Modern businesses have a variety of options when it comes to telephone installation, and regardless of the type of system you install, business phone systems can be complicated. They often involve a variety of users, user types, and functionalities.
In the past, most businesses only used traditional analog or digital landlines. While these systems were reliable, they were typically expensive and complicated to install. Traditional systems often work well for small businesses that only need one landline, but the vast majority of businesses need something a bit more sophisticated. Today, many opt to install voice over internet protocol (VoIP) telephone systems.
What is VoIP?
Rather than using a traditional phone landline, VoIP systems allow users to make and receive calls using their internet connection. VoIP can work with onsite hosting and storage or with hosting on the cloud.
VoIP is a popular choice for many because it’s cost-effective and it provides a wide variety of features that are either not available or are costly on landlines. Another reason many companies opt for VoIP systems is that it’s more flexible, allowing employees to make phone calls from anywhere. This is particularly important for companies whose employees work remotely.
What Features Can I Install on a VoIP System?
Some features you can take advantage of with VoIP include extensions, ring groups, auto attendants, voicemail to email, forwarding, and call recording.
- Extensions are numbers people can enter to be directed straight to a specific person or department.
- Ring groups are a group of numbers that ring together after an extension is dialed. For example, every phone in the customer service department might be part of one ring group.
- Auto attendants are virtual receptionists that play a pre-recorded message for callers. They also present a menu of options callers can choose from to direct their call.
- Voicemail to email sends voicemails straight to the intended recipient’s email. In some cases, they simply get a notification that they have an email, and in other cases, they receive the audio of the voicemail as an attachment in their email.
- Forwarding allows employees to send their calls to a different number, such as a colleague or a cell phone.
- Call recording records calls. They might be stored in the cloud or on onsite equipment.
Choosing the right features when you install your system can get you up and running smoothly. It’s possible to add or change features after installation as well. However, starting with an organized and well-planned system can help set your business up for success.
Installing VoIP for Business
In many cases, VoIP installation requires less physical installation than a landline, especially if you are already set up with the internet. When you work with an installer, you’ll need to make sure your internet has download and upload speeds that support VoIP, and you’ll need to choose what features you want to include in your system. Slower speeds may lead to poor call quality.
If you’re transferring from a different system to a VoIP system, employees can retain their existing phone numbers during setup and installation. You can also easily add and remove users once your system is set up.
Additionally, you can work with an installer to set up what happens when somebody calls your business. Consider consulting with employees to create a call flow map before installation. In many cases, callers will reach an auto attendant first, which will give them a menu of options to choose from. From there, they can be efficiently routed to the correct person or department via ring groups.
What Hardware Do I Need for Telephone Installation?
When installing a VoIP system, you also need to consider whether you want to use traditional telephones, softphones, or both. Traditional telephones, of course, will require manual installation. Softphones are apps or platforms employees can use to make phone calls; they work really well for remote employees. They’re also ideal for employees that need to do a lot of traveling. Each employee that needs to use a softphone can set that up on their own device.
You might also need to connect and configure additional devices, such as headsets, which are important for employees who spend much of their workday on the phone or for employees who need their hands free while talking. Headsets can work with traditional phones and softphones.
With VoIP systems that are connecting to an existing internet connection, you shouldn’t need any additional pieces of equipment.
Cloud-Based VoIP Telephone Installation
As more and more of our data moves to the cloud, some businesses are also opting to install cloud-based telephone systems. Data and information for the telephone system are stored in the cloud rather than at a physical location at your business.
Like a traditional VoIP system, you will need access to a reliable internet connection to install a cloud-based system. Much of the setup will be the same as well, including choosing features and installing phones. Provided you have a strong internet connection and ample cloud storage, the difference between an onsite hosted VoIP system and a cloud-based system won’t be very noticeable.
Why is Proper Telephone Installation Important?
If your phone lines aren’t installed correctly, it can mean big trouble for your business. Not only can it cause decreased efficiency among your employees, but it can also lead to decreased profit if your customers are having trouble getting through.
With modern VoIP systems, that most businesses today are installing, telephone installation doesn’t need to require a lot of manual labor. Little to no hardware is needed, and your employees can stay connected from anywhere they have an internet connection.