VoIP Phone Systems Guide
VoIP Phone System
If you are looking at VoIP phone systems then you might be feeling a little lost at the shear volume of suppliers and options available to you. Saffwood Communications in Warrington is a specialist supplier of VoIP phone systems for business, and we'll help give you the options to make the right decision/
As Saffwood is a specialist provider of hosted VoIP phone systems, we'll makes sure you get the right VoIP phone system for your business, whether it's a large call centre, a small family business, or a home office. Our VoIP phone systems only use tier 1 carriers to ensure that you get the best possible quality regardless of your buying power.
All of the VoIP Phone Systems we carry are feature-rich and offer un-compromised functionality, flexibility, cost savings as well as advanced features that substantially improve productivity. They even work with most available VoIP Phones! And every VoIP Phone System VoIP Supply offers is fully warranted and supported by our team of in-house experts so you don’t have to worry about your VoIP Phone System.
The VoIP phone system which we offer is an enterprise level system which is packed with free premium features which ensures you get the service you need as well as being able to reduce your call charges at the same time. With a wide variety of VoIP phones available, you can choose the solution and service which best suits your needs. With UK (Warrington) based customer care and technical support, we ensure that when you need us, you speak to an expert whi can instantly resolve your query. For more information of hosted VoIP phone systems browse or websites or click the link.
- What you need for VoIP
- VoIP Requirements
- VoIP phone system overview
- Rolling out your VoIP phone system
- Tips for a VoIP system
- VoIP business buyers guide
VoIP phone system - what you need to know
There are many aspects to a VoIP phone system, starting with what you require as a business, what supplier you use, what services they are able to offer to you - in many respects VoIP can seem like a bit of a puzzle.
Making sure that you clearly understand what you need from your VoIP system is vital in ensuring that your supplier is able to give you what you need. It's better to plan and engage early with a VoIP provider which as Saffwood in Warrington so that you are getting the expert support you may need early on.
There is nothing more frustrating and damaging to a business then getting to the end of a procurement process and realising you have missed something fundemental which is may not be available through your provider or costs a huge amount of money to implement. These revelations can cost businesses thousands of pounds to put right and could lead to loss of business if you VoIP phone system is relied upon for inbound sales calls.
Getting a VoIP phone system rolled out with minimal effort is a not difficult for the professionals to acheive. Making sure you choose the right business to help you reach your goals requires a little understanding of VoIP and phone systems
Before you go on your way towards searching for the hardware and services that are perfect for your situation, the following is a quick list of VoIP requirements that will help to make sure that you have all of the pieces you need to successfully deploy VoIP.
Most businesses looking for a VoIP solution dive right in at the hardware section as it tends to be the most exciting. But before looking at VoIP enabled phones and applications, it's worth reading through this guide in full.
VoIP phone systems - what are the requirements?
Requirements for VoIP phone services
Can my local are network (internet connection) support a VoIP phone system?
Ensuring that you consider your broadband when looking at an VoIP phone system is potentially one of the most important steps. It's a common myth that you need a super fast broadband connection for VoIP to work; that's not the case. However to ensure that you get the most out of your VoIP solution, whether it's a full system or a single IP phone, checking your broadband reliability is important. You can check your current speeds and check faster connections with a broadband speed test on our site.
No matter how fast or slow your broadband connection is, what you use your internet connection for is going to be a factor. For general browsing and emails for a standard 5 - 8 seat office would be unlikely to effect your VoIP phone system. However if you were a web design company uploading large files to websites and FTP servers, then you would want to consider having a seperate internet connection for your VoIP phone system so that your uploaded does not effect the service. You can check other broadband connections with our broadband rates to see what is available.I'd like to know more about what bandwidth I need for VoIP
There is a simple way to calculate how many phone calls your broadband connection can handle. Firsly check your broadband speeds. Once you have done this, times your upload speed by 1000, then divide this numbe by 85. For example, an upload speed of 0.9MB times 1000 is 900. Divided by 85 this is 10.5. The figure of 10.5 is the maximum number of calls your line can handle before you factor in that broadband speeds are variable and what you use the internet for.
Some VoIP phone system providers can compress the voice packet with larger solutions. This means that the amount of bandwidth used to make a call is reduced (typically down to about 35K with compression VoIP codecs). Whilst voice compression may sound the sensible way to go, it's worth noting that when you compress a voice packet, if some of that is lost, then a great proportion of the call is lost. In most planned cases, voice compression is not required.
ISP's are not gearing towards providing dedicted traffic balancing (prioritising traffic) for VoIP. They can do this as a VoIP call as a special digital signature that identifies this. Your ISP should be able to prioritise the calls made from your VoIP phone system above standard browsing requests, so make sure you ask them if they can do this.Choosing the right package based on your calling habits
It's a common misconception that calls made from a VoIP system are free. If this was the case, most businesses such as BT would be out of business! It's true however that VoIP calls are substantially cheaper due to billing durations and lower or zero connections charges.
For companies that make international calls, there are huge cost savings available. To understand why there are such large cost savings we need to breifly look at SIP. SIP carriers are the method in which VoIP calls get from where they started to where they are going. When you make a phone call from a traditional telephone, the call is routed down your phone line to an exchange. From there it gets routed over copper wires in the ground until the call arrives at the destination and the telephone rings. With SIP carriers it's slightly different. When the call hits the local exchange, it get's passed to SIP carriers who relay the connection via the ISP's. This means that for overseas calls, the call does not route through more expensive analogue carriers and is routed to the closest exchange to the destination.
With a VoIP phone, or phone system, you will always have a standard analogue or PSTN telephone. This is because you will need the phone line to carry the broadband connection. This is due to the fact that in the UK, there are still no options for a broadband only connection. This does have an advantage that if your internet was to go down, you would be able (with the right supplier) to failover to your landline or mobile. This is often referred to as redundancyMore about if your internet goes down
Once of the biggest concerns that businesses have about VoIP phone systems is what if the internet goes down? Your supplier should be prepared for this. Saffwood Communications who operated from Warrington, with a nationwide reach, has invested large quantities into failover and redundancy to help you manage this situation.
There are two aspects to redundancy, premise based (IE what happens to your VoIP system if your internet goes down), and supplier based (what happens if your supplier has a problem).
The first to look at is the easier to manage: your internet connection going down. If this happens then you would lose connection to the data centre and your VoIP phone system would not be able to make calls. It can still route calls in as the software is cloud based, but couldn't connect them to your phones as they have no internet connection. In this scenario, Saffwood Communications servers would detect your VoIP system as unregistered and would point all calls to another destination. We can route calls to up to 7 lines including standard landlines, VoIP lines and mobiles. This allows you to keep doing businesses until the internet issue is resolved.
The second element, and this is the part where you really need to do some homework, is: what if my VoIP supplier has an issue. Saffwood has a data presence in 6 UK data centres where wer house are equipment which makes our VoIP business run. If one data centre was to crash, or the hardware developed a fault, then Saffwood is able to failover to other data centres and equipment to ensure continuation of service. To be able to do this costs substantial amounts of money to setup and maintain. Many VoIP suppliers, or analogue providers trying to enter the VoIP phone system market, will not make this investment. This is done to keep costs low for them at the risk of your business.I've heared of premised based and hosted VoIP systems. What's the difference?
Just as every company has different requirements, so does VoIP offer different "flavours" of the same thing.Premise based VoIP phone systems
A premised based VoIP phone system is where the brains of the system, the VoIP PBX is still on site. The main benefit of this is that hosting your own solution means that the costs are slightly less due to not having, in many cases, to pay a line rental (or a very low line rental). The major downside to having an onsite system is that you need a company to maintain it. If the PBX breaks or you develop some form of fault, then you need a maintainer to rush to site and fix the problem. To have have this insurance contract can be costly, and may only cover you for repair, not replacement. Youwill also need to buy your PBX and install it, which is typically around the £1,500 mark.
With an onsite system you are also restricted as to where you can use the system. As it's onsite, you cannot use the system from home or other offices. Also, you would be required to setup security measures to ensure that no one can access your PBX and use it to make phone calls.Hosted VoIP phone systems
A hosted VoIP phone system is where the PBX is hosted by your supplier, in this case Saffwood in Warrington. Where there is often no line rental to pay with premise systems, there is a small line rental charge with any supplier. The significant advantages are that you have someone who has invested the money to make there system outstanding. With a hosted VoIP phone system you can plug a handset in anywhere and be part of the system. Your system is also protected (or should be!) behind firewalls to ensure that it is secure. There is also no need for a maintainer as there is no PBX onsite so the cost for this is lower./
Having decided whether you want a premised based or hosted VoIP phone system then your next port of call is to settle on a provider. This is vital as they can make or break your business based on how established and invested they are.Hosted VoIP Supplier - calling rates
The price that VoIP phone systems offer is typically lower than traditional ISDN phone systems. This is because they offer lower calling rates with typically no connection charges (be careful, some still do!) and bill per second not per minute. You are able to save hundreds of pounds a year just by dropping your connection charges. You can see what you would save with our call connection calculator.
Routing via SIP is vital with suppliers. As highlighted, when a call is made it goes from your local exchange to a SIP carrier, then to the nearest exchange to the destination point. What should happen with reputable suppliers is that a call which is UK to UK for example, is that the carriers used are UK only. Carriers who have poor quality service would route this call overseas first (typically Pakistan) then back into the UK as this is cheaper. Avoid these VoIP phone sytem suppliers at all costs
As well as calling rates, you need to ensure that your supplier is able to give you total up time and security. This was addressed earlier on this webpage. Be wary of suppliers who offer low rental charge (£1.00) as they are often the ones who have poor infrastructure and use cheap routesVoIP Equipment Choices
Choosing the right handsets, if you need handsets (we'll come to that) is important to ensure that it's fit for purpose. There are literally hundreds of brands and thousands of models available. So how do you choose which is the right type of handset for you. To start with, do you need handsets? If you are a call centre type operation with a high volume of users, then a VoIP softphone might be the best option as there is no cost for download. If you are an office environment, then a deskphone would be the advisable course of action. These phones have hotkey buttons such as call pick up, call transfer, voicemail and more. They make day to day office running far more user friendly.How much is it going to cost for a VoIP phone system?
You will find that prices for VoIP solutions vary widely since there are so many different ways to deploy VoIP.
Prices for a hosted VoIP phone system is very low. The only equipment that is required is a handset (if you want one), potentially a new router and you are good to start making and taking calls. The most common phone that Saffwood in Warrington offers is only £60 as a one off charge. You can get an instant VoIP quote.
With hosted VoIP phone systems the cost in this case is very low for you to get setup. As the expensive investments have been made by Saffwood you are able to get a high level phone system without having to spend huge sums of money.How quickly will I see a return on this investment
As the setup prices will be very low, you should see an ROI from a hosted VoIP phone system very quickly. If you get a phone bill breaking down call costs and charges and send this to the Warrington office for Saffwood, then we will be able to tell you how quickly the system will pay for itself. Remember, handsets are from only £60 each!Final thoughts regarding VoIP phone systems in this section
As you can see there are many factors that come into play when choosing a VoIP phone system and a provider. The most imporant thing that we can suggest is that you engaged with us early. By sharing your plans and your requirements, it ensures that we are able to use out expertise to guide you to making the right decision for you and your business.
If you have a VoIP phone system or service requirement you can contact the Warrington sales office on 0845 241 1008