Posted on Tue, Dec 1, 2015 @ 10:30 AM by Carlos Lahrssen
Some of the most common questions business decision-makers have when considering VoIP deal with how business size affects system setup. Is there a “sweet spot” for VoIP, and do businesses benefit more from switching to VoIP at certain growth stages?
To address the big question in this article, no, business size does not generally affect the setup of VoIP phone systems. These technologies are very flexible and can fit the needs of small startup businesses and major enterprises alike. However, while these systems will function the same in various organizations, regardless of business size or configuration, there are some situations in which a business can benefit greater than others.
As we’ve discussed previously, timing and projected growth are all things to consider when setting up a VoIP phone system. Naturally, transitioning from conventional phone lines to VoIP phone systems is easier for smaller businesses and teams. A team of 15 will have less difficulty transitioning than a team of 50; that said, the actual installation and starting up systems will be the same in either case. Hooking up VoIP phone systems is as easy as flipping a switch - if you have a reliable Internet connection, you’re ready for VoIP whenever you decide to make the switch.
Getting the Most Out of VoIP
While business size will not have any great effect on VoIP phone system setup, there are some circumstances in which making the switch provides greater benefits than others. These include:
- If you’re opening a new branch or expanding your current facilities. This can be an exciting time of change, and provides a great opportunity to equip new offices, as well as old ones, with VoIP phone systems instead of traditional lines.
- If you have a highly mobile team that requires smartphone and tablet integration (functionality in and out of the office)
- If you’re moving office locations (such as to a larger office that can fit your growing team). You’ve already disconnected conventional phone service in one office - this is a perfect time to switch to VoIP phone systems, which are well-suited for growth.
Although business size itself does not affect how well VoIP phone systems can be integrated, the sooner you make the switch, the greater you’ll likely benefit from the switch. Traditional phone systems may actually be costing your business.
The Importance of Bandwidth
The only real limiting factor to VoIP setup is bandwidth. As VoIP phone lines operate entirely on the cloud, you’ll need enough bandwidth to accommodate the amount of lines (or extensions) your business requires.
On average, a standard phone call over VoIP phone systems will take up 0.085 Mbps of bandwidth. If your business Internet service currently provides 5 Mbps upload/download speed, this means you can handle a whopping 55-58 or so simultaneous calls. Of course, you will also have to factor in how much bandwidth computers, tablets and other systems take up, but you should still have plenty of room for VoIP systems.
The larger your business or call center is, the more bandwidth you’ll need to support VoIP phone systems in addition to everyday file transfers and Internet activity. To get the most out of your bandwidth, consider using compression codecs to shrink the amount of bandwidth each individual VoIP phone call takes.
In broad terms, the size of your business will not affect how smoothly VoIP phone systems are set up in your offices; it’s your anticipated future growth (how fast you plan on scaling your business), in addition to bandwidth, that you need to be wary of.