Once you've made the decision to upgrade your phone system to one that utilizes Voice over Internet Protocol, you can look forward to streamlining your hotel's communication functionalities. Implementing a new VoIP system into your everyday processes isn't difficult, and providers like PhoneSuite can make the transition a smooth one.
That being said, it is essential that you take certain steps to prepare your hotel's network for the use of VoIP. Done the right way, this will help avoid issues such as quality and performance problems. To make sure you're covered, we suggest that you follow these five steps:
Step #1: Understand Your Bandwidth Requirements
The importance of proper bandwidth for your hotel's communications cannot be understated. If you don't have enough bandwidth to handle the voice and data streams that enter and exit your hotel on a daily basis, you could be in real trouble. Bad call quality is always a concern, but it's also possible that the entire system may hardly function. To determine your network's specific needs, we suggest that you work with a reputable carrier like PhoneSuite, which is able to assess your bandwidth needs.
Step #2: Separate Voice and Data Traffic
Choosing to mix your voice and data traffic together can have undesirable results. This will draw on your resources more than necessary, which may negatively affect your system's call quality. You can fix this by separating these two streams with the use of dedicated layer 2 VLANS applied to each traffic category. This may not sound like an easy task, but a VoIP carrier can walk you through it.
Step #3: Secure the Network
Security has always been important for networks, but recent breaches against large companies have made it even more so. While you may not believe that your hotel could be a potential target, it's better to protect your system with the use of security software than risk a random attack on the network's integrity. You can also improve protection by restricting the number of ports on your network and by using a dedicated firewall that can monitor your system maintain its security.
Step #4: Make Quality of Service a Primary Goal
If both voice and data are going to be sent through the network, you must pay close attention to the quality of your service. What you want to do is protect your voice streams while preventing data traffic from overloading voice conversations. If your hotel's network is rather small, the layer 2 tagging of packets should be more than enough for your needs. If more is required, consult your VoIP provider to conduct an analysis.
Step #5: Invest in Backup Components
When a system goes down, the outage can have an extremely negative effect on your business. You could quickly find yourself losing money and damaging your reputation due to unhappy guests. You can help alleviate and, in most instances, eradicate the possibility by installing backup components, in addition to extra physical links. You could also invest in an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) that fits your hotel's specific needs so that if there's a power failure, your system will keep running until the outage can be rectified.
The last thing you want when it comes to your hotel's communications system is to experience network problems that can affect your employees and guests. The five steps listed above are a great way to make sure that the transition to VoIP goes off without a hitch. And by working with a reputable provider like PhoneSuite, you'll ensure that your communications system is always taken care of. If you'd like assistance, or to learn more about how VoIP can improve your hotel, contact us today.