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A Guide to Setting up Your VoIP Phone Service for your Business
A Guide to Setting up Your VoIP Phone Service
Voice-over-Internet Protocol, or VoIP, services is an advanced phone service to make your business and customer relations more efficient. Your VoIP system will work harder to streamline your operations and offer a variety of benefits compared to regular land-line service. Setting up your VoIP phones is a bit trickier than simple plug and play, so let’s look at the steps you should take to set up your VoIP system properly.
Evaluate the Benefits for Your Business
VoIP systems are very different from your usual landline phone service since they have internet connectivity and offer flexible and customizable benefits including:
Mobile apps for iOS and Android that allow you to log in to your VoIP service and make/answer calls with your work number on your personal device, anywhere and any time.
Connect your phone service call data with cloud storage or CRM platforms
Voice-to-text capability so you can read your voicemail messages rather than listen to them
Of course, these benefits make VoIP phone services relatively more expensive than more affordable versions of Grasshopper or Google Voice systems, for example, but these other internet-based services lack the advanced features of VoIP systems and they require an existing line to forward calls. It is important to determine which features you need and at what price you can afford them before moving forward with your VoIP installation. The industry of your business, your number requirements (i.e. toll-free), your likelihood of making international calls, and your budget are all factors to consider when weighing the benefits of a VoIP system for your business.
Who are the Best VoIP Providers in Canada?
We have compiled a list of the top three VoIP providers in Canada, based on features, reliability, and cost:
Assess the Number of Users You Need
Since VoIP systems bill on a per-user basis, determining the number of users you will need is an important early step. You must consider both the current conditions of the company as well as the projected growth of the company as you want your phone system to continue working at optimal levels as you grow and expend. You must also consider the individual needs of each user. Some employees may not need a number while others may need 2 or 3 separate lines. If your business uses conference rooms or requires conference lines for remote workers, you must take these numbers into account as well.
Ensure That Your Network is Compatible with Your VoIP System
A fast and stable internet connection is vital to the success of your VoIP system since it operates by transmitting calls over the internet. If you have a slow network, you may not be able to support the number of lines your business requires. It’s a good idea to perform an internet speed test that will determine if your network can support your new phone service. If you have at least 10Mbps speeds for uploading, your network should be able to handle at least 25-50 lines easily, while 500Kbps can only handle 4 or 5 lines at the most.
Choose Your Features and Hardware
VoIP systems offer unique hardware and features including desktop apps and headsets rather than a traditional desk phone, as well as mobile apps to receive calls. Many have an automated attendant, interactive voice response (IVR), video conferencing, and more. The number of features and presence of traditional hardware will affect your costs, so due diligence on your part before subscribing to a VoIP service provider will ensure your employees have the features and hardware they need from their phone system.
Choose Your VoIP Service Provider
The provider that is right for you will depend on the type of features you want, the number of lines you need, and the size of your business. A small family business will have drastically different needs than a fortune 500 company, so you should reach out to several different providers to learn more about how their services will work for your business. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a much better idea of which VoIP provider is best suited to your business.
Connect Your IP PBX with Your ISP
Certain systems require a PBX or physical private branch exchange box. The PBX automatically receives and forwards all incoming calls and works in conjunction with your ISP. Most VoIP providers host the PBX on their own services, but if you have to install it yourself, all you need to do is plug it into a power source and connect it to your router using an ethernet cable.
Plug in Your Phones
The second-to-last step is to connect your desktop phones (if using the hardware) to the internet network by plugging in an ethernet cable to the port of each of your users’ VoIP phones and the PBX box or router. Many devices will even have Wi-Fi capabilities that enable you to skip the wiring process entirely.
Configure Your Service
Lastly, you’ll configure your phone system through your settings menu to set up a phone tree, assign extensions, set up voicemail, and more. You’ll either have human assistance or a guided setup wizard to help you through this process.