hosted VoIP provider:
- Have you chosen a high quality provider and good quality hardware?
- Do we have the right kind of Internet and enough of it?
- Have I sketched out how I want the system to function at a detailed enough level?
- How will we manage the transition?
- Will we have two phones on people's desk, or forward numbers until the number ports occur?
- What happens if the power goes out? Are we using battery backup systems and PoE switches?
- Do we need headsets, conference phones, side cars, or other accessories?
- Do we have enough Ethernet cabling throughout our office and in the places we need it?
If you're struggling to answer any of the questions above we can help you make sure you system works correctly from day one and beyond.
Internet - The Number One Problem
It's not called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for nothing. The number one problem we see as outlined above is people not having enough Internet or high quality enough Internet. If you're running your small business on a cable modem or DSL and it's been satisfactory so far, be prepared for problems when you try to implement your VoIP system on top of that. Often times clients with low cost Internet alternatives will need a dedicated line for their VoIP setup to work reliably. Larger clients with enterprise fiber or Ethernet Internet will still need to make sure they have enough Internet, that packet loss, jitter, and latency are low, that the circuit is not routinely saturated, and that they have proper quality of service (QoS). We can help you evaluate these items if you aren't sure how to do it. When evaluating your total system costs make sure to factor Internet in!
The Showdown: Self-Install vs. Professional Install
Here is a VoIP self-install vs. professional install comparison for you. You can start to get a feel of how your deployment might go differently with professional help.
- Detailed System Selection and Planning: At Be Structured we've seen and touched almost every phone system out there and seen a plethora of configurations. Determining best system, best parts, and best path to change over is critical and we've done a lot of it. Don't just pull the trigger on a VoIP system without planning up front. Just because you like the way it looks or the pricing, let us help you think it all through and plan it out.
- Seamless Cut Over: We have completed many zero downtime VoIP cut-overs for clients even from legacy systems. With proper planning and execution your business can also experience a seamless transition to VoIP.
- Holistic Post-Install Support: While support from many VoIP providers is quite good, they only support their systems and application. They often won't help with support of the Internet, firewall, switches, cabling, power, etc., and often these are the issues that actually cause VoIP problems and not the providers themselves. Having a professional on your side with a holistic view of your network, your business process, and your VoIP provider allows us to better handle post-install support needs.
Turn Key Solutions - We've Got Them
Another challenge for small businesses without IT talent is that not knowing much about technology, they don’t know how to evaluate many of the things we mentioned above. We take all the guesswork out of implementing VoIP at your company.