A VoIP phone number is fundamentally analogous to the other…
VoIP Service Provider – 5 Things to Look for when Choosing yours
Posted on: 2016-11-15 | Categories: VoIP Services
Trends in business are nothing new, it seems every few years there is a new buzzword or strategy that companies are eager to implement in different areas of the company. However, some changes and technology often stick around for a while. They cause real change in business processes and soon become part of the normal way of doing things. One such example is email, it is so ubiquitous today that few people even remember the days before offices started using it all the time.
Right now VoIP is the latest new technology that is sweeping through organizations in most countries. Though many people dismissed it as just another passing trend in the early days, VoIP is widely accepted as a game changer in the enterprise world today. Organizations that are only now looking to implement VoIP will commonly have a few questions like why VoIP is so cheap or how to choose the right solution between hosted VoIP and SIP trunking.
Another vital decision to make is the question of selecting a VoIP service provider. Going with a vendor who doesn’t meet your requirements can be a costly decision – in terms of time, effort and financial loss. Here is a short list of things to look at when shopping for a service provider in the world of VoIP:
Price and Features
It is often not enough to just look at the total costs or the quality of service. There are providers who offer the best features which are overkill for your company but you still end up paying through the nose. On the other hand, many inexpensive options may have hidden compromises that you only discover after a few months of using the service. So it is important to look for a VoIP vendor that provides a combination of quality and price which is just right for your company.
VoIP Service Provider Security
This aspect is not something that is at the top of the priority list for executives in organizations but it certainly should be. Just like any other computing technology, VoIP systems are vulnerable to security holes that hackers exploit to cause massive damages. Achieving comprehensive security is not something that you can pursue without effective measures from your VoIP provider. Always select a vendor that emphasizes system and network security just as much as you do.
The term reliability encompasses everything from scheduled and unscheduled downtime (periods of time when the service may be unavailable) to disaster recovery procedures. Make sure to select a provider who has a comprehensive SLA (service level agreement) that specifies uptime, quality of service and fall back options for you.
There are many points of failure in an enterprise VoIP systems. Some are your responsibility like having a plan for when the Internet connectivity or hardware fails unexpectedly. Other problems can occur because your vendor’s systems have crashed, are overwhelmed by demand or software bugs. Both you and your VoIP service provider have to be prepared to meet any unexpected situation that can potentially occur in a business day.
Both customer service and technical support are important aspects to watch out for. The sales department in a vendor company may promise you the moon, which the service department cannot quite deliver on. Technical support is crucial for a business especially when you don’t have experts in the subject within the company.
You want to be able to reach your vendor at any time of day or night, through a plethora of channels and not just limited to phone or email. After all, you can’t call them up if the phones aren’t working in the first place! Once you do get through, the vendor should have competent support representatives who can quickly and effectively solve any issues you encounter.
You may wonder why quality is at the bottom of the list but the reality if that VoIP technology has improved quite a bit since the early days when you couldn’t quite have an entire conversation without some problem or the other cropping up. Now VoIP calls sound just as good or even better than toll quality on the PSTN.
Still voice quality can vary between vendors and a lot of it depends on variables like what kind of codecs they use, the speed and bandwidth capacity of your Internet connection and so on. You should look for a provider that has proven experience and a great track record in the VoIP industry like VoIPstudio. Startups might be exciting but you are still taking a gamble on the success of the company. The best providers will be able to assess your network and suggest improvements even before you start using the service, making every effort to give you good quality audio.
Selecting a hosted VoIP service provider need not be complicated and it is fairly easy once you know what to look for.