What is VoIP?
Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP has pretty much become an ubiquitous feature of every workplace, especially in the wake of the recent pandemic. VoIP is the technology that enables users to place phone calls using the Internet. The voice calls leverage a network of IP addresses that are used to identify a host of computers, smartphones and other devices connected to the Internet that can all communicate with each other. VoIP solutions are built on decades of open standards that enable it to work on any computing device as long as it can connect to the Internet. Most VoIP solutions are free to use for starter packages and pretty economical for paid packages. This is why many consider VoIP solutions to be a cost-effective alternative to the local telephone company, especially to handle large volumes of phone calls. However, the full offering of VoIP technology extends beyond allowing people to make phone calls. It is also used to route outgoing and incoming calls through current telephone networks. Landlines and cell phones typically use the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Since phone calls are dependent on analog lines to transmit voice signals, they need extra wiring to enable phone calls. This is why many companies need to use specialized hardware, known as a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) for enterprise phone service. This enables the company’s internal phone lines to connect to the public telephone network. Setting up PBX systems involves high upfront costs and steep maintenance costs.
In contrast, a VoIP system like VoIP Business Phone Solutions is much easier to set up and manage. The service provider essentially does the hard work and all users have to do is to connect their IP phones or computers and they are set. The VoIP system leverages high-speed internet connection in digital phones to enable connectivity. This proves more accessible to businesses as nearly all businesses have access to high-speed internet. The VoIP system converts phone calls to data packets transmitted over the internet. Companies are free to choose if they want to use Ethernet cables for Internet connection or have access to a reliable Wi-Fi signal. Since the only critical requirement to establish VoIP systems is to have access to high-speed Internet, companies often find it cheaper to deploy and maintain these systems over traditional phone lines.
Top 5 Ways to Prevent and Minimize Downtimes with VoIP Systems
Get the Right VoIP Provider
Reliability should be any company’s number one consideration when it comes to choosing the right VoIP phone provider, apart from meeting all necessary technical and business requirements. The service provider should be able to support your business even in cases where there is an unexpected and protracted power outage. They should have adequate backup systems in place to minimize downtimes. You should also check if they have adequate security policies in place that can effectively complement the security policies at your organization. Finally, the cloud provider must host your VoIP systems from safe locations that remain accessible at all times. To find the most reliable VoIP service provider in your area, please check IT Support Lafayette.
Make Use of Automatic Call Forwarding and Failover Routing
In order to minimize VoIP downtime, businesses can choose to simply forward incoming calls to different locations or devices. With Automatic Call Forwarding, the calls directly get routed to offices and employees in other locations or mobile devices. This ensures that you don’t miss any calls if/ when the main VoIP phone system is down due to an outage or disaster. Businesses can also choose to set up call forwarding with a number of failover rules for individual lines, if necessary.
Make use of VoIP Monitoring Services
If your business absolutely cannot afford to have phone downtimes and your customer experience depends on it, it may be a good idea for businesses to invest in a third-party VoIP monitoring service. The purpose of this service is to continuously check on the status of your VoIP phone system. It enables companies to detect issues in VoIP systems proactively, so potential network problems can be dealt with or prepared for before they have a chance to disrupt the phone lines. Continuous monitoring of VoIP systems also results in quicker troubleshooting of issues and keeping users informed of any issues to minimize the potential for disruption. For more information on this, please refer to IT consulting New Orleans.
Make use of sequential call forwarding and simultaneous ringing
Sequential call forwarding and simultaneous ringing features enable users to forward calls to different locations if necessary. Using these features can be a good strategy for businesses to reduce VoIP downtimes. As the name suggests, simultaneous ringing allows users to receive incoming calls on multiple phones with one number. With sequential forwarding, companies can use a set list of numbers where calls are automatically forwarded to another number on the list when the first line is busy. If the main VoIP system is down for some reason, businesses still do not miss out on incoming calls as they are routed and forwarded to other lines in various locations.
Always invest in a Backup ISP
Since Internet connectivity forms the backbone of all enterprise VoIP systems, it is a good idea for companies to invest in backup WAN providers to protect phone systems from internet outages. A low-latency connection is critical for VoIP services and broadband is the best option. Companies can also use a backup high-speed wireless service provider, or invest in cellular connectivity using 4G LTE or 5G.