You’re considering — or maybe even decided — to embrace cloud technology for your phone solution.
Since you’re adding a new technology that will require all of your users to increase their internet usage, your circuits must be robust and capable of delivering service.
Failure to address the internet aspect of a hosted phone solution could cause poor audio quality or even drop the call altogether.
Having proper internet circuits is even more imperative when making video calls since you’ll need a stronger connection to support this bandwidth-heavy function.
Either way, we can’t stress enough the importance of examining your internet circuits when migrating to a hosted phone solution.
We understand your goal with the phone migration is to ultimately provide a better collaboration experience for your users, which means you need to talk about internet circuits.
What precisely about internet circuits do you need to look at as it relates to hosted phones? Some of the questions we encourage you to ask yourself include:
- Do you have enough bandwidth?
- What type of connection do you have?
- Have you looked into uptime and redundancy?
- What phone integrations do you need to consider?
- Do you need international availability?
You can use this article as a checklist to help you look at each component of your internet circuits as they relate to your hosted phone system.
Do You Have Enough Bandwidth?
When you have a cloud-hosted phone solution, bandwidth is of the utmost importance. You need enough of it to allow your users to connect to the phone system as well as other web-based applications and solutions.
However, remember that cloud solutions require about 5 Mbps per user, and video conferencing needs another 5 Mbps per user. This is in addition to all the other ways your users are accessing the internet.
We know it’s tricky trying to accurately guess the amount of bandwidth your business uses at any given time. If you’re looking for assistance or a more exact amount of bandwidth usage, you’ll want to conduct a layer 7 analysis.
What Type of Connection Do You Have?
There are various circuits you can contract for. The most popular options are:
- DSL (digital subscriber line): This transmits internet connection through wires that look like phone lines but are slightly different to allow broadband transmission. It’s often the circuit provided by telephone companies that also have an ISP division.
- Cable: If you subscribe to cable internet, your connection is transmitted through the same medium as cable television. Cable internet has broadband capabilities and can reach higher speeds than DSL.
- Fiber: This option relies on fiber-optic cable to connect subscribers to the internet and quickly transmit large amounts of information. However, fiber has limited availability, and it is expensive to build the infrastructure to support it.
- Wireless 5G: This is the newest internet option. It’s based on OFDM (Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing). Wireless technology is designed to be fast, reliable, and connect new service areas, such as IoT.
If you’re using a cloud-hosted phone system — or any solution for that matter — you’ll want to implement a fiber network. This will provide the fastest, most reliable speeds, which will prevent connection problems with your phone system.
Have You Looked into Uptime and Redundancy?
Since your cloud phone solution relies on an internet connection, you’ll want to pay attention to uptime and redundancy.
Whichever provider you contract with should have adequate uptime for your business’s needs. In addition, the platform should be reliable and resistant to outages. Typically, this is accomplished by the provider setting up failover safeguards across multiple data centers.
On your end, you need to ensure you have redundancy so an internet outage doesn’t affect your ability to make or receive calls.
What Phone Integrations Do You Need to Consider?
You’ll also want to think about what integrations you need and the bandwidth to support them.
You may have specific phone integrations you need for your industry, or you may want to integrate with your ERM and CRM.
Another common integration is a call center to help direct internal or external callers to different extensions in your phone system.
With all of these, you’ll want to plan for implementing them into your network and phone system.
Do You Need International Availability?
If you’re a business with international locations or offices, you need to check if your hosted phone solution works in that country.
For example, Webex and Nextiva are two providers with a solid international presence. However, other providers may have limited availability or no international presence.
If you know this is a factor for your company, you’ll want to check with the provider you’re considering before signing up for services.
Checking if Your Circuits and Phones Work Together
Much of IT is interconnected; hosted phone solutions and internet circuits are a great example of this.
Having a successful migration and quality hosted phone service moving forward requires you to examine your circuits.
An inadequate internet connection may not provide enough bandwidth to support your cloud-hosted phone solution. Additionally, you’ll want to use a fiber connection to provide the most reliable service.
Other factors you’ll want to consider are uptime, redundancy, integrations, and international availability.
As you check off each of these points, you’ll be closer to implementing a hosted phone solution that is flexible and reliable.
Some resources you may want to consider to assist you in checking how your internet connection will support a hosted phone solution are a layer 7 analysis and an external perspective from an IT consulting company.