I'm in the computer business supporting small businesses. I have never used, installed, or maintained any kind of VOIP system. I'm familiar with the basic concepts but I do have several questions. If you can only answer one question or give some small suggestion, please do it. I don't expect anyone to write a 40 page "answer" to my questions. Some links to other sites would be OK too.
I'm considering VOIP for some of my clients, first, because they are asking about it, and second, because I assume VOIP can give us all the features of a PBX system (if not more) and it will be more affordable.
Are there any good affordable solutions for businesses that have 2 to 10 employees? Something in the $1000 to $4000US range?
I'm willing to piece stuff together if needed. It doesn't have to be a complete system, although that would be nice.
I suppose I will need some kind of service provider, some software and/or VOIP routers, and some kind of hardware/phone setup. Any recommendations on these?
How can I know if the clients current Internet connection provides enough bandwidth?
Here are a few of the features we'd like to gain by using VOIP:
Voice mail boxes
Call forwarding options
Ability to extract CallerID from incoming calls (for use in our MS Access Database)
Cordless long-range handsets
Pre-recorded informative messages for callers who want general information