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Business VoIP for Beginners: Transitioning from Landline to VoIP
October 30th, 2015

Business VoIP for Beginners: Transitioning from Landline to VoIP

Bill Gaskill

Every day, companies small and large switch to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service because of its benefits compared to landlines. In fact, the U.S. government and others estimate that Vo...

Every day, companies small and large switch to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service because of its benefits compared to landlines. In fact, the U.S. government and others estimate that VoIP will be close to an $80 billion market in the next three years or less.

Once you decide to switch to VoIP, making the transition is easy. Below is a step-by-step guide to help make the transition from landline to VoIP simple and hassle-free.

No downside

A company can quickly and simply transition from a landline to VoIP with little if any communications interruptions. The process requires some research and following a few key steps to minimize office disturbance. Most service providers should be able to transition phones from landline service to VoIP in an hour or less.

You don’t have to give up your existing phone number either.

How VoIP works

VoIP works by using the Internet – via your existing LAN or WAN or a cloud-based service – to transmit calls instead of wired cables or copper telephone lines. This allows the VoIP provider to offer a wider range of services, at a significant cost savings, to subscribers.

Two key benefits of switching

Many companies have discovered the two major benefits of VoIP compared to landlines:

Significant cost savings

VoIP service is cheap. For a small monthly fee, businesses can call anywhere in the world. Depending on the plan chosen, companies can make unlimited overseas calls or calls to specific foreign geographic areas for free. This can include dialing cell phones or landlines.

Mobility

VoIP systems are completely portable. The providers do not charge for installation. The system comes with “plug-and-play” service. If a company moves offices, the small connecting device, smaller than a wireless router, simply unplugs and then reconnects to a high-speed internet server at the new location. Employees can even use the system when traveling domestically or abroad. This gives business travelers the ability to send and receive calls using their office phone. There is no need to provide hotel or local contact numbers with VoIP communications.

VoIP phones allow all sorts of modifications and changes through online portals. For example, VoIP allows users to forward calls, screen calls, receive voicemails via text message or email, and more. Users can log in and make the modifications to the system as often as they like.

Do business VoIP phones have any disadvantages?

In the early days of VoIP service, bandwidth and poor call quality inhibited many from switching from traditional landline phones. Today, however, almost all businesses and homes use high-speed internet connections. There is no noticeable difference in voice quality.

The key vulnerability concerns any malware or hacking attack. Since VoIP uses the Internet, companies will lose communications if their servers or networks go down. Good malware and anti-virus protection should prevent this.

The easy four-step transition process

Switching to VoIP does not require any significant installation steps or downtime. The process requires following just a few checklist items:

Research providers

Many companies offer VoIP communications for business. The price and packages vary. Depending on need, some packages start at less than $10 a month.

Check bandwidth

A reasonable amount of bandwidth is necessary for the VoIP phones to work well. About 5-10 MBps up and down speeds will allow up to ten concurrent calls.

Determine equipment needs

VoIP service allows a variety of phones or means of dialingBus. Purchase options include Wi-Fi phones, digital phones, and “soft” phones – phones that work with a PC or laptop. Existing analog phones need an inexpensive analog converter.

Backup

For uninterrupted service in the event of a power outage, a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) or PoE (Power over Ethernet) can be added to your VoIP communications system. This will let you phones connect directly to the routers and modem to permit uninterrupted communications in the event the electricity fails.

Look to the future

Many experts predict that VoIP will ultimately make landlines obsolete. Switching to business VoIP service is smooth and seamless by following the steps above. The potential cost savings and increased communications efficiency make switching to VoIP something all companies should consider.


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