VoIP Guide Part 1 : Beginners guide to getting up and running with VoIP

This is a the first part of a series of VoIP Guides, to try and help in a non technical way, as to why VoIP can help your small business.  Using some examples we have come accross with our clients who have made the switch to VoIP for their small businesses, hopefully we can provide some food for thought and ideally save you some money ! Whilst we mention small business, this is applicable whether you are a sole trader, partnership, SME, or larger organisation.

small-old-fashioned-telephoneTraditionally, most businesses, no matter how small, will use a telephone system for making and receiving calls. This will most likely start off as a simple landline where you can make or receive one call at a time, progressing through to multiple lines and extra features as your business grows.

Once your business telephony requirements get to a certain point, there is typically a need to install hardware on site (a PBX) to give you all the functionality that your business needs. As well as the actual PBX system, there will be wiring extensions for staff, ensuring there is sufficient space, backup power supplies, handsets etc.  This can be quite a costly investment, especially if you have muliple business premises.

These hardware based PBX systems can be quite complicated in their operation, which can lead to costly monthly maintenance agreements if you do not have the expertise in-house. As the PBX forms a vital part of your business, if there are problems, you will probably need an engineer to deal with any issues resulting in call out and support charges.

But the times they are a changin’ as a someone once mentioned…..

VoIP is an acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol, or in more simple terms, a voice telephone service running over the Internet.

small-new-telephone-handsetMost VoIP telephony service providers will offer a hosted VoIP PBX for your business. All of the necessary equipment is provided by the VoIP supplier and is their responsibility, you just rent the service – all your business needs is a reliable, stable connection to the internet to make use of the service.   This saves a huge financial investment to your business !

The VoIP software on your VoIP PBX defines how your telephone system operates, normally this is accessed via a web browser so that both you and your provider can make any changes when required, on the fly, with no need to visit your business premises.

This is one of the major benefits of VoIP is that your telephony system can be changed to suit your business requirements, allowing more functionality as your needs grow or change without being tied to long leases and expensive hardware. Most changes can be done instantly, with very little or no extra cost to introduce new functionality.

A real life example from one of our customers who made the switch to VoIP

One of our clients made the move to VoIP, mainly brought about by an office move from London to Hampshire.  Hightrees Organisation examined their monthly billing for both their hardware PBX as well as their call charges to provide a like for like setup using a VoIP PBX (some added functionality was included as standard with our VoIP PBX which wasn’t available on their old system without extra fees!)

“Traditional” PBX Monthly Costs

  • BT Service Charge – £76.00
  • PBX Hardware Rental  – £82.00
  • Average Call Charges – £64.66

by moving their telephony to Hightrees VoIP PBX, the monthly costs worked out at

  • PBX service and ported numbers – £43.99
  • Average Call Charges – £20.88

A saving of £158 over the old style telephony system !

Interested in finding out how can you move to VoIP ? Get in touch