Hosted VoIP Phone Systems For Home & Small Businesses

VoIP phone systems have significant advantages for businesses of any size. For home and small businesses there are huge advantages to this service due to the low setup cost and the ability to harness big business features.

To ensure the success of a Hosted VoIP phone system for a home office or small businesses, there are certain checks and balances that must be attested to. In this blog post we cover what these checks are:

1) Internet Speed – Internet speed is an important check for any businesses looking to implements a hosted VoIP phone system. We reccomend your first port of call is an independent speed checking site such as www.speedtest.net. A speed test from this site will show you three things:

  1. Ping – also known as latency. This is important to a hosted VoIP phone system as it will ensure there is no delay on the voice being transmitted down the line (no delays). Anything below 50MS of ping on an ADSL or ADSL 2 broadband connection is excellent. In Warrington, the ping speeds for ADSL are typically 35 – 50MS. As such, Warrington enjoys great VoIP coverage.
  2. Download Speed – Download speed is the lesser important speed (see point 3). The national average for ADSL connections is 8.9MB down. In Warrington this is 12.2MB.
  3. Upload Speed – This is the most important factor for an Hosted VoIP Phone System service. As this is typically the lower of the two speeds, we work of this figure as to capacity. The average upload speed for an ADSL broadband connection is 0.8MB. In Warrington this is 0.92MB.

So how do all the above numbers effect VoIP?

As mentioned, Ping is important as it means there will be no delay on the line. Anything less than 50MS of Ping is excellent for ADSL.

Upload and download speeds, or bandwidth, ensure there is enough bandwidth on the line for the VoIP phone system to make or receive calls. A VoIP call uses 0.85K or bandwidth (both up and down). Ther are 100K to 1MB. So if you have an upload speed of 0.8MB (800K) you could make just over 9 calls at once.

What we factor into this are the facts that broadband speeds are variable (IE the speed can go up and down a little) and that in may cases, the broadband line is used for data too (general browsing and emails).

For home workers, having a single line with broadband on it is the typical scenario. As such we just advise that no large files are uploaded to FTP sites whilst you are on a call. All general browsing and emailing will not effect the service.

The biggest challenge facing home workers is their advertised telephone being on the same line as the broadband. Most businesses will not want to have to advertise a new phone number, thus they will want to port their number into the hosted VoIP phone system. When a number is ported to VoIP, the analogue line (the BT line) which it is on will go dead. For standalone phone lines this is not a problem. For home workers with a single line with broadband, this would not work as the line dropping will terminate the broadband.

To make a hosted VoIP phone system work in this scenario, there are 2 options:

  1. Have a new line installed free of charge with broadband on it (talk talk business do this free with unlimite broadband and line rental for only £18.50). We then setup the VoIP phone system off this line, and port in the number from the other.
  2. Where this is not possible, or existing contracts prevent it, a call forward option will work. We setup a direct dial number on the VoIP phone system which all calls to the analogue number are permanently diverted. To avoid a call charge between the analogue line and the VoIP phone system, an inclusive local call bundle is reccomended. This means that even if 50 calls were made to the advertised analogue line at the same tine, all calls would be forwarded to the VoIP phone system which would then handle and queue these.

For small businesses with more than one line, if the advertised number is on the same line as the broadband, the simplest solution is to move the broadband to another line, then port the number into the VoIP phone system. As this does not cease the broadband contract with the broadband provider, suppliers are happy to do this FOC (they may ask to start the contract again).

For home and small businesses, VoIP phone systems offer advantages in regards ot functionality (what the VoIP phone system can do) – but also appearance.

Helping Smaller Business Appear BIGGER

It’s a well known fact that prospective customer prefer to deal with business that are more established. In a business world where looks matter, customers calling a home number that results in a no answer, a supplier answer service (such as BT answer 1571) or an engaged tone will cost you new business.

With a hosted VoIP phone system, you can appear more professional, and ensure that you don’t miss your important calls.

Looking More Professional

We have two common services with our VoIP phone system which allow businesses to look bigger and be more professional:

  1. Call Queue – An inbound telephone queuing system has a pre-connection greeting which will welcome customers to the business. Once the greeting has played, the call will then be routed to any available extensions assigned to the queue. If the all lines are busy, the VoIP telephone queuing system will annouce that the call has been placed on hold, and the callers position in the queue. The position will be periodically announced. When a line becomes available, the queue will put the caller though and whisper to the person answering the callers hold time. At any time on hold, the caller can press 1 to be put through to voicemail.
  2. IVR – this can be placed in front of a VoIP queue, and will still supply a pre-connection greeting. This greeting is then followed by a series of options (these can be anything): Press 1 for Sales, 2 for Service (etc). Once the caller makes a selected, the call is passed to a queue (with no greeting this time) ready to be connection to any phone on the VoIP phone system.

These two services ensure that businesses of any size can compete and look professional for very little in the way of monthly spend.

 

About

Saffwood Communications is a Hosted Telephony provider to businesses. We specialise in SIP and VoIP. Our aim is to support businesses using outdated systems such as PSTN multiline and ISDN to move onto modern, robust telephony platforms. We support business of any size and are fanatical about customer care

Posted in Auto Attendant, Hosted Telephony, telephone queuing system, VoIP, VoIP Phone Sysetm, Warrington

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: