When you decide to switch your business over to VoiP, there’s a lot of planning to do. In our last blog, we looked at some general tips for making the switch to VoiP and the importance of budgeting several months to get the job done. This time, we’ll take a closer look at getting the right hardware and passing the PAS test to make sure your system works correctly.
Figuring Out Your Network Infrastructure
A crucial step in getting everything together is determining your network infrastructure and the hardware needed to create it. You’ll most importantly want to determine whether your infrastructure can handle new tech that will allow you to bolster voice quality from your current capacity. As an example, traffic shaping and virtual LAN systems can use relatively low bandwidth while making sure vocal quality is a priority.
Power and Switching
Power and switching makes up the PAS test, which is crucial to pass before fully instigating VoiP across the board. It’s important to make sure all existing desktop phones are capable of both power and switching or you’ll have to upgrade.
Phones also need to be powered via Ethernet connection and have LAN switch ports built into the sides. With a working LAN port, phones can work both as an IP phone and a PC phone. You’ll also need to look at the bandwidth supported by the phone. If you’re running a large company and need lots of bandwidth to make this switch, check the phones to make sure they’re capable.
Another option when considering hardware is to set up softphones. Perhaps not for every employee, but for those who work remotely, travel frequently, or are just a little more tech-savvy than most. A softphone doesn’t require you to buy an IP phone or any external hardware. It’s simply a program on your computer with a phone-like appearance. You can attach a headset to a desktop or laptop and use it normally. With a softphone setup, you’re not as limited. Likely many companies in the future will be ditching phone hardware entirely for a fully digital approach like this.