A VoIP phone number is fundamentally analogous to the other…
Immediate Set-up With Hosted VoIP Services
Once a company decides to implement VoIP, perhaps the most important decision is whether to use hosted VoIP services from a third-party vendor or design a customized, on premise solution with SIP trunks.
One of the inherent advantages enjoyed by hosted VoIP is that it is quick to set up and minimizes the downtime required for the workforce to get up to speed. While both alternatives have their pros and cons, the hassle free set-up of the latter can be the deciding factor that pushes an organization to opt for it.
Although immediate does not necessarily mean instant, it is remarkably easy for a business to start using VoIP through the cloud.
For a small company that doesn’t need anything more than a business grade phone system (with a few lines, free calls between employees and cheap international calls) most providers can provision services within a few minutes!
But just because the vendor can provide services doesn’t mean the enterprise is ready with respect to infrastructure. Being able to have a reliable VoIP network that can consistently offer high quality voice calls requires the following in terms of equipment/services:
1. Adequate bandwidth
VoIP calls use the same data needed for other internet-related tasks such as document sharing, email, web browsing etc. Each call uses a set amount of data – that varies with compression and the codec being used – which means that more bandwidth is required to handle multiple calls at the same time.
Additionally, the available bandwidth should be able to accommodate both the extra voice calls as well as existing Internet using services, even during peak hours.
2. IP phones
The end clients for making and receiving calls can be an application on the desktop or laptop (with headsets), mobile phone, dedicated IP desk phones or even analog phones fitted with adapters.
Most vendors will have a store from which compatible handsets can be purchased if the business does not already have any available.
3. QoS settings
The network has to be configured to prioritize voice traffic about other data via QoS to ensure clear audio quality. In addition, firewalls should also be set up to handle incoming VoIP calls to enable NAT traversal. Optimal network configuration may need additional software or hardware in the form of SBCs.
It quickly becomes apparent that the list of prerequisites is short but each is a necessity before VoIP can be provisioned. Purchasing the phones or upgrading network equipment generally does not take long but providing for faster Internet or adequate bandwidth can take a while.
This is especially true for a business that is simultaneously provisioning VoIP as well as some other enterprise project which also utilizes the corporate network.
In the majority of cases however, there won’t be any major delays. The time between making the decision and employees using the new phone system is very short indeed.
The transition should be quick and painless for the most part and since the actual process for making a call is the same, employee productivity need not suffer in the meanwhile.