10 things your fixed line provider doesn’t want you to know
A month is a long time in a field as dynamic as telecommunications. Every month we see more businesses installing VoIP solutions, some more successfully than others. Explanations from traditional carriers about why they don’t offer VoIP are hard to find.
Here are the Ten Secrets about implementing VoIP, that both VoIP and traditional carriers don’t want you to know.
1. Businesses who implemented VoIP are successfully reaping the awards financially and competitively. They don’t want to share with the rest of the industry how they did it “right” because they want to stay ahead of the game.
2. You can keep your existing advertised telephone numbers while migrating to VoIP. The big scare about losing your current advertised numbers if you want to switch to VoIP is created by the traditional carriers in attempt to hold on to your business. Another source of the same misunderstanding is the earlier model of VoIP provisioning – few years ago when VoIP was adopted by home users only for calling relatives overseas, number porting was not an option.
3. Fax Over IP can save you even more. As the awareness of VoIP propagates, VoIP fax is not getting its fair share of the limelight even though it is a great way to get rid of additional charges traditional carriers bill for the fax lines and transmissions. VoIP providers do not promote fax over VoIP as much as the voice services because it is still work-in-progress and can complicate otherwise well-polished implementation. Plan fax implementation as a stage two of the overall project to avoid disappointment.
4. If you travel overseas you VoIP account will come with you, saving you from international mobile bills back home. All you need is a soft phone on your laptop (free from the Internet) and you VoIP account number. Plug your laptop anywhere where there is a broadband connectivity, wired or wireless and call back home at a cost of a local call in Australia (usually about 10 cents per untimed call).
5. You can negotiate almost anything with a VoIP supplier. As you may remember, few months ago a large telco changed their billing period for national and timed local calls from per second to per 30 second billing. That means a 2 seconds call now costs you as much as a half-minute call and there is nothing you can do about it. VoIP suppliers will offer you fully flexible billing options. You can negotiate a billing interval to be anything from 1 second to 10 minutes, as well no flag fall option for calls to mobile and international calls.
6. You won’t be locked into a lengthy contract with a VoIP supplier. As we all know traditional carriers routinely put a 12-36 months contract in front of you to sign. VoIP suppliers will only do that if you are buying a data link as a part of the provisioning. If you want to give VoIP a try over your existing Internet link, you stay while you are happy. If the quality or service you receive is not up to your expectations – you are free to stop using the service any time.
7. Icing on the VoIP cake – extra services at no extra cost. With Telstra’s PSTN services we are used to paying a little extra for features such as Caller ID, Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, Message Bank, etc. Each of them would attract a fee of about $5 per month that all added up. With VoIP all these features are standard and don’t cost you any extra, or minimal extra.
8. Your VoIP service is only as reliable as your Internet connection. Every business manager considering VoIP implementation for their business is concerned about quality of voice. But the fact is the single biggest factor affecting voice quality is the connection utilised for the VoIP service. This is particularly important consideration if your premises is in a regional area. If you cannot dedicate a separate link to your VoIP service and trying to share your Internet connection with VoIP the chances are you will experience occasional quality of voice degradation as well as potential downtimes associated with ADSL reliability.
9. Keep back-up infrastructure. Yes VoIP is cost-effective, flexible and simply cool, forward technology. But putting all you communications eggs in VoIP basket can be risky for a large site. All it takes to maintain peace of mind is a couple of PSTN lines or an ISDN/On-Ramp service with seamless failover capability on your VoIP gateway.
10. VoIP is the future. It is here to stay. Whether you migrate across today or tomorrow, you will be talking over VoIP within the following five years. People who take risk on new technology earlier in the game may get a few bumps along the way but they are handsomely rewarded for it.