One of the questions I get a lot is : when I buy a VOICE OVER IP system , do I have to upgrade my network ? The answer is a not so simple yes ! And the reason is in the cabling ! But it also helps your computers to be stable and less prone to stopping and a lot of other possible headaches ! On the other hand , If your office is already upgraded then you may just need to maintain and add for new users !
This is a very simplified document to get you started ! Here are some simple points to get you started and we will be adding to this as time goes on to give you more answers ! Feel free to ask or comment below !!
Today almost every office has some sort of a data network , cables to the computers , and probably wireless networking as well ( We also sell wireless equipment and single and multi button telephones too ! ) ! But for those who have not been able to upgrade your network , there are a LOT of very simple choices out there ! Networking equipment today is very easy to set up and can be installed , as in a few changes to customize your site , and out of the box , maybe set up a few site settings , and away you go ! But as you get larger in your business , more people and more equipment = more time and money !
A VOIP Telephone acts just like your computers today working on your data network ! We can do some modifications to maybe keep the data away from your voice if necessary or keep you from getting strange Darth Vader like sounds ( Hope Hollywood is not watching ) or periods of silence / missing audio on your conversations ! The Telephones use the network to talk to a VOIP Telephone system on your network !
Pretty simple !!
As far as your network is concerned :
What do you do ?
Keep on buying new and upgraded equipment ?
Year after year buying new technology ?
Software upgrades all of the time ?
Add other types of equipment into my network but I have to manage many pieces ?
More money ?
The secret here is to do your planning and do it well first ! You can buy some decent low cost to high cost equipment today and expand with very limited or no cost at all ( maybe wiring ) ! We sell a lot of data switch components to companies and then go back a year later and sell them the very same components to add on new people or computers and Telephones etc. ! Trying to stay with the same products is a very important choice so when you expand , you know exactly what you will get ( Maintaining several different products can be tough , AND very costly ! ) ! So , there are certain basic technical qualifications or a need for Networked switches that most already have built in ! When you review equipment just look at what it can do ! You don't have to be a techie ( Like Us and talk like this every day ) ! Just a few minutes to look and as you go on get an understanding of how it works ! No need for a 4 year degree either - Yet !
Kidding of course !
Basic switches ( A device that connects you to the network ) : Network Switches can be linked or stacked together in some cases saving a lot of money in the future for a low priced Layer 2 ( standard network 101 ) switch and just add another , plug into your router and away you go ! Making sure your router can handle all of your users - Basic Routers ( Boxes that send the Internet traffic out over the internet and talk to your computers in your own personal network ) ! The router is mostly for your outbound connections to the internet but also used for a few other reasons like a firewall and more ( Later ) ! You will need to have a decent amount of bandwidth ( from your local provider like ATT Comcast Verizon etc. ) if your people need to go out and " surf " or use the internet for business ! A lot of businesses use the internet for research and investigation etc. This is very important as you do NOT want to have slow or no connections etc. Price points are important as you can get decent packages from providers ! We know a few also if you need some assistance !
FYI : Some smaller routers can do both by connecting you to your own personal inside network AND outside to the Internet ! Depending on the size of the business , you may be able to get a router and plug in all of your people or maybe a small switch to plug into your router and add a few more people ! Many choices here so do not think that it will cost you a fortune !
The purchase of a VOIP system is not that complicated and is pretty simple ! It goes on your network just like a server or another computer ! Put an ip address on it , maybe a few other changes , and away you go ! Most systems today are standard network type devices so you get a whole lot of features via software programs instead of the old fashioned system that hangs on the wall with its own set of wires ! As robust as they are they can do so much like voicemail to email off site calling voicemail via email remote telephones ( Teleworkers - Working form home type set ups etc. ) network functions and a whole lot more ! Most companies will prob use a small set of features and will be unique to your business but other businesses will use a different set of features ! Systems can either be a unit you purchase or a PC at your office ! Windows 10 pro , or a Server 2008 or above or even VMware platforms ! Simple to complex and easy to manage ! SIP trunks or standard telephone lines like analog line sor PRI type circuits also !
Telephones , can in some cases , now be used on different phone systems so you can now find a favorite telephone you like and in most cases take it to another phone system ! Check with the PBX Company first as they are now becoming very interchangeable in terms of buying a Grandstream telephone for say 40 dollars or a Sangoma or Polycom low or high end Telephone , and install it on a 3CX , Cisco or a Grandstream or other type of PBX ! Lots of great choices today ! You get the idea !! We'll leave the rest of getting it programmed correctly for later ! Its really that easy as it uses SIP type technology and your existing or new Data Cabling like Category 5 or 6 cable ( Cat 5 or Cat 6 = Speed the cable can make the traffic on the network go faster ) . A recommendation today is to cable for Cat 6 or Cat 6A as it is the fastest cable today but it is a bit more expensive than a Cat 5 or a 5E type
What are these Cat 5 or Cat 6 cable types you speak about ?
So recap :
Do some homework and check out the best equipment for you and your business !
Look at your business first as to how many users computers or other devices like faxes or servers etc. that you may need ( You can book an appointment on our website and we would be more than glad to talk to you and give you some tips for free too ! ) . Also , what kind of answering strategy do you need for answering calls ? Voicemail auto attendant options as well !
Next count out the locations for new or even older data type cat 5 Industry standard cabling for your computers ! You can even add/connect a telephone onto the network data cable along with your computer ! Telephone systems and phones can run on the very same cable as your computers do . This way you can use one cable and connect your pc into the back of your phone and save on wire and cabling costs ! A great feature !! No need for all that extra wiring !
Do you need a lot of bandwidth for going out into the internet ? Do your folks need to use the internet or just connect to your computers / servers inside the office ?
Also , Your router should have a built in firewall capable of being able to do some heavy duty blocking ( Standard today ) if necessary ! You do NOT want anyone to be able to get into your network , even tho you have anti virus and adware blocking , and a dozen more programs for protection running on your pc's ( Another joke but still sort of serious ) ! Intruders will go through your network and find valuable things to either steal or blackmail you !
Firewalls are good !!
Just remember that everything has a price but you can keep it simple and just wire for your existing and maybe other extras and leave the confusion out of it ! It really is very simple and we can help assist or get you started if necessary ! We have done projects up to and over 5000 cables and telephones !!
Good luck and let us know if we can be of any assistance !