Cloud PBX – 5 Things to Look for in Your 30 Day TrialPosted on: 2017-03-07 | Categories: VoIP Services
The decision of selecting a cloud PBX for your business is not an easy one. There are many services out there, each with a different pricing structure and feature portfolio. It can be hard to compare multiple PBX systems at once.
Most experts advise business owners to make a list of features their organization absolutely needs. Once you have that list, find a provider that can offer it to you at a price that’s within your budget. Fortunately most – if not all – cloud PBX providers offer free trials of their service. Some require a credit card on file while others do not.
This free trial period is your chance to test drive the system and see if it works for you. You don’t have to rely on the vendor’s advertising or sales teams. Reading customer reviews and testimonials will only get you so far. By trying out the service under real world conditions, you get a better idea if the solution is right for your business or not.
So here are 5 things you should look for in your free trial or demo period.
Are You Satisfied with Call Quality?
Cloud PBX systems are capable of providing high quality audio for users. However not all vendors make good on their promises. Whether you have opted for the standard plans or HD voice, make sure you’re satisfied with call quality. Watch for calls made during peak hours and check whether quality is consistent regardless of network traffic. If you’re lucky enough to schedule the demo for your busiest season, it will give you a good idea of quality and performance.
Do You Use All the Features You’re Paying for?
So you followed the experts’ advice and made all the lists. You know which features you need, which are luxuries and which ones you can live without. But the reality might turn out to be completely different. During your trial period, you may find that employees want a feature you didn’t think was important or vice versa. Sometimes you may save money by switching to an alternate plan or even by upgrading certain features (like switching from metered to unlimited plans). Another aspect to look for is ease of configuration. You should be able to change the settings for certain features like call hold, call routing, group voicemail etc. This is because no two businesses use them the exact same way. They should be flexible and adapt to your context.
Is Your Network Infrastructure Robust Enough to Handle the Cloud PBX?
The free trial is your chance to evaluate your infrastructure needs. Even if you’re sure that your network can handle the extra traffic, there’s nothing like real world performance for reassurance. Some businesses find that they need to upgrade their Internet speeds or replace older hardware only during the free demo period. Sometimes all you need to do is configure the QoS correctly. So use this opportunity to test your network and see if it can cope with the addition of voice or if it needs upgrading.
Is the Vendor Responsive to Support Requests?
Cloud PBX systems can be a double edged sword. You’ll have someone else to do all the maintenance, upgrades and management of the phone system. But it also means you have to rely on someone else to fix issues when something happens. If anything goes wrong and the phones stop working, your IT department can’t just step in to fix it.
Many vendors offer multiple ways of contacting support (chat, email, phone etc.) as well as several training options like seminars, help manuals and so on. During the free trial, make sure your employees can access those materials and that they are not having trouble getting the phones to work. Also try out each support option at least once or twice and see the vendor’s responsiveness. You shouldn’t be waiting for customer support when your phones are down!
Do All The Monitoring and Security Tools Work?
Security is a very important part of switching to cloud PBX systems but it is often overlooked by companies. You should check that the vendor has implemented all the security measures that were promised during the sales call. Is your voice traffic encrypted like they said or is it vulnerable to packet sniffing? If something is wrong, is the provider willing to fix it?
Real time monitoring is an absolute necessity to ensure performance and also to make sure unauthorized access is detected as early as possible. Many businesses fall victim to toll fraud and find themselves on the hook for thousands of dollars worth of calls placed over the weekend when no one is working. With real time security monitoring, you will be alerted to suspicious activity before it becomes serious.
Watch out for these 5 things during your free trial and make the right choice of cloud PBX for your business!