There are more and more businesses that are disposing of traditional telephone infrastructure and migrating to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services because of the numerous advantages that VoIP offers.
If your organization is making the switch to VoIP, you are going to want to select a VoIP carrier that can provide the services your business requires and deserves. There are many opportunities to make mistakes when choosing a cloud provider, and not paying attention to some pertinent issues can lead to complications and unforeseen expenses later on.
To make sure you start off correctly, we have compiled a list of mistakes you need to avoid making when choosing your VoIP provider, so that you will find yourself a reliable partner whose pros far outweigh any cons.
Choosing a VoIP service provider at random is very risky. A reliable phone system will not only make you look professional, but it will also provide you with the tools you need to manage your communications and meet all your communication requirements. Therefore, it is important to compare different providers. While this will take longer, there is no need to rush when making such an important decision. With careful investigation and analysis, you will find the best VoIP solution for your organization. We highly recommend considering a cloud phone solution that can be easily customized as your business grows. Hosted VoIP systems have many convenient features to manage your business communications and the choice that you make will determine the success of your business communication system.
A business phone system is the “right-hand” man of your company. A major error would be to focus on the price of the advertised services and assume that the lowest price is reflective of the best offer. It is also important to be aware of hidden charges that can significantly inflate the cost of services. Investigate all possible solutions, including traditional, hybrid and cloud options, as well as all the costs associated with each option. When looking into VoIP providers, attempt to achieve for the best of both worlds – the combination of a solution that will offer you both the highest quality and a competitive price. For example, a solution may be available at a high price, but it does not require additional investment in hardware or software, which results in reduced maintenance costs. In general, make sure you take into account the cost of installing, maintaining and upgrading a system, as well as calculating the total cost of ownership.
What do you intend to use your phone system for? This is a central question that must be carefully considered. Take the time to assess your exact needs and examine if the potential phone system is equipped with the functions to meet these requirements. When looking for the optimal business VoIP solution in the market, you should write down a list of VoIP features you need, and also the business, technical and user requirements. By referring to this list, you will have a greater chance of ensuring that a potential supplier is an appropriate fit for your company. Also, by reading in-depth customer reviews and examining use cases, you will be able to find out which system works best for you.
Another important issue is scalability. The last thing you need to do when implementing a VoIP system in a rapidly growing company is to select a non-scalable solution that will not meet your future business needs. A phone system that grows together with you allows you to add new features as needed, provides flexibility and strengthens your business communications. As your business grows, there will definitely be a need to expand your communications infrastructure, add new employees to your phone system, enable new features, and more. A good business VoIP solution makes it easy to perform these steps when the time comes.
Some hosted VoIP providers store their equipment and servers in a single facility. To handle redundancy, they run multiple servers in case one of them fails, and switch on a generator if power is lost. In the event of an accident, the service provider could lose all circuits, and all clients connected to the operator would lose connectivity. A reliable operator has a redundant infrastructure that includes multi-node network sites located in separate geographical areas. A multi-node mesh backbone means that clients’ calls are connected to multiple nodes at the same time, and if one fails, the client remains connected. Mishaps are inevitable, and so it is crucial that the carrier of your choice has the infrastructure and redundancy architecture to keep you connected.
Internet connectivity is one of the main requirements of VoIP technology, with VoIP phone calls being carried over an Internet connection. Depending on the type of connection, your upload capacity may be limited. For vast amounts of voice and data, you need sufficient bandwidth to use VoIP effectively, and failing this, you will have an unreliable VoIP connection, poor call quality, and problems transferring data over the Internet. If your bandwidth is below the minimum required to meet your network traffic needs, even the best VoIP carrier will not be able to provide a proper quality of service (QoS).
Since VoIP telephony solutions run on the Internet, there is a risk that cybercriminals can hack into your system to listen in on your phone calls and possibly steal information. VoIP cyber-attacks can include denial of service attacks, spamming over Internet Telephony (SPIT), vishing, phreaking, eavesdropping and call recording. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to consider the potential security risks of VoIP systems and choose a service provider that is able to mitigate those threats. When looking into VoIP carriers, make sure that they offer strong encryption, multi-factor authentication, strict user policies, a range of security protocols, and other security features.
Committing to a contract with a VoIP provider is a big decision. It is normal to be concerned about being stuck in a 3, 5, or even 10-year contract with a VoIP provider and not receiving the quality service you signed up for or being able to exit that contract if unforeseen circumstances occur. In some cases, customers may be saddled with a huge bill for breaching the contract. If possible, select a “no contract” VoIP provider. Without the commitment to a long-term contract, you have freedom to move to an alternative provided if services are unsatisfactory, and a provider might even present you with a better offer to sweeten the pot if you do decide to be a long-term customer.
The large number of VoIP providers and the increasing popularity of this technology might be intimidating for prospective VoIP adopters, and exploring the myriad of providers can be quite nerve-racking. We hope that this guide has provided some insight into what to avoid when searching for the right VoIP provider, and will help you on your journey to choose the best VoIP services for your business.