VoIP IT Support Services require a lot of planning before execution. We will try to cover all bases for a smooth transition when purchasing your first phone system or migrating from an existing system. You may want to read our post about phones or telecom history before choosing a VoIP provider. All the information below is useless unless you have a quality internet connection. We have a created a slew of thought provoking questions that deal mostly with Jive VoIP hosting service but are versatile enough to discuss in generalities about other VoIP systems. Speaking of VoIP systems. Here’s the gist with what we encountered in the VoIP market place…
|Married VoIP and Internet|
|Cable Companies VoIP||Bundled Voice and Internet together is cheap but they are now married to each other.|
|Local Telco (ATT) plus VoIP||Bundled Voice and Internet together is cheap but they are now married to each other.|
|Airespring, TPX, Megapath||I have had very bad interactions with these companies. They lock you for life with crazy expensive contracts. Internet speeds are mediocre for the price.|
|Jive||Best service out there when you are a very small business, need physical phones, and are indifferent to your internet service provider. They have a great tool to try (see how good the service is) before you buy.|
|Phone.com||Cheap. Relies on your cell phones only. Gets pretty expensive if you are a consume a lot of phone minutes.|
|Grasshopper.com||Similar to Phone.com but with less features. Probably the cheapest option here.|
1 year – Based on usage not extensions
300 min – $999 yr
500 min – $1999
1000 min – $3999
Prepaid Mo to Mo – Based on Extensions
Basic Small Business Setup Example:
Three Department Extensions (3)
– Sales and First Impressions Team
Grasshopper.com – Pricing
$75 per greeting
3 extensions – $300 per year
– 1 main number
– Unlimited minutes
6 extension – $600
Small Business Plan – ?
3rd Party VoIP Resources
Need something more elaborate?
These carriers are great for auto dialing and integrate with most of the popular CRM platforms.
Jive Requires a Number to be Ported
Jive will not activate the setup portion of their service until a phone number is selected for porting. Typically, organizations port their main phone number of their business.
ProTip! Plan well ahead for porting of numbers. This can take weeks to perform. Use the Jive Online Portal to expedite this request. The same goes for setup of new or moving existing internet circuits.
Any Analog Numbers to be Ported?
POTS or Plain Old Telephone Service AKA Analog Phones should be planned to be ported too. These POTS lines are usually associated with fax machines. While faxes are not common place these days, they are still very much in use in the healthcare field and construction. You will need to purchase a Linksys SPA unit if you do not order a fax line. SPA unit will take a digital or internet connection and converts it to analog for use with a fax machine. However, SPA units are incredibly unpredictable especially when transmitting more than just a couple pages worth of faxes.
Is My Internet Sufficient For VoIP Needs?
- DSL with 3 megabits down and 512kb is terrible and should not be considered.
- A dedicated T1 is fine but expensive but reliable.
- Some can get away with coax but Jive and Cox or whoever the Coax cable modem provider starts pointing fingers when things start getting rough.
- ProTip – Avoid a long term contract and go with this as a long term solution and bail for something with more reliability and better ISP service when the time comes.
- Fiber is the most ideal situation but also the most expensive.
Who is that Provider?
My recommendation is Airespring simply because they throw in some really nice Polycom phones for free when you commit to them. They are by no means the cheapest, their internet speeds are very disappointing, and the upsell on higher speeds is infuriating. But hey, good reliability and good customer service sometimes outshines these other issues. PS. The implementation thread was pretty bad for Airespring.
How do I Prep My Existing Environment for Install?
- Buy some new shiny equipment. Here’s our typical shopping list of cable installation items.
- Use Network Antics for your VoIP IT Support Services. We can install or clean up your cabling, rack, and switch situation or simply manage your entire VoIP project from beginning to end. We posted a lot of helpful information if you want to make a DIY project along with some sexy pics of what cable management should look like.
- Inquire with the VoIP provider if they will be providing any switch. Ask if you can purchase outright and have us set it up for you in your new shinny rack.
- Get a good quality router at the right price. Sonicwall (already in the shopping list) sounds like the ideal combination.
Router VoIP Configuration – Segments
VoIP traffic is segmented in larger environments. Some VoIP providers area against adding this type of complexity. Ask your provider but I am all about prioritizing and segmenting traffic. Here’s are some notes from a recent VoIP install:
X0 – Ethernet or LAN interface – 192.168.134.0 (Computer LAN traffic) **DHCP Disabled on Sonicwall
X2- LAN – 192.168.135.0 Range: 192.168.135.1 – 192.168.135.253 (VoIP) ***DHCP enabled on Sonicwall
- No Inter VLAN
- Cisco Managed switch – X0 – Not VoIP
- Netgear UnManaged Switch – X2 – VoIP
Internet Bandwidth Total: 300 Megabits up and 20 Meg down
Phone Usage: 175 kbps/phone
Phones: 20 phones
Sonicwall bandwidth settings for voip IT support services:
Router VoIP Configuration – Msc
In order to rule out any potential issues with the router, Jive recommends ensuring your router meets their advised standards. These are the most common router settings that can resolve issues similar to the ones you may be experiencing. Not all routers have these settings available for adjustment, but please make sure that as many are configured correctly as possible.
- DNS Servers: Please set the first two options to 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52.
- PORTS 5060 & 5061 should be open on your firewall for UDP traffic.
ProTip! Opening ports 5060 and 5061 should only be opened if you are locally hosting the PBX.
- SIP ALG: Found under firewall settings. Must be disabled.
- SPI Firewall: Found under firewall settings. Must be disabled. Does not apply to Sonicwall.
- UDP Timeout: Found under firewall settings. Usually set to 30 seconds by default. Should be increased to at least 300 seconds.
- SIP Transformations: Found under firewall settings. Must be disabled.
- Consistent NAT: Found under firewall settings. Must be enabled.
The SIP ALG and SPI Firewall settings are the most important on this list. If your router does not have the ability to disable either of these settings, that is a good indication that they are enabled in the firmware of the router. Sometimes your ISP or IT department will have the ability to modify these settings, however if they are also unable to modify these functions then we would recommend that you consider replacing your router with one from our trusted list of routing devices
It can also be helpful to create rules allowing all traffic to and from our IP blocks. This ensures that data flowing between your router and our servers will be uninterrupted and unfettered.
ProTip! Do not allow incoming. It sounds like a huge liability and we advise against it. Outgoing is not blocked by default.
If after working through the above steps and you still see the same problems, you most likely have a bad router or there is a configuration change that is still missing. E-mail or call at Jive at 877-548-3003
Establish a Call Workflow
There are countless way to setup your call workflow. Utilizing our pass situation of VoIP IT support services, we have diagramed a basic setup as our plan going forward with some hypothetical scenario. You want customers to receive a greeting that you or a voice actor setup for when customers call your main line. “welcome to Acme, press 1 for sales, 2 for billing, 3 for customer service, or please dial the phone extension for who you wish to speak at any time”
|User||Extension||Direct Line||Email Address||Phone MAC Address|
|Customer Service Department||3|
|DID line checks schedule||If normal business hours then go to auto-attendant||Auto-attendant gives greeting and offers to search directory extensions, but otherwise rings through to extension 0||If extension 0 doesn’t pick up then go to voicemail|
|Otherwise go to voicemail|
|Need to enable voicemail through email|
|Need to allow the Auto-attendant to search through the directory of extensions/users|
Welcome to Jive
- Dashboard: http://my.jive.com/ordering/
- Watch this video for an review/overview of the Jive Portal https://youtu.be/nrSNbpECVMg
- Jive Product Manual: https://jive.com/resources/support_page/product-manual-2/
Confirm Network Connectivity to the Internet is Suitable for VoIP
Jive View delivers a comprehensive picture of your phone’s network in real time. Armed with this performance data, you (or our tech team) can proactively identify network concerns before they become problems. If problems do arise, the app helps pinpoint exactly what they are so you can address them and verify that you’re in the clear. That, my friend, is called peace of mind.
Reset Polycom to Factory Default Rough Instructions
Unplug ethernet (POE) cable and power for 20 seconds to hopefully lose IP lease
VoIP IT Support Services Summary
You are all set. There’s a lot of packed into into VoIP IT Support Services. However, utilizing this step by step guide should prevent a lot of mistakes from happening and any hopefully buyer’s remorse.