VoIP Business phone system offers excellent functionality and a variety of features at an affordable rate. However, the process of setting up can seem overwhelming if you don’t understand VoIP. One thing that we can assure is that it’s not as hard as it may seem. If you are willful to adopt VoIP phone services, then you will need to assess your budget, shortlist the features you want and plug-in if required.
While every phone service has its own steps, the following steps can give you a general understanding of how you can set up a VoIP phone system.
1. Assess How VoIP can benefit Your Company?
VoIP phone systems offer a plethora of benefits compared to the traditional landline services. One, business VoIP is far less costly than landlines, and they often offer unlimited nationwide calling, even long-distance calling. The fact that it works over the internet allows for calling features that aren’t possible with a traditional landline service. This also includes functionality like file sharing, video calling, conferencing, live chat and much more. VoIP phone system for business is especially helpful for the following reasons:
- Accessibility: VoIP offers voice-to-text functionality that allows you to read messages instead of hearing them. The fact that you get text messaging features means that VoIP is user-friendly even for people with hearing impairments. VoIP telephone system is far more accessible than landline systems.
- Integrations: leading virtual landline services can connect call data with other business software, including storage services such as Google Drive. Also, it can connect caller information with a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform.
- Mobility: majority ofVoIP phone systems offer mobile apps for Android and iOS devices. With VoIP app, you can log in to your VoIP account and make calls using your work number. One of the biggest perks of such service is that you can work on the go, making it ideal for remote teams.
It is worth noting that Voice over Internet Protocol is an excellent alternative to landline systems. This is an internet-based solution and are much affordable than landline as well. A Hosted VoIP phone system is hosted in the cloud and eliminates a lot of expenses and work.
2. Estimate the number of users you will need
Before committing to an office phone system, you must assess both the current size of your business and the potential growth of your team in the future. You have to decide how many of your workers will be using VoIP. Also, you will have to determine if shared services like conferencing will be used. It is crucial to decide all these factors since VoIP service providers’ price plans on a per-user basis.
3. Do internet testing before committing
VoIP relies on the internet. So, it’s essential to have a stable and fast internet connection. You must perform an internet speed test before making a decision. If your internet is slow, then you will have to upgrade your internet service. The internet speed will dictate the number of VoIP lines you can support. For example, a 500 Kbps upload speed can support up to five lines. While, a 10 Mbps upload speed can support almost 100 lines. With a speed test, you can tell how many phones your office can support. On the other hand, you can do some simple math to calculate how many lines your internet can support.
- Multiply your internet upload speed by 1000: with this, you can convert the unit from Mbps to Kbps, if your internet speed is already displayed in Kbps then skip ahead.
- Divide the Kbps speed by 445: with this you will get the number of phone lines you internet can support.
- Divide the results from step 1 by 100: with this, you can know how much lines your VoIP phone system can support if your internet is fast and stable without being used for any other activities like downloading or browsing.
4. Must create a list of Features & Hardware you need!
There are a lot of VoIP providers out there in the market. All of them carry different features and costs. No matter what your business needs or budget is, you will find the right solution for your business. Therefore, take your time to do the research. Create a list of potential providers and evaluate how each of them fit into your workflow.
Majority of VoIP phone systems offer auto attendants. However, not all have a multilevel attendant module. Also, you have to create a list of VoIP features that you want like video conferencing, or IVR (Interactive Voice Response). These considerations will determine how much you will have to spend on your VoIP service each month, so don’t forget to put serious thought into each factor.
5. Time to pick the right provider for you!
After you are sure of the features that you need, you can pick the right VoIP provider based on your business needs. Once you select a potential service, you can contact its sales representative, who can give you detailed information about the service and price information. Some might also provide a guided tour through their VoIP solution.
6. Connect Your IP PBX with Your ISP
The VoIP service that you select may come with a physical PBX (Private Branch Exchange) box. A PBX box is a hardware or software that receives and routes calls automatically. It works along with your internet service provider.
A VoIP phone system for small business hosts PBX on their server. Hence, it can save you the hassle of setting up and maintaining a physical box at your office. But if you do get a PBX box, then you can connect it to a power source along with your router through an Ethernet cable. Once you set up the PBX, you can connect the phones to the hardware. However, the detailed and specific instructions will be provided to you by your VoIP service provider.
7. Time to Plug in the Phones
The great thing about VoIP phone system is that you can use it over desktop, laptop or phone through different apps. You can also use desk phones if you need to. You will have to connect VoIP phones to your network. Just plug an Ethernet cable into the port on VoIP phone and connect the other end to one of the Ethernet ports on the back of the PBX box. If you subscribe to a Hosted VoIP service, then you only need to connect the phone to your router or desktop.
Some devices already come equipped with Wi-Fi; you can skip the whole connection process. Also, you have the option of downloading a mobile app which can save you from the hassle of dealing with a desk phone.
8. Configure VoIP Service through Provider’s online portal
No matter which VoIP service you get, you will have to set up a VoIP system using the software’s online portal. Through this portal, you can assign phone numbers to employees, set up voicemail, set auto-attendant, business hours and much more.
The whole process is different for every provider. However, every modern VoIP phone service has a guided help for you to set up the phone system through a human or wizard guided setup process.
9. Optional Step: Connect with VoIP Mobile Apps
If your VoIP service has a Smartphone app, then you can take your office phone system with you while travelling. You will only have to download the respective app from the iOS or Android store. Afterwards, you can sign in with your subscription information by following the instructions. However, we are mentioning this as an optional feature so if you wish to skip this, then you can. Nonetheless, having a mobile is a beneficial feature and is a testament to the VoIP service’s flexibility.
VoIP business phone system offers companies a complete set of powerful features at just a fraction of the cost of a traditional landline system. Further, they are way easier to set up, even for people who are not tech-savvy. If you can plug in some key components and can navigate through basic software settings, then that is all you need to install VoIP service. Remember to make sure that you have fast enough internet connection to support a VoIP phone service.