Three Things to Look for When Selecting VoIP PhonesPosted on: 2017-08-11 | Categories: VoIP Services
Switching over to hosted VoIP services from the PSTN is much easier than it used to be. Individuals, households and small businesses can generally do it in a few days or even hours. VoIP calls now have high quality audio that is practically on par with PSTN. Most vendors also provide many more features that most businesses couldn’t access on traditional phone systems.
Since phone services are delivered over the Internet, you don’t have to worry about purchasing lots of equipment for it. If your data connection and local network are robust, there’s not much you need to do. Thanks to FCC regulations on the subject, you can even port your existing numbers to the new service.
VoIP Phones for Voice Calling
Although most people don’t have to buy dedicated VoIP phones, business organizations prefer to do so. Desk phones are not the only option for using hosted VoIP services. With VoIP, you can answer and make calls on laptops, mobile phones or even tablets. Some companies prefer to use their existing phones with adapters and replace them slowly over time. This provides an advantage for offices since you don’t have to purchase brand-new VoIP phones at the outset.
For instance, you can use a mix of devices (desktops, mobiles, analog phones plus adapters) within the company. Employees who are frequently on the road like sales people or technicians often prefer apps on their mobile phones. Executives and managers may insist on desk phones while other employees switch between multiple devices. It means that you can get by with fewer VoIP phones than the number of landlines you had before.
Things to Look for When Selecting VoIP Phones
All that being said, most companies will need to purchase at least a handful of VoIP phones. Some organizations prefer to buy everything at the outset while others replace instruments as they break down. Regardless of when you purchase VoIP phones, there are a few things you must look for.
VoIP can be implemented via many protocols, SIP is not the only one. However it has quickly become the industry standard. Most vendors and hardware manufacturers support the Session Initiation Protocol within their products. SIP compatibility was more of a concern a few years ago before the industry standardized around SIP. However that doesn’t mean you can ignore it even now. Make sure that both your hosted VoIP service and desk phone support SIP so that they can work together. Some vendors will have a list of compatible hardware models on their website. Even if your provider doesn’t offer such a list, you can simply ask them for recommendations or have them confirm your choice before buying them.
One of the biggest reasons for an organization to invest in VoIP phones is for the hardware they offer. Your employees can access most features on their mobile applications or desktop VoIP software. However desk phones do have some advantages.
VoIP phones come with higher quality speakers and microphones than most other devices. This can make a huge difference in clarity and voice quality for users. You may not actually need such high-quality hardware for internal calls. But you certainly don’t want clients to get poor quality audio, echoes etc. while talking to your staff.
VoIP phones often come with built-in screens to view useful information. Certain models will have conferencing capabilities with extra speakers, more sensitive mics and so on. You can purchase a mix of basic models, conferencing hardware and high-end models for various purposes. You can set up the conference models in a few meeting rooms for group calls and collaboration. Executives and managers may like the high-end models for the extra features and capabilities.
Programmable and Function Buttons
The other advantage of VoIP desk phones is that they have more real estate to offer. Even the most basic phone model will often have function buttons that are mapped to certain tools. This is especially important for certain departments such as customer service or tech support. These departments generally use features like hold, call transfer, ACD queues more often than others. Having a dedicated button that can do these tasks makes it easier and saves time.
The advanced models will also have room for programmable buttons. They are similar to the function buttons but the important difference is that they can be programmed by the user. Some models will come with the buttons already mapped to a few features but users can always change them. This gives your employees a lot of flexibility in how they use the phones. Different users, groups and departments can customize the features according to which once they use the most.
Selecting VoIP phones for your office is not a complicated task. But it still requires a bit of thought and planning. After all you don’t want to end up with phones that won’t work the way you want them to!